Monday, June 29, 2009

Grassroots Effort

What GM & Chrysler don't understand is that dealers are the very fabric of America. While Congress is in recess this week to celebrate Independence Day, dealers in cities, rural areas and small towns across this country are celebrating too, in spite of the challenges of today's economy. Dealers are sponsoring parades, little league teams, booster clubs, because we are America.

We have the support here in Maryland, and there is support growing across this country.

In Pennsylvania,

In Arkansas,

Thanks again for your continued support.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Media Can Help

I think the more that Congress and the media learn about this, the more they see through the misinformation being spread by the manufacturers.

Senate Bill & House Bill

No one wants to believe that the truth is so different from the fairy tale being spun by the executives from GM and Chrysler, no one thinks we could all be fooled, let alone the administration or Congress. Unfortunately that’s exactly what’s happening

Dealers don’t cost manufacturers any money.
Fritz Henderson and Jim Press failed to convince Congress or demonstrate how reducing dealers saves money. Filling a car up with gas is a cost associated with selling a car, not how many dealers they have. Dealers pay the freight to get the car shipped. Dealers order parts and vehicles, and become the warehouse for their products. The factory offers no subsidy for dealers, in fact, the dealers pay fees to the factory, almost $40,000 a year, not including the purchase of inventory.

Too few dealers, not too many.
2 out of 3 cars on the road are Domestic. There were 13,000 domestic dealers at the end of 2008. At the end of their cuts, there will be 9,600. How will Detroit rise again if there are fewer domestic dealers than Import? There are already 10,000 import dealers. Dealers are not “branches”.
If you’re going to be like Toyota, build Toyota quality.
It’s the car, the product, that determines success. Dealers have established relationships with owners of vehicles, who remain loyal, despite the lower ratings in Consumer Reports. GM has lost market share for 30 years. GM has seen ratings in Consumer Reports go down for 30 years. This isn’t a coincidence, customers know quality. Toyota focused on the East and West Coast. On Rockville Pike there are three Toyota dealers, there will be 1 Chrysler Dealer. How does that match Toyota’s model?

Why would they do this?
They need a scapegoat for Wall Street to keep investing, to avoid blaming the very same managers who remain employed, to get their retention bonuses. This is the same management that drove both companies into bankruptcy. The dealers are not bankrupt, the manufacturers are.

Some of the material I've been researching is making it out into the web, and the public...the more information the better.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I created a message to all of my customers, and I'm asking you to act. Now that we've introduced the HR2743 we have something very specific to ask our members of congress to do: Support the legislation by co-sponsoring and voting for it. In the meantime, I will continue to support our employees and you, our customers.

Automotive News - Ed Lapham

Ed Lapham is reporting about the new legislation that's been introduced in the House of Representatives. This isn't about me, this is about customers. This is about making sure that customers can continue to get their vehicles serviced "just like always" as the President stated in his address to the nation. The argument that manufacturers need to eliminate dealers to save money is so far from the truth. Consider some very important facts:
1. Incentives are never paid in advance, meaning cars don't drop in value when a rebate is announced. The dealer paid the manufacturer when the car rolled off the assembly line, before it was every shipped. If the dealer sells the car, to a consumer, he passes a rebate on to the consumer, and then waits for the factory to reimburse him/her (the dealer) for the credit that the dealer gave the customer at the time of the sale.
2. Customers pay for "distribution." Every Federally mandated "Monroney" label or "Sticker" on a new car or truck includes a line item for "Freight". Freight means shipping, or distribution. For some cars, it's anywhere from $325 to $700.
3. Dealers are the "cost bearers" for the manufacturing of the parts too. Dealers order millions in inventory, that dealers pay for, to supply parts to customers at dealerships, gas stations and large chain service providers. Without the dealer warehouses, who are the customers, every day consumers are going to have a harder time finding parts too.
Write to your Representative...this is happening to you. It's in your home town.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I've been writing this blog off and on for a while but I've also been communicating with customers through Facebook. I started a new group on facebook called "Restore Dealer Rights". This is an open group, and I hope whoever comes across this post will join. We need everyone to stay informed, to contact their Representative and Senators and ask them to take action.

What does that mean? 1)Sign on to the letter from Congressman Hoyer & Congressman Van Hollen and 2) Sponsor and Support legislation to "Restore Dealer Rights" which is drafted and floating around Capitol Hill.

Find me on Facebook and ask to be my friend.

Ask Republicans and Democrats to Help

We are grateful that Congressman Steny Hoyer and Congressman Chris Van Hollen have sent around a letter to each of their colleagues to ask them to sign on a letter to the administration, that also advises that they will consider legislation. The legislation they're considering was written about in the Washington Post. It's called Restore Dealer Rights. This is about restoring jobs for families, maintaining healthcare for families, so they can pay for their children's education, and support the economy. I admit that I've been very successful, and this isn't about me. GM & Chrysler proved at the hearing that they have nothing to gain by closing dealerships, except "strategic market representation." Why would Congress allow the same bad management that drove them into bankruptcy to develop a plan that's doomed to fail by taking away locations for customers to service their cars....why? Because the truth is that Consumer Reports has been telling them for years that they needed to improve their quality and they won't listen. They're not listening now, and they duped Congress and the administration, not telling them that closing dealers would cost 170,000 jobs.

Call your Senator and Congressman and ask them to sign on to Congressman Hoyer's and Congressman Van Hollen's letter. Thanks!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ask your Congressman to Act...

Today the Washington Post ran a story about my fight on behalf of independent car dealers across this country, and consumers. The story isn't just about me, it's about how we need Congress to act now by introducing legislation to restore the economic rights of car dealers by using this bill. Congress is in effect the Board of Directors for GM and Chrysler - and they can instruct the company to make changes. The Senate couldn't contain their outrage in trying to understand how in the world Manufacturers could make the case to close dealerships when they couldn't justify their expense. As one blogger with the Post later wrote, "It's like a book publisher trying to get rid of Borders." Contact your represenatives in congress and ask them to sponsor and support this draft legislation.