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Challenging Charles Kim From And His Oedipus Complex

I've been watching the debate involving on many automotive forums, but today I was pushed to action by comments from Charles Kim on ADM who is employed by  

Here is what Charles said today on the very popular ADM Blog Post on started by Dealer Advocate James Ziegler:


Answer this simple question:  Would you let your loved one (who was not a car expert, like my mom) go into a dealership in the area and buy a car on his/her own unassisted by you in any way?  The answer is obviously "no."  My mom would get raked over the coals as would your loved one too (or at least thoroughly taken-advantage of.).  In fact, I have never met a dealer principal or employee that would tell their best friend or next door neighbor to just stroll into any of their dealerships unannounced and buy a car WITHOUT a) first setting up the deal in advance or b) telling the friend/neighbor to name-drop to then set up a deal in advance. 

I have never worked in a car dealership but I serve car dealers as a trusted advisor.  Since 2005, I have had the pleasure of working with car dealers across the US and Canada.  I have met many great men and women that have a passion for their automotive industry.  

They treat customers like family. Yes, I would send my Mom to buy a car from them.  Alone.

The fact that Charles Kim, representing, characterizes all dealers as predatory is just flat out wrong.  It's false on so many levels that I could not sit on the sidelines.

So I will start a list.  Will you add to my list?


This list is automotive professionals that I would have NO PROBLEM sending my MOTHER to purchase a car from without ANY advance notice.  


I hope that you will add to my list to make a clear statement.  There are THOUSANDS of honest dealer principals that love their local community and operate their business for the long haul.


Are there short term opportunists?  Yes!  


They exist in all business industries but for to paint a broad stroke against all car dealers is unbelievable from a company that wants to partner with dealers in a sales process?


Mommy Proof Shopping List

There are so many dealers that I have met that I know will treat my Mom correctly, but here are few that come to the top of my mind.  

I am referencing people below, at these dealerships, but I know the type of organization that they run and their team are FIRST CLASS acts.  Leadership creates an excellent customer experience.  Bravo to those dealers that my MOM can shop without a "Charles Kim body guard"!

  • Debbie Crispin - Bill Crispin Chevrolet
  • Matt Haiken - Prestige Volvo
  • Steve Rudkin - Shelly BMW
  • MaryJo Wheelers - Wheelers GM
  • Andrew DiFeo - Hyundai of St. Augustine
  • Alex Jefferson - Proctor Honda
  • Alex Andreus - Brickell Honda
  • Jim Flint - John Eagle Group
  • Joel Sporn - Westbury Jeep
  • Scott Falcone - World Hyundai
  • Kevin Leigh - West Herr
  • Karl Schmidt - Morries Auto Group
  • Bob Nouri - Norman JCD
  • Ken Schatzberg - Infiniti of Scottsale
  • Joey Abna - Peltier Chevrolet
  • Dale Harrison - RBM of Atlanta
  • Christine Knowles - Checkered Flag Group
  • Bill Simmons - Haley Automotive 



So, ADM members, can you add to the Mommy Proof list that I started.  It's time to BITCH SLAP anyone from that says that it is UNSAFE to send your "loved ones" to buy a car with someone holding their hand.




Charles Kim is either an embarrassment to or just another representation of what the company is truly all about.




I look forward to seeing my fellow automotive professionals in Las Vegas in a few weeks at DMSC and NADA.



Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

Views: 5149

Tags: charles kim truecar, list, mommy, safe, truecar,


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Comment by Mark Ziehr on January 20, 2012 at 6:15am

Keep the post open and the dicussion alive.  Yes, at points it has been harsh, but nothing more than you would hear in some discussion groups.  Mr Kim needs to hear the other side.  (Although I wonder if he is even still engaging this forum any further at all?) ADM is one of the few OPEN forums with a wide spectrum of opinions and professional insights.  All Brian did is bring to the attention of the ADM community a snake in the grass, an infiltrating danger.  Everyone reacts differently when they are confronted with a preceived enemy.  Some over react and strike back.  Others look for proactive ways to rid themselves of the problem and strive to improve.  Still others try to ignore it, hoping it will go away.  I see what Brian did as a way to alert us all to an infringement of our industry.  Now he and others are trying to lead us into new and better ways of handling our business.  We have plenty of tools at our ready, that we MUST employ to counteract any influence on our customers.

The mistake here would be to snipe at each other and lose track of the mission.  Dealers need to bring their marketing business (and their valuable data) back in house.  Dealers need to get away from third party lead generators and the false belief that they are the only way to conquest a customer base.  We have the ability to make these services obsolete. 

Yes, the car business has been its own worst enemy in the past and there is a old shadowy reputation that we all must still overcome in each of our communities.  One thing that this post has brought to light is that many of us believe that we have effectively overcome that perception and proven to our markets that we are a good, safe place that anyone could entrust their mother to for a sound and solid purchase. 

Keep up the good work.  Lets reclaim our industry from others that seek to take it away.

