According to recent media reports, investors are leaving traces of slippage as they move away from the century-old model of auto sales.
Mom-and-pop dealerships, cautious price negotiations and mind-blowing inventories will be left in the rearview mirror as the industry moves towards consolidation and customers order custom vehicles online.
The abandonment of the proven system of distribution and marketing seems downright anti-American.
Two of my classmates had families who owned dealerships. My dad worked for two years at a used car fleet and then worked across from Burgett Motor Co. in Lewisburg, Tennesseee.
Of course, the elaborate showrooms and acres of asphalt are easy targets for those who constantly complain about the miserable excesses of American capitalism.
But every society has its own flavor of miserable excess, like miserable excess of people bragging, âI’m on the waiting list! Only six weeks before the arrival of my tongue depressor!
And I realize that some of us are reprehensible troglodytes for not wanting to change our traditional expectations. Of course, the current system is blatantly inefficient in today’s technological age, but there’s more to life than offering Havoline 10W-40 to the god of efficiency.
Honestly, the whole idea of ââpersonal transportation (be it a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or horse) is ineffective. All those buyers, workers and dialysis patients who love flexibility need to grab one for the team.
Maybe soon we will have an efficiency czar who will wake up everyone in the neighborhood for the big ‘carpool’. (“The giant catapult is about to take off! Make sure you have adjusted the wings of your glider so that you can land in both counties of your destination. Be on time for the return of the giant hamster ball.” “)
I know IT people love the idea of ââsitting in a sparse dealership office with a salesperson / facilitator (“We decided the free coffee was ineffective, but if you want to chew coffee beans and drink hot water … â) to configure a vehicle function by function.
But surely life loses its richness when there is no sound of “Why don’t you take it for a ride?” Or “Just ask your husband to explain this to you, little lady.” Hey, you just parked on my foot, little lady. Small woman!!”
Normal people like to be appreciated. We want salivating salespeople to step aside. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” stinks as a substitute for “new car smell”.
There’s just something abstract and soulless about ordering transportation that you won’t be able to touch for six to eight weeks. You have to convince yourself that you are enjoying the experience. While you’re at it, why not just point out that the sedan is in tofu ???
This is a classic “be careful what you want” scenario. When you sign up for the sleekest vehicle of the lot, you can always bash “those Detroit bozos” if you’re frustrated with the bells and whistles.
If you micromanage every molecule in your SUV, you’ll end up pleading, “Honestly, officer, that full-size disco ball air freshener looked so cool on the seller’s screen!” “
Clench your teeth and make the most of this online future. Prepare to find yourself whining, “Yes, I was supposed to race you with my new wheels on Saturday, but a Nigerian widow emptied my bank account and left me with no money for gas!” But the joke is on her! I still have the million shares of her late husband in Acme Left-Handed Tongue Depressors LLC.
– Satirical columnist Danny tyree welcomes email responses to [emailÂ protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page Tyrades of Tire. It is unionized by CaglÃ© Cartoons and the author of Yes your butt still belongs to the church. Click here to read the previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.