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I am just having it. Don't you used feel so betrayed by a vendor, who you've backed in their hard moments they had, went for them the extra-mile, when other dealerships gave them the boot, and stuck with them through the entire time, only to learn now that you will be the next "designated idiot", who will receive an asskick from them. I am sure you are wondering what I am talking about, and I agree I am not clearly tell who I am referring to - okay, lets be clear from now.

I just received a phone call from my AutoTrader Rep, and she needs to meet again with me next week to revise all the contracts we just signed. The ink not even dry yet, her Manager won't allow the stipulations we had anchored in the contract (Alpha Program + Spotlight Ads). And these contact are the same I had signed and worked with them since last October '08. Talking about sticking to your word and promise.

Spending $23k+ a month with them in my entire group, they really think, that is okay for them to "bully" us around. With "us" I mean you and me, the single dealerships, dealer groups and franchises. I made it really clear to my Rep. that there won't be from our site no concession made, and when I have on Tuesday the meeting with my Rep and her Manager, I guarantee I more than happy to spend the amount of money (what I am spending right now with autotrader) elsewhere.

Please do understand - this is not a threat - it is my promise!

How do you feel about the more and more occurring "trust-lost" we experience on daily basis from our vendors, who are suppose to help us to sell more cars? Do you think I am over-reacting? Am I to hard on them? I appreciate your comments and thoughts.

Tags: Alpha, Spotlight, autotrader, concession, contract

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I find this interesting that they are wanting to redo your contract. Last year they mde changes so all teir contracts would renew in March. At the end of January my Rep told me they were not going to new contracts this year unless the dealer wanted changes and their rates would stay the same. This statement seems confirmed rom an article on Dealerrefresh.
Well their South Director called me up yesterday and was apologizing for the confusion, and that everything what I negotiated before and the couple days ago will be honored. Everything seems now to be good, again. Well we will wait and see.
VJ ,

I'm a former dealer turned Autotrader rep ....."Luke .....come to the darkside" :)

....seriously . I have sat where you are and understand your frustration . Trust is earned and demonstrated by actions . knows all to well the reality of your concerns . The challenge is when a company decides to move in a new direction and learn from past mistakes , the old pereception is hard to change . Time will tell .

The message is clear from the top down . We must help our dealers succeed . Not just words....but really move the needle in driving more action to your inventory . How are they going to accomplish this ? Real simple comp is now based on your success matrix not sales . I'm proud to be part of this company and the opportunity they afford me to real help my dealers during a time when they need the most help . My only real asset is my word . Everything else is secondary . When I sit before a dealer and tell him what I think it is either for his benifit or mine . If I place MY needs before his I become just a salesman . My hope is to earn his trust by making recommendations that help him NOT me . Only then can I truly partner with him an be the advisor I strive to be . When he impliments a suggestion and realizes the benifits in more activity we both win . Like any sales orginization we are all on the same path at diffrent places . Some sell , some advise , some make lots of money , some have earn the trust of their clients . Guess it depends on how you define success .

I welcome your openness and honesty in sharing your thoughts and feelings . One of the values of this kind of forum is to be able to express and more importantly recieve feedback .

Respectfully ,

Tim, very good, and I appreciate your input as well. Don't get me wrong, AutuTrader is a good comapny with the ear on the market. I actuall would turn myself over to "the dark side", as well. I have tremendous success with AT and the options I decided on to implement. It would be a shame to "have a perfect marriage" crumbling apart.
Hey VJ,

I absolutely understand the way you feel about Autotrader. As a matter of fact, the dealership that I work for, just made them "walk the plank" about 2 weeks ago, as we`re trimming the fat in regards to our weakest providers/links.. The ROI just wasn`t there anymore.
Personally I think that particular company is a tad too full of themselves. has become predominately more visible than ever & has produced really nice results for us lately, while still staying "in-line" with their pricing policies.

Ken Beam
E-Commerce Mgr.

Douglas Auto Group
430 Morris Ave.
Summit New Jersey


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