Comment by Larry Bruce on January 20, 2012 at 4:29am

So let’s land this plane shall we…

Brian takes issue with the notion that “You wouldn’t send your mother alone to buy a car”

I do too… NOW, but

I can absolutely identify with this statement because, this exact scenario happened to me when I was out of town. My mother decided to buy a new Toyota in 2001, she couldn’t get in touch with me and of course couldn’t wait so she went to the local Toyota dealership and was put into a 60 month lease at retail.

Now could she have gotten a better deal? … Yes

Was she happy with what she had? … Yes

So I am going to go Geek on you now - “Luke you’re going to find in life that many of the truths we hold on to depend entirely one’s point of view” Obi-Wan Kenobi, Return Of The Jedi

@Rob, Mike & Brian,

Look guys we all know our industry has exactly been an angel (neither is any other) and we all know that has been changing since the scenario above in 2001. Perhaps we take so much offence because we know it, but you have to admit Charles’s statement is shared by far too many consumers.

So disagree with Charles if you like…I do vehemently but don't condemn the person til you get to know the guy. You’ll find he is a smart, yet jaded retail car guy, someone you can rift ideas with disagree then go have a beer and talk the important stuff… racing cars. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 19, 2012 at 11:40pm

Arnold - Unlike many other social network sites, the ADM Professional Community is exactly that... A COMMUNITY. So, please do not say things like "Its your forum, run it how you see fit." which is not how ADM is run.  Ask any of the other editors, there is a lot of discussion and I often times relinquish my position because it is not reflective of the COMMUNITY.  You are as much a part of this community as Brian or anyone else who contributes on a regular basis.  All advertising revenue is spent on the members of this network.  It is almost a "Collective" in actual practice.  I do have many blogs and other Ning networks that I own and have complete dictatorial control over, but that is not ADM's charter and I make every effort to keep it that way.

Comment by Arnold Tijerina on January 19, 2012 at 8:28pm

@Ralph I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest with you or anyone. Its your forum, run it how you see fit. I didn't agree with Brian's post which, in my opinion, is a personal attack on Charles and I think it's a bad precedent to set. That's all. You are the "powers that be" and you have spoken. I just threw out my opinion.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 19, 2012 at 8:15pm
Arnold - as much as I respect your opinions, I disagree with you on your Free Speech statement. I started the ADM Community in December 2007 because I had been censored and banned from another network because of who my employer was (ADP). I vowed to keep ADM as open and not moderated as much as possible. I have taken tremendouse heat and personal pressure including threats to my employment, cease and desist letters and lawsuits from those seeking to silence opinions expressed within the ADM Community. My track record may not be 100%, but I am well into the 90's for protecting ADM Member rights to freely express their opinions...

ALSO, when Charles Kim has lambasted ADM and directly attacked ADM from a variety of directions that seemed VERY personal to me, I not only respected his right to levy such criticism, I featured his posts!
Comment by Arnold Tijerina on January 19, 2012 at 7:48pm

@Ralph You're seriously not saying that a post titled "Charles Kim and his Oedipus Complex" isn't a personal attack, are you?

...also, Im not saying whether I agree or disagree with Brian's, or anyone else's, opinions. I was only stating that I perceive this post as a personal attack on another ADM member.

Comment by Arnold Tijerina on January 19, 2012 at 7:44pm

You can do what you want Brian. I was just stating my opinion that THIS post is a direct attack on Charles. Oh, and ADM is a community with terms of service. There isn't free speech here. It's moderated.

You want free speech, write it on your blog.

I'd be willing to be that if I wrote an article attacking another ADM member, it would be deleted.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 19, 2012 at 7:41pm
I vote to leave it up - generally speaking, I am a huge proponent of the very American principles regarding "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of the Press"... I also happen to personally appreciate and enjoy Brian Pasch's writing style and illustrations. Additionally, I am going to have ADM's legal counsel, Mr. Aarash Darroodi, review our community's TOS for possible revision.

Lastly, I do not characterize this blog post as a "Personal Attack"... It is very much about the Charles Kim's assessment of the auto industry that was basically accusing car dealers of being untrustworthy, and Brian's post is an appropriate response from one of our industry's thought leaders.

If you can't stand the heat... Go get a job in an industry not as populated with highly opinionated and outspoken people who are proud of their profession. If you disagree with Brian, then do like Arnold and state your case... And if you choose to do it on ADM, both myself and our editorial staff will protect your right to express such an opinion in this venue.
Comment by Brian Pasch on January 19, 2012 at 7:39pm

@Arnold I respect your opinion but I find it odd that your are more focused on a NING posting format than the original statement or my objection.  You are not upset with my words, just that I started a new thread.

My creation of a new thread was to call out a "part" of a very long thread and discussion that I felt was important.  This original ADM post had dozens of sub-points. 

So if you are telling me that I can't take a piece of a very long discussion and start a new thread, to focus on a particular statement made by a person who is publicly making a statement on ADM about dealers, then I question your definition of free speech. 

Comment by Arnold Tijerina on January 19, 2012 at 7:34pm

@Mike You said "There will always be haters that take discussions to the level of a personal attack but those views are generally dismissed by the majority anyways."

That's EXACTLY what Brian did.

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