Originally created 02/07/98

Sees reason U.S. car sales lagging 020798 - The Augusta Chronicle



I read that the "big three" American car producers were again bemoaning sagging sales. I wonder why?

Having decided to purchase a new car during 1988, and it being against my principles to buy any foreign made vehicle, I did an overall market survey of just what the "big three" had to offer for the new model year.

Using commercially available literature (Consumer's Guide), I made an initial selection of five "possibilities." The Mercury Marquis, Ford Crown Victoria, Buick LeSabre, Pontiac Bonneville and Oldsmobile 88 were all rated highly, were of an appropriate size, and were within my target price range.

I next visited the dealerships, attempting to obtain brochures detailing model designations, available options, etc. These I would use to narrow my choice as to what I would actually shop for. In only one case, Oldsmobile, was I able to get a brochure. I visited each dealership at least twice, some three times.

Falling back on "Plan B," I then called the four remaining manufacturers on their "customer service" line, and asked that a brochure be mailed to me. After having, in each case, to answer a series of survey type questions, eg, "when do you plan to buy?," "why did you choose our brand?," "how much do you earn?," etc., I was told that the requested material would be sent "immediately," "within ten days," or some such.

Those calls were made in late October, to date, I have received absolutely nothing. ...

Edward H. Johnson, Augusta