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News & Updates

News Release: Franchised Dealers Bring Customer Value
June 04, 2013

News Release: Franchised Dealers Bring Customer Value


Sara Panza
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association

Franchised Dealers Bring Customer Value 

Cleveland, OH (June 4, 2013) – A franchised motor vehicle dealership’s value goes far beyond the sale of the vehicle. A dealership is a destination whose presence ensures that your investment will be protected and maintained by trained professionals for as long as you own your vehicle. 

“The importance of buying a vehicle through a franchised new car dealer cannot be understated,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association. “Auto dealerships play an important role, acting as a conduit to the manufacturer. They have invested millions of dollars in facilities to afford consumers a brick and mortar destination for automotive service or product recalls. They invest thousands of dollars each year to make sure their sales and service personnel are up to date on the latest training, equipment and technology for the advanced systems on today’s vehicles.

“A dealership also invests millions of dollars each year in inventory, providing consumers a selection of vehicles they can evaluate first hand, which is essential when shopping for a vehicle to suit your transportation needs.”

Auto dealerships are also constantly graded on their performance by consumer feedback surveys, which are used to establish CSI or a consumer satisfaction index rating. Manufacturers use these ratings to evaluate and grade dealers. Many dealerships in Northeast Ohio maintain CSI ratings well above 90 percent.

“Very few other businesses can make that kind of claim,” adds Vitantonio. “When you buy a vehicle from a franchised new vehicle dealer, whether it’s new or used, you are also buying from a local business that has invested heavily in its reputation. They stand behind what they sell.”

Servicing a new vehicle, whether a product recall or warranty work, would be chaos without a dealership network in place. Granted, some manufacturers could invest in a network of independent repair facilities, but they wouldn’t be exclusive to a specific vehicle brand. It would be almost impossible for manufacturers to require independent technicians to invest money to remain up to date on constantly changing vehicle systems and technology, or to invest in a parts inventory. Instead of a loaner, which is something that many dealers will provide, the customer would be subject to contracts and fees associated with a third party rental. This would slow down the entire repair process.

When it comes to purchasing a new vehicle, sales personnel at dealerships are professionals who earn every cent they make. True, many work on commission, but they earn that commission by piecing together the various complex elements that often make the financing and purchase of the vehicle possible.

They are also product experts who are there to explain the various features and amenities of a vehicle so you can get the most value from your purchase. With today’s increasingly complex vehicle telematics, this is extremely important.

Perhaps even more importantly, a sales professional at a new vehicle dealership acts as a representative, not just of the dealership, but the entire automotive brand. They are someone you can go to if there are problems with the vehicle, even if the problem is simply how to pair up your phone with the vehicle’s on-board systems for hands-free use. Without that sales professional there, you would likely be directed to a call center with someone reading a script, or an Internet site.

There is a reason many states have laws requiring that consumers must buy new vehicles from a franchised new car dealer. It’s an issue of consumer protection, pure and simple. And it is of tremendous value to the consumer.

So when you consider a new vehicle purchase, remember, it’s not just about the bottom line. It’s about the entire ownership experience, which is greatly enhanced when you purchase a vehicle through a franchised new car dealer.

About the GCADA  

The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1903. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents 250 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which includes new-car, truck, motorcycle and RV dealers in a 21-county region of northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore and beyond.  More information on the GCADA can be found at www.gcada.org

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