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... Make Lemonade!

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On: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 9:24AM | By: Karen Cook

... Make Lemonade!

We’ve heard about GM’s problems with manufacturing defects, and we’ve heard testimony from some of the members of their corporate offices, but we don’t hear much about what’s going on at the other end of the line. How hard is it to be an employee of a GM dealership in the wake of all the brouhaha? We can imagine sales are down because who wants to by a car that could potentially have so many issues. We can imagine that a salesman is hard pressed to make a sale if he isn’t sure about his product anymore. And who wants to be a GM tech right now? Customers surely have something to say about this mess, especially when it has affected them. Service guys are a captive audience to listen to all those complaints.

Maybe, though, all this is wrong. Maybe not everywhere, but at least one southern chain of dealerships sees this as an opportunity, not an embarrassment. Mike Bowsher is president of the Carl Black Automotive Group, and he has a different take on GM’s problems and what it should mean for dealers.

Concerning the flood of recalled vehicles coming through his service departments, he has told the staff to “put these folks at the front of the line and prioritize them,” which sometimes means going to the customer’s home to get the vehicle. He also believes the recalls lead to more sales. Some people just want to get rid of their recalled car and trade it in on a new model. Some have the chance to test drive a new loaner model while their older car is being serviced and decide to upgrade. Mr. Bowsher says that both sales and service figures are up at his dealerships.

Putting an even brighter face on the turmoil, he says that GM is “going to seek out everything that could possibly be an issue and take care of it” which he also says will lead to General Motors vehicles being “the safest cars on the road.”

Ya gotta give it to him. He was handed lemons and somehow managed to make champagne!


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