I have read 80% of what you've written in Motor Trend, and I agree with a lot of it; most of it is pro-American automotive industry, and I like reading another positive voice. However, I take severe issue with your recent post about car dealerships and the financing options that we offer consumers. I've been selling cars for almost 4 years now, and I've never gotten an "attitude" about a customer obtaining their own financing for a vehicle. If a customer is getting their own financing, that means that they have already decided to purchase the car and more often that not are preparing to do so.
What's more, one of the biggest things that prevents me from making a sale is a customer leaving the dealership, even if they are leaving to procure their financing. All it takes is for a customer to drive by another dealership, and decide to stop in; all of a sudden, a deal that I thought I had wrapped up is not happening because I let the customer leave the dealership. Taking care of the financing in-house frees up time and frustration for the customer; they don't have to leave and talk to another set of goofballs at their bank.
What is even more alarming to me is the fact that it appears that you don't think dealers should make any money on cars; we should be content with what comes in from service, parts, and accessories. That idea is incredibly insulting. It seems as if you don't believe that car dealership are a legitimate business. Do you have beef when Best Buy makes money off a TV they sell? How about a boutique clothing store? Why is it acceptable for a non-car dealer to make a profit?
It is up to the customer to decide if they want us to handle a loan for them, just as it's their prerogative to purchase the car itself from us. If they want to spend hours arguing with us over a price, that's also their decision. Maybe more consumers should look at irresponsible journalism as part of their problem, instead of part of their solution.
This letter was written in response to a blog post in Motor Trend by Todd Lassa. Will I send it to him personally? Probably.