Atlanta Used Cars

The Atlanta used cars market almost took a major hit this week, courtesy of a canceled district court proceeding which may have ruled in favor of a dissatisfied car buyer by the name of Lisa Marie. A Massachusetts resident, Miss “Marie”, 27, is professionally classified as a “verified influencer” by Instagram courtesy of her profile, which boasted an impressive 370,000 followers.

With a successful modeling career, and an esteemed social media presence, Lisa’s Insta-endorsement of a product or service is highly sought after and widely-coveted. With nearly 400,000 consumers (both male and female) waiting patiently for her next post, it goes without saying that she has the ability to drive up incremental sales for any business. That said, her loyal following also means that her clout could prove damning to a business if said product or service doesn’t meet up to expectations.

And that, in a nutshell, is the exact lesson that was learned by Yeast Motors, an Atlanta-based used car dealership owned and operated by “Classy” Raj Cheema. A Punjabi-American entrepreneur, Mr. Cheema had acquired the multi-generational family business from the Yeast family and decided to keep the familiar name intact.

“People like-a the Yeast,” explains Cheema. “So we keep-a the Yeast.”

And while the decision had proven largely successful in ensuring the dealership’s continued success within the community, it was about to meet some resistant in the form of Lisa Marie.

While undocumented, Miss “Marie” suffers from a condition known as Onomatophobia (also known as Logophobia). Defined as the irrational fear of (or discomfort with) specific sounds or words, the condition can lead to violent reactions if the afflicted party is present to hear the sound or word which agitates them. For Lisa Marie (and unfortunately for Raj Cheema, owner of Yeast Motors) that word is “yeast”.

“Full disclosure, I didn’t know the name of the dealership. I happened to be in Atlanta for business and was ready to finally pull the trigger on my long-term goal of buying a classic square body pick-up truck. I had heard that there was a really great dealership down on Bradford Street, where a large number of older model trucks had made their way. So, I headed down there without even knowing the name of the dealership.”

Upon arrival, Miss “Marie” was greeted warmly by Raj Cheema. “He was so welcoming and helpful, I really appreciated that.” The feeling was reciprocated and, as Miss “Marie” began to explore the inventory with glee, the pleased proprietor began to express his excitement.

“I didn’t know what was happening, at first,” explained Lisa. “I would see a truck that I liked, and say ‘I like that one!’ and he just kept saying ‘You like-a the Yeast!” louder and louder. I was very uncomfortable. I wish I had realized that he wasn’t just taunting me.”

Leaving hastily, Miss “Marie” took to her social media account to voice her discomfort with the situation. Within moments, hashtags such as #NoYeast4Lisa and #WeNoLikeahDaYeast started trending, drawing ire directly to the unsuspecting dealership.

“Only then did I realize that the dealership was called ‘Yeast Motors’. I felt awful once I had heard that the posting was damaging Raj’s business.” Using her social media clout, Miss “Marie” took once more to posting, this time Live-streaming a sincere apology video, redeeming the honest, if not enthusiastic, business from Atlanta.

Now months later, the two have formed a warm long-distance relationship based on an increased understanding. Lisa has posted photographs of herself sporting a Yeast Motors shirt, while many of her photos respectfully adorn the walls of the dealership.

“She like-a the Yeast,” says “Classy” Raj Cheema.

“I do, indeed,” confirms Lisa Marie.


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