While automotive news tends to take a more ‘big picture’ approach in terms of choosing headlines, The Lemon tends to look out for ‘the little guy.’ There may be no example of this more perfect than the widely-ignored story of a local Ford Dealership that recently closed its doors under almost unprecedented circumstances.

For over thirty-five years, Bethesda Ford has served as the premier Ford dealership in eastern Bethesda, Maryland. A multi-generational family business, Bethesda Ford has been owned and operated by the Chubbs Family, led by its patriarch Charlie Chubbs. But considering the dealership’s long-standing reputation of integrity and customer satisfaction, the sudden closing of the dealership has sent shockwaves through the community. However, what may be even more surprising is the reason for the closing.

According to sources close to the Chubbs Family, the decision to decide to cease daily operations was the result of perceived fat-shaming within the automotive industry.

These days, it appears that weight reduction is all the craze within the truck segment. This focus on reducing overall vehicle weight has empowered automakers to increase fuel economy and power ratings while proving a greater assurance of safety through more confident braking.

Inspired, most notably, by Ford leading up to the 2015 model year, this new revolution has reignited a competitive element within the segment that has felt all-but-absent in recent years. While Ford’s F-Series remains the undisputed best-selling truck (and dare we say vehicle line) of all-time, competitors aren’t being shy about trimming their own fat. Of course, General Motors stands as the perfect example of Ford’s challengers, with the 2019 Silverado standing as one of the most highly-anticipated vehicles within the industry.

Anticipation over the next model year Silverado is based on a number of factors, the largest being its advertised weight reduction. While this does nothing to diminish the excitement of Ford loyalists in regard to the F-Series 2018 refresh, the new, lighter Silverado will inevitably have some influence over any prospective truck-buyers that ride the fence between automakers.

After multiple attempts, The Lemon was was successful in reaching out to the dealership’s 372-LB founder, Charlie Chubbs. Offering a platform upon which he could share his position on the topic, Mr. Chubbs released the following statement.

“What is our fascination with weight? Why does everything always have to be smaller, and lighter and faster? I remember a time when Americans valued size. ‘Bigger is Better’ they used to say…and although years of being stuck underneath my meat-blanket might cause my four ex-wives to disagree with that sentiment, weight has made me the man I am today. The bloated, wheezing man that I am. While I understand the benefits of weight reduction, what kind of message does Ford’s precedent send? The implication that excess weight is undesirable is hurtful. The fact that competitors like Chevy are reinforcing such an offensive message only makes it worse, and thus I have decided to take a stand…”

Unfortunately, it was at this time that Mr. Chubbs attempted to stand and fell into sudden, fatal cardiac arrest. Coroners determined that it was a result of over-exertion, indicating that Mr. Chubbs’ death was easily preventable, had he been willing to drop a few pounds.


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