Darrell Parrish makes a number of accusations and predictions with respect to the automobile industry. Nowhere does he bother to establish his credentials, nor does he refer to any research conducted by or available to him relating to his own recent quest for a new automobile. It would appear the material is subjective.
Having devoted the past 36 years to the automobile retailing profession, I at first felt extreme anger toward, and then pity for, this individual.
His letter angered me because it was a broadside attack directed at all automobile sellers, when in fact the practices that he accuses us of are limited to a very small percentage of automobile retailers throughout the country.
I felt pity for him because he obviously has never met a professional automobile salesman, who could have been extremely helpful to him with his car purchasing and leasing decisions.
If it were true that the masses of this country are easy prey to the "greatest seller of all," then we are indeed in trouble as a nation, because most automobile salesmen know less about their role in the transaction than the buyers know about theirs.
The industry is constantly striving to upgrade the professionalism of its retail forces in order to secure a better public image.
Indeed, the additional markup mentioned by Parrish brought tears to my eyes because my dealership just ended a month in which virtually every car was sold for just $99 over invoice.
We don't use tactics! We don't play games! We don't work in teams! We try, whenever the buyer allows us, to provide meaningful assistance, to help our customers select the right models, dispose of their trade-ins advantageously and secure the best financing or leasing arrangements for their particular situations.
We work long hours and spend far too much of our time trying to explain to people like Parrish that the purchase of his automobile need not be a battle of wits, but rather should be an enjoyable experience of mutual benefit to both buyer and seller.
Lou Ehlers Cadillac,