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Why Consumers Don’t Trust Car Dealers

2010 December 10

Why Consumers Don’t Trust Car Dealers

I got the official looking envelope (below) in the mail the other day. Since I own an Acura, and the words “Please do not Discard” were printed prominently on the envelope, I quickly opened it – figuring it was either an update to our owner’s manual (something I had just gotten from Volkswagen for our other car), or it was an important recall notice.

Nope, it was a really bad direct mail piece directly from the desk of Cline Davis, General Manager of Acura of Seattle to me, “our loyal customer.”  According to the letter, his dealership is “just inches away” from meeting their goal of being one of the top performing Acura dealerships in the region.  Wow!  Click here to see the actual letter.

In these days of transparancy, Social Media, Blogs, Twitter etc, no advertiser can afford to send out crap like this to anyone – prospective or “loyal” customers.

I was turned off the second I opened the email and saw that it was nothing important.  It felt to me like when the TV weatherman says it’s going to rain all day Saturday when he knows darned well it’s going to be sunny and warm, just so HE can easily get a tee-time at his favorite golf course.

Hey, if you want to create misleading advertising assume that your audience is intelligent – and make it so misleading that we smile with glee when we see your piece.

Like this great ad from Ocean City Maryland which implores us to Visit the Ocean, before it’s too late!

Visit Ocean Before it's too late!

3 Responses leave one →
  1. shawn permalink
    January 16, 2011

    Seems like a very sincere and honest request. No phony come on’s. Sounds more like Steve has a personal problem with the General Manager. Great letter I think you need to reread it and do some self analysis. Opinions are like a..holes and there is one here. LOL…Steve you are amusing.

  2. Steve Lawson permalink*
    January 17, 2011

    Shawn – I have no personal problem with the GM. In fact, I’ve never met him. I do have a problem with the misleading envelope, and the reference to me as a “Loyal Customer” since I’ve never bought anything from them except for a warranty repair.

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s a duck.

    PS, do you work for this dealership, or are you the GM? Hmm. . . ..

  3. Cline Davis permalink
    April 20, 2014


    I just found your comments and I find the fact that you dont want to be referred to as a loyal customer a little amusing. You obviously understand nothing about marketing to a owner base. If you purchase or service we have records and occasionally market to our valued, loyal, respected customers. I am sorry you take offence to being referred to as loyal. I think you are ridiculous and if you are so frustrated call me ….here is my phone number 253-389-1955.
    I am sorry we reached out to you and referenced you as a loyal customer….this is so ridiculous.

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