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I've been watching the debate involving TrueCar.com on many automotive forums, but today I was pushed to action by comments from Charles Kim on ADM who is employed by TrueCar.com.
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 TrueCar.com, 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 TrueCar.com to paint a broad stroke against all car dealers is unbelievable from a company that wants to partner with dealers in a sales process?
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"!
So, ADM members, can you add to the Mommy Proof list that I started. It's time to BITCH SLAP anyone from TrueCar.com 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 TrueCar.com 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