I just re-read this thread
Jump from 2007 (fat dumb happy economy) to 2013 & 2014.
Ain't it funny how a depression changes things? Ain't it funny how the internet has changed things? Ain't it funny how time slips away...
One of the most mediocre Chevy dealerships in Virginia has turned it's service department into its major profit center. They finally figured it out when everyone stopped buying cars in 2008 and when their service department needed to be bringing in bucks... and they found out what negative online reviews could actually DO to their ability to get owners back into their bays.
Last year, when I got the F-150 (first Ford ever) the owner of the Chevy dealership called on me personally and asked to take me to lunch at a hugely expensive steak place if I'd give him the reasons for my decision. Called ME? WHY? I do a lot of business networking, and most people know I live in my RV.
I never thought of myself as an "influencer" but he told me I am, especially among women who own bigger trucks. I met with him without the big dinner and explained my reasoning - and did mention that if they ever made a 3/4 ton "Dura-Burb" or "Dura-'hoe" I'd be back, especially if it got better mileage when NOT towing.
What IS notable is that this Chevy dealer used to SUCK at service and had only one method it's sales people were allowed to sell - (the hard sell to a customer whose IQ is supposed to be 80 or below) - but all that has changed as the world has turned. I could get my knickers in a twist, but let's face it most businesses and most people "reform" when the alternative is too horrible to face. I've got to admit that they had the intelligence to SEE that something had to change and the GRIT to DO the work to make the change happen when they had to.
When I think about a great dealer like Airstream of Arkansas going out of business... it makes me wonder... did they just get hit with their cash flow too low to survive, did they (as I did) underestimate the depth and length of this ongoing thing? Did they file for bankruptcy and come back a week later with a different identity? Were the owners ready to retire anyway?
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.