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Car Salesmen Are Exploited

June 19, 1992

I wish to respond to Gordon Monson's article "Car Buying: A Game of Truth or Dare, Minus Madonna" (June 7) regarding his experiences in buying a new car.

Monson is absolutely right. The process is a total hardship; however, there are reasons for it. The public is not aware of the status of automobile salespeople in the workplace.

There are exceptions, but the majority of these representatives function under the primitive conditions reminiscent of exploitative sweatshops at the turn of the century. They work seven days a week and most nights--that includes Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and, in many instances, even Christmas. They have no salary, retirement security or company car, and now confront diminishing or non-existent health insurance.

They must deal with a hostile and justifiably suspicious public and an employer who--deep down--would really like to see them go away. And all this for a national average of $20,000 a year. The dealers and the unfortunate car-buying public are getting exactly what they pay for, and until the National Automobile Dealers Assn. and the manufacturers are kicked out of their lethargy, nothing is going to change.

ROBERT CURLENDER

Pasadena

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