Robert Farago makes an obvious point that gets lost in all the rational b-schoolish discussions of General Motors' bloated dealer network: Often trust in the local dealer was the only reason people in rural America would buy one of GM's inferior cars:
GM’s rural dealers are not GM’s trump card. Again: they don’t have one. But small town dealers are the only face cards the company’s got left. Switching metaphors ...[snip] rural dealers are GM’s last redoubt. The General troops are dead on both coasts. The heartland is the last place in America where GM’s products don’t have to be significantly better than Toyondissan’s to move.
Contrary to the MSM’s meme, GM’s sales in "flyoverland" are not down to knee-jerk patriotism. As [ Automotive News ] rightly points out, GM’s survival in small town America can be attributed to one simple fact: rural dealers are local dealers.
In Paynesville, a town of 2,200 about 75 miles northwest of Minneapolis, several of [closed Chevy dealer Doug] Hawkinson’s customers say that if the store closes, they’ll abandon GM.
"I would look for something different to drive," says customer Jim Langmo, owner of Langmo Farms in Paynesville. "Service is greater than the vehicle’s brand."
How many GM owners bought their cars at rural dealers that now slated to close? 900,000. Can GM afford to lose 900,000 potential loyal customers, given its current spotty product lineup? Even GM exec Mark LaNeve now says he is "nervous." ... But I'm sure Steve Rattner took all this into account when he restructured our nation's auto industry. After all, he saved Maxim . ... 9:17 P.M.
"... well over a million fraudulent votes": Peter Galbraith on why he was recalled from his job with the UN's Afghan mission. ... 8:45 P.M.
Sorry, DWELL. Prefab FAIL! You do miss things when you don't read the LAT . I missed Christopher Hawthorne's explanation of why high end prefab home designers suddenly seemed to close up shop . Economies of scale were not achieved! ... But that's the high end. You have to wonder whether the same fate has overtaken the makers of lower end kit houses, which often looked better anyway. ... 8:44 P.M.