Friends, I’ve worked in and covered the auto industry for the better part of 60 years now, which makes me something of an expert when it comes to cars and auto sales in general. More than that, however, I’m an expert in car buyers and the kinds of people the brave men and women of our nation’s dealerships have to put up with on a daily basis. You see, the salespeople, managers, and staff at car dealerships are the true heroes of the auto industry, and the villains they contend with are the car buyers themselves.
In my time covering these things, I’ve learned a thing or two about all of you disgusting monsters who shop for cars and the abuse you put these noble salespeople through. Today, I’m going to peel off the scab from the wound you’ve inflicted on these poor people and reveal the festering truth beneath it. You’ve earned this, and you deserve it, so behold: a small sample of some of the people who shop for cars!
Linda here is a crisp 42 years old, has three cats and a large dog that she refers to as her “kids,” and knows exactly what she wants: a brand-new Jeep Wrangler. She wants it with all of the bells and whistles, and she’ll yell at any salesperson she needs to in order to get it, whether it’s necessary or not – she doesn’t care. Also, it’s vitally important it has every available off-road feature, so it’s the consummate trail-ready Jeep. She’ll never actually take it off-road, but she needs to be able to tell everyone what it can do.
My man Jeff is looking for the ultimate performance vehicle, a sports car that sounds even faster than it really is – and trust me, it’s fast. He’s in his late 50s now, and he’s hoping for a car that will remind him of how it felt to be young, with his whole life and the wide world waiting for him. Jeff wants to feel that acceleration as he gets up to speed when merging on the freeway because that’s the most power he’ll ever feel – if he pushes 70 mph, it’ll be a bit too much for him.
Lance wants a truck. The truck must be white or black, nothing candy-ass like red or blue. Lance wants it to have the largest wheels possible. The factory wheels are too small, and he wants aftermarket ones that are bigger. He expects the dealer to install a suspension lift, so it rides even higher, and he wants every bit of chrome detail available. Lance knows his truck represents his manhood, and his truck must look as big and powerful as possible.
Now we come to Patricia, who will never buy a car. She’ll shop for one endlessly; spend countless hours discussing different models and options at a dealership, eating away the limited lifespan of the friendly salesperson who does everything possible to assist her. As Patricia asks questions, considers what’s available, and even seems like she’s made a final decision, she’ll ultimately say she needs to think about it or sleep on it a little. No one knows how she got her current vehicle, she just seems to have it, and she’ll shop until the sun consumes the solar system and grows cold, but still, she’ll never buy a car.
Mr. Haberdasher wants it luxe, do you understand? Don’t you know who he is!? He’s going to spend $70,000 on this car, get it, and if you want to make this sale, then you’ll do whatever he wants. He can go somewhere else and take his business with him – he’ll do it too. Don’t worry; Fenrick will continue to repeat these kinds of threats in an effort to bully everyone who tries to help him and will ultimately spend half of what he says, at best, once he’s done throwing his weight around.
Editor’s Note: We’re not sure if we feel seen or insulted by this piece, but either way, it’s good to receive an assignment from this writer that doesn’t read like an apocalyptic fever dream. It’s really the best we can hope for at this point. Thank you.