Anyone’s list of less reputable professions is likely to include (pretty much) anyone associated with car dealerships. From owners to salespeople, finance managers to mechanics, this cornerstone of our automotive industry is easily one of the most maligned in terms of their credibility, practices, and overall culture. But is this fair? Are the dealership critiques justified?
As the old adage says, ‘there is truth at the heart of every stereotype’, but all-too-often stereotypes are self-perpetuating. For example, many (but not all) customers approach a dealership anticipating the worst, predisposed to the stereotype, and preventing a relationship from being formed. And of course, there are many dealers view potential customers with animated dollar signs over their heads, with no real interest in forming a relationship past the sale. But are these examples of guarded consumers and impersonal personnel the majority, or the minority. Is the subpar relationship between dealer and customer the exception, or the rule?
Truth be told, I spend a lot of time writing about this sort of thing. There’s a lot that could be said about the ‘truth’ in what read (especially on the internet) but its hard to argue that a Google search will yield far more results for ‘Car Dealership Horror Stories’ than ‘Satisfied Car Buyers’.
If you’re frustrated with car dealerships, rest assured that you’re not alone (hell, just check Reddit). The disconnect is fueled by problems that go far deeper than our individual gripes on social media and bad YELP reviews. In fact, some of the greatest flaws in the car dealership culture are built into the industry’s very foundation.
For a humorous, yet cynical, yet accurate look at what we’re talking about, let’s look to TruTV’s ‘Adam Ruins Everything’.
-Rest assured, there are car dealerships out there built upon a foundation of integrity, who truly want to build a lasting relationship with their customers. And if you find one, do us all a favor, and scream it from the rooftops. Sing their praises to help them stand out as an exception to the stereotype, and direct business to them whenever possible!