TO THE EDITOR:
I sold my first car in 1974 and retired in 2010. In between, I took part in thousands of transactions with thousands of clients. I always did all I could to make them happy, but it must be recognized that surveys such as the one highlighted in "Consumers: Car buying lacks transparency" (autonews.com, Feb. 25) are fairly pointless.
There is an essential and irreducible conflict between the car buyer and the dealer. The customer wants the car but wants to pay the absolute minimum to acquire it. The dealer wants to sell the car and earn the highest possible profit doing so. Both parties are adults and should understand this.
I spent years calculating and comparing average gross profits and finance and insurance income. I also spent years negotiating with customers. Customers don't want transparency. They never believe the numbers anyway, and if you showed them what you were earning in F&I with absolute clarity, do you imagine that would make them happy?
If "transparency" means honesty, then I'm all for it. It's the baseline for all business transactions. Where I have been disappointed in car buying since I retired is with the lack of product knowledge and basic sales skills.
Isn't the whole art of the business making the potential customer happy enough to become a client and a friend? I trained my people that if all you had to talk about was price, then you lost before you began.
HUGH BRENNAN, Hillsborough Township, N.J. The writer is a retired salesman, F&I manager, general sales manager, sales representative and sales trainer.