barn door falls off; anybody surprised?
So, after seeing a newspaper ad promoting Camaros at a local Chevy dealer, I called and left a voicemail saying I was interested in a test drive.
I never heard back.
I was shocked. Here I was, ready to buy, while GM was in financial straits. I thought they'd be all over me. Turns out it's not so easy to obtain a piece of the American dream.
The next week, I decided to widen my search. I e-mailed four Chevy dealers in the area. Two never wrote back. One replied that they had no Camaros, and ended the correspondence right there. The fourth said they'd have one soon -- just stay tuned.
Dealer 4 began to check in periodically -- pitching Camaros that I could buy sight unseen. I reminded him of my request for a test drive. Then I reiterated my request for a test drive. Then I absolutely insisted on a test drive. And, eventually, I ended up with an appointment. But after driving 45 minutes to the dealer, I found that the one Camaro they'd gotten in was an automatic (I'd asked for a manual transmission) and that I wouldn't be allowed to drive it, just sit in it on the lot. The sales person tried to get me in a Corvette and to convince me that transmission is the same (it's not). I left the dealership, dejected, but not yet ready to give up.
Yeah, putting politicians and unions in charge of (used to be)General Motors works out real well. Customer wants car, "Screw you, look at something else."
Oh, the ending:
UPDATE: Just in, via Twitter from GM's Adam Denison, one of the PR personnel for Camaro:
"FYI, we offered that WaPo blogger a ride with Ed Peper at a local dealership tomorrow. Haven't heard from him yet."
Based on Vijay Ravindran's Twitter feed, tomorrow may not work out, but it's interesting to see that GM PR is all over this.
Well, gee, they just found out multiple dealers crapped on a potential customer; they'd BETTER be 'all over this'. Although, were I Ravindran, my response would probably be "Too late, jackass."