TO THE EDITOR:
Regarding "Visual appeal," May 2: I love Jeeps; I have been a Jeep customer for 25-plus years.
Jeep dealer service was never stellar, but I saw the dealership experience steadily deteriorate under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ownership, particularly over the past seven or so years.
Opening up new stores makes OEMs feel good, but it rarely solves the underlying problems. Worse, opening new stores/showrooms automatically increases the number of vehicles that need to be sold to break even. And it is the individual dealers left to bear most of the risk — just look at what happened to Fiat USA dealers.
Granted, Jeep is not Fiat, especially not in North America. But unless Jeep implements better training for sales and tech staff and stricter customer service requirements, and/or enlists dealers with a reputation for delivering a better customer experience, making existing dealers to build separate showrooms is not going to fix any of the underlying problems.
As the old saying goes, it is simply putting lipstick on a pig.
ALDO MARTIN, Executive vice president, Automotive Panalytics Research Group, Bellingham, Wash. Panalytics Research Group conducts research and brand consulting for automakers.