FTC to Host Public Workshop Examining the U.S. Auto Distribution System Workshop Will Explore Competition, State Regulations, and Emerging Trends in the Industry, Project No. P131202
The auto dealership model is absolutely detrimental to consumers. I know first hand from my 10 year experience with HORRIBLE customer experiences with 3 Chevrolet Corvettes including: 1999 Corvette bought back by via CA Lemon Law since dealer was unable to fix "car running out of gas" even with a half tank of gas. Car was in the shop FIVE times totalling over 2 months at the dealership. Dealer became adversary NOT ally 2001 Corvette accident damage repair by dealership who assured me they could fix car. After 6 weeks in the dealership's auto body repair shop, got car back with the frame SEVERELY bent... and both the dealer AND GM said "tough luck... Sue us" 2006 Corvette purchase required me to buy it from a Chevy dealer 1,500 miles away since all the Chevy STEALERships demanded a $20,000 "premium" over MSRP. Yes that's correct a $20,000 "premium" on a $75,000 MSRP car. After spending 2 weeks hunting Chevy dealers from the Rockies to CA I found an HONEST Chevy dealer in Dallas who sold me the car at $75,000 MSRP. 2006 Corvette in shop for WEEKS attempting to fix a SERIOUS failure of the car's safety "Active Handling System". Dealership service was again adversarial AND unqualified to complete the repairs. This ONLY got resolved when I contracted the head Corvette engineer DIRECTLY. 2006 Corvette then had major manufacturing defect in the engine's intake & exhaust valves which was causing a SERIOUS "TICKING" noise which many other Corvette owners had experienced before a valve broke and dropped into the engine... requiring a $12,000 replacement engine. TWO Chevy dealers inspected it and told me the sound was "normal"... and refused to have the heads replaced EVEN THOUGH I'D BOUGHT A $5,000 GM (not 3rd party) EXTENDED WARRANTY FROM GM THROUGH A CHEVY DEALER. I ended up having to drive my Corvette to a Chevy dealer 6 hours north to get the heads replaced. NOTE THE PATTERN HERE. Dealerships tout they represent us consumers against the auto manufacturer... Which is a HUGE lie based on my years of experience. Instead they've EARNED the name STEALERships since they try to rip off consumers when they buy the car, every time they service their car, and again when they sell the car. Compare that to our experience with the Tesla Model S we bought last year DIRECTLY from the manufacturer. The purchase experience was 180º opposite experience where our Tesla sales consultant bent over backward and worked with us for 18 months to find the EXACT Tesla we wanted... and at a significant discount since it was one of their "inventory" (demo / customer loaner / company employee) cars. When we had a post sale issue with the Tesla's charging, Tesla sent a mechanic TO OUR HOUSE to resolve the problem THE NEXT DAY. BOTTOM LINE buying from the manufacturer DIRECTLY is MUCH better for the CONSUMER. The ONLY people who benefit from the auto dealership model are the mega-millionaire auto STEALERship OWNERs who are making HUGE profits... which they send MILLION$ in "campaign contributions" to politicians to protect their consumer abuse. STOP THE MADNESS !!! ALLOW AUTO MANUFACTURERS TO SELL DIRECTLY TO THE PUBLIC... Like Tesla does with automobiles... and Apple does with computers.