Correspondent, AOL Autos
Gary Hoffman has written about the auto industry for most of the last 30 years, primarily specializing in the purchasing and sales processes within dealerships. He has been… editor of a magazine, Chevy PRO, for Chevrolet dealerships and the Ford employee newspaper, Ford World, and has written on automotive subjects for the French news agency, Agence France-Presse, the Detroit News and numerous other publications. Fluent in French and German, he has worked as a translator for major international news organizations, primarily on automotive subjects. He is also an adjunct journalism instructor at Wayne State University in Detroit, teaching investigative reporting, news management and publishing on the Internet.
If you haven't had time to thank a member of the U.S. military lately, you can at least be assured that automakers have. They are saluting the men and women of the U.S. military with hundreds of dollars in extra discounts again this month as a token of their appreciation.
Some enterprising car dealerships are setting a new standard for wackiness with their promotions – and the craziest part of all is that they mostly work to draw consumers in to the showroom, the stores say.
It's Spring. Time to buy a new car. You pull up to the dealership driving your trade-in on a Saturday morning. You are met by an anxious, eager sales person whom you know is trained to try and close the sale that day. But you, the consumer, want to shop around, and take your time. The more you resist an immediate deal, though, the deeper the salesperson digs into their toolbar to "close you."
At one time or another, everyone has lived this nightmare: You are driving along and suddenly a disturbingly loud sound rises up from deep inside your car.
If the U.S. car market hits the 13.5 million units in sales that some analysts expect in 2011, the auto industry and its workers won't be the only ones seeing dollar signs. At that level, state governments will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars more than last year, thanks mostly to sales taxes and the dealership "back-end" offices that process them.
As the world seemed to be collapsing around it in 2009, Carlson Chrysler of Concord, N.H., drew on its traditions, got creative, and managed to come up with the right stuff to survive.