Local Auto Dealer: Consumer Confidence The Key, Not Bailout

A long time car dealer here in Colorado Springs thinks the real answer to the American auto industry’s woes is at the local car dealership.

The deal is the key to putting Dennis Kershner behind the wheel of a new Ford

"I'm always a BBD: Bigger, better deal guy," Kershner said.

The thousands he’ll spend are coveted dollars going into the American auto industry.

"I didn't really think about it that way, but contributions, any to make our economy better, is great," he said.

Business is picking up at Phil Long Ford according to General Manager Mike Cimino, thanks in part to lower gas prices and recent incentive packages

"Some people are taking an opportunity to buy cars, you know how the old saying goes, buy low," he said.

In an open letter, Phil Long President and CEO Jay Cimino indicates consumer confidence as a cause and solution to the auto industry. He thinks the government could boost confidence by urging customers to buy American. He goes on to write the industry should make reliable cars and financing available.

Finally Cimino looks to the car buyer to recognize that boosting the U.S. auto industry could boost the economic backbone.

"It's kind of like after 9-11. The President, regardless of whether you like him or not said, go out an do the same things you did before, and they did," said Mike Cimino.

The challenge now is finding customers in markets where consumers, for now, are not willing or able to buy.

In the meantime, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association reports new-car sales in Colorado are expected to drop between 20 percent and 25 percent this year.

Representatives estimate dealers have slashed staff by about 10 percent this year, with many of those cuts coming on Friday and Monday.

Some car dealers fear if the Automakers go under, they would take more jobs and even some dealerships with them.

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  • by Bob Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 31, 2008 at 09:11 AM
    After just have been ripped off by almost a thousand dollars by Phil Long, I won't ever be buying another car from them or Ford ever again. I've been a customer since 1962 but not any more. I had a problem with my Explorer but I explicitly told them I didn't want to pour a lot of money into a car that wasn't worth it -- I'd rather buy a new one. I also told them that I didn't want to drive the car off the lot and find that it still had the problem. Two rather simple requests. They called with a $975 estimate that "will fix the problem." Later they called to say the car was ready but, it still has the problem!! I would have put that $1000 towards a new one had they just told me the truth. Their greed cost them a customer for life. I home Mike and Jay Cimino are happy! We are NOT!
  • by anon on Nov 20, 2008 at 03:21 PM
    i don't feel sorry for car dealers - they get what they deserve and they are the reason people are losing jobs in Detroit because of their greed
  • by Bob Location: COS on Nov 20, 2008 at 07:46 AM
    I agree with the statement that Sandi posted. I am not a loyal customer anymore. I bought a truck from Daniels Chevrolet in 2003. I purchased an extended warantee for the vehicle and was told that I would get that money back if I didn't use it. I called the company that had my money and they told me that I contacted them too late and I couldn't get my $1500.00 back. I wrote a letter to Daniels and they never even responded to me. Now that's what I call poor customer service. They don't care about me. The very least they could have done was to respond. I will never buy another vehicle from Daniels. That was the second truck I purchased from them and I have two son-in-laws that purchased trucks from Daniels. They will never purchase anything from Daniels again either. Thanks Daniels Chevrolet for caring so well about your customers. You lost three repeat customers because you did not bother to respond to me. $1500.00 is a lot of money to me.
  • by Robert Location: PPCC on Nov 19, 2008 at 03:27 PM
    I think a main issue that is plaguing the auto industry is that they are making cars way to expensive with add-ons, and not making good cars. Do you need a truck with WiFi? I can see that for a construction worker or an engineer or something, but the everyday man or woman doesn't need that. It is the auto companies fault they dug themselves into this hole. They wanted to sell one or two 60,000 dollar cars and trucks instead of a lot of affordable ones. That is why oversea cars are getting bought because they are cheap, don't have add-ons people don't need, and have better warranties. The CEO's of Dodge, GMC and Ford all went to congress in private jets today too.
  • by Sandi Location: Colorado Springs on Nov 19, 2008 at 11:49 AM
    My problem with these dealerships is that I don't want to pay for their shiny new showrooms through the purchase of my car. The car-buyer isn't getting the type of service from the dealership that warrants loyalty, either. So at this point, the auto industry has to expand their scope to a more long-term view of the customer. Unfortunately, the reality is that car dealers are now seen as rip-off artists.
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