No, this isn’t about one of those ubiquitous charities, advertising on the radio that they want you to donate your car, running or not in most cases, in exchange for a potential tax deduction. Instead, this is about sending the entirely wrong message to your happy customers.
My wife received an e-mail this morning from Acura of Serramonte, the dealer in Colma, Calif., where she had purchased a new 2006 Acura TSX sedan last July. (The Acura replaced a 1999 BMW 528i, also known as “the piece of junk that spent all its time in the shop,” but that’s another story.)
The e-mail said:
WE WANT YOUR CAR!
We need nice Acuras for our used car inventory. We”ll pay top dollar for your car – paid for or not.
My wife is incensed. She loves her shiny green TSX, which we took to Santa Barbara last week for a short vacation. It’s stylish, it’s extremely comfortable, it has great fuel efficiency, it’s fun to drive, it has tons of safety features, and it has all the toys. “Why do they want me to sell my new car?” she fumed. “Do they expect that I’m dissatisfied with it already?”
Maybe this is an accepted practice in the used-car business, trying to get people to sell back their just-purchased cars to build up inventory. But what a mean-spirited message for the dealer to send to a very satisfied customer: that she should dump a car that has only 7,200 miles and is half a year old.