By on March 13, 2013

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: from the perspective of the manufacturer, dealers are the worst part of the business. Their consistent thirty-day-crunch mindset leads to all sorts of idiocy, including the “$500 Dance Contest” you see above.

There’s something appropriate about it, however:

Like the Cruze, Sonic, and Spark, “Gangnam Style” is a Korean product that has inexplicably found a wide following in the United States. One might quibble that the Cruze and Sonic are built in America, and one might respond that it’s an all-American bunch of electrons carrying the image of a man dancing like a horse while wearing a flotation device to your eyes. Given the early reports we’re hearing from the Impala launch, GM might be better off leaving all of its development work to Daewoo, er, “GM Korea”.

The decreasing number of Chevrolet dealerships, combined with the possibility of increasing Chevrolet sales, might permit GM to put a little more soft pressure on the dealers that survive the purge. When they can, they might want to follow the example below. This was given to all the Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the Seventies, along with a strong suggestion that it be used as-is:

You just know, however, that some Lincoln dealer dressed up like a chicken and did a dance on the hood of a Mark V while the phrase

CHEAP!
CHEAP!
CHEAP!

flashed on the screen. Until the last dealership surrenders its franchise to the OEMs, the government, or Google, that’s just the way things are going to be.

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52 Comments on “Attention Chevy Dealers: You’re Supposed To Be Downplaying The Korean Connection...”


  • avatar
    noxioux

    The whole dealer experience is an ongoing blight. Really. There are some good dealers out there, but more often than not, I find myself needing a shower after I’ve looked at a car.

    Went to look at a 2011 Crown Vic (had to be an ex-detective car), and before I’d even seen the thing, the sales lady asks me how will I be paying for the car today. My field jacket must’ve made me look like Russian Mafia.

    In hindsight, I should’ve put on my best Russian accent and said, “Don’t (expletive) with me. Of course it is cash.”

    Honestly, though, who cares about the “Korean Connection”? GM is so tainted by the whole bailout thing that it just doesn’t matter. And the domestics have been rebadgeing foreign content for so long, if you really don’t know about it, you’re what we call an uninformed voter.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Why buy Daewoo if you can have Hyundai… which is sort of better.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      How are you going to pay for the car today sounds like the updated version of “what will it take to get you to buy this car today?”

      My first impulse in your situation would have been to say that I would dress her up in a saran wrap top, strap a cash register to her back, and stand her on a busy corner. At the end of the day, I will use the proceeds in the cash register to pay for the car. Now get to work!

      But, with all of the PC these days, someone may take this the wrong way so best not to verbalize just think it.

      • 0 avatar
        skakillers

        I don’t think you have to be ‘PC’ to realize that most people would take that as an extremely threatening thing to say, especially when coming from someone they don’t know at all.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      I was asked that question once “replied with f’ing cash”, turned around walked back into the dealership and asked loud enough “which dealer wants the commission, because he sure as hell isn’t getting it” (last year of the B2200 before mazda switched over to ford ranger).

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I will not go to a dealer that uses gimmicks or tons of fine print to sell cars, unless they have the car I want. They all do this, I suppose, some are worse than others. If I see a giant inflatable anything on the premises or they still use the “Cash for Cars” tagline in their ads, I run away. All I can think of is the B movie “Used Cars”

    • 0 avatar
      jaydez

      The one I hate the most is a local dealer here in CT who advertise bran new Nissans for only $99 a month (purchase, not lease) The fine print, which I have yet to read all of in any of their commectials because its so small, shows that for that payment you need to put down $28,000 on a $30,000 MSRP car with a loan term of only 48 months!

      I will never go near that dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      ROTFLOL about the “giant inflatable anything.”

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, what’s wrong with the giant inflatable? If they kept the inflatable and replaced the pond scum with Nullos, it would be great. I think the only time I ever bought a car from human being, it was the Lexus. The salesman was 82 years old.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      I think the worst are the ones that have a billboard with say a picture of a Boss 302 mustang and then the “from” price of the very, very base V6 model listed below

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Apropos of manufacturers, has there ever been a month in recent memory that hasn’t been marketed as “TRUCK MONTH?” Because that promotion seems to run year-long. Maybe they should change it to Truck Year…

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      Considering the supply of trucks GM has sitting around, it might as well be Truck Century. But yeah, every month is truck month it seems. All with big cash and/or big financing.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Comparing Chevrolets to “Gangnam Style” doesn’t really work.

    Cruze/Sonic/Spark:
    – Products PARTIALLY developed in Korea and built in the U.S.A.
    – Intended for global (and American) consumption by DESIGN

    Gangnam Style:
    – A product wholly developed, conceived, and produced in Korea
    – Became an international viral phenomenon by CHANCE

    Note my emphasis above: by DESIGN vs. by CHANCE.

    There’s a difference between simply swapping badges on a Korean product (like the first-gen Aveo) and using Korea and other non-U.S. markets as a testbed for products designed always intended for international (including U.S.) consumption.

    Gangnam Style IS similar to the first-gen Aveo: a product brought to the states pretty much untouched with the hope it will succeed by chance.

    But that was the last time GM did that in this century. Every subsequent model has been international by design.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      True, we generally don’t pick on Ford for giving us “European” models, other than perhaps the back seat space compared to some of their competition.

      The biggest problem is that Korean cars (with the exception of Hyundai and her sporty sister Kia) do not generally have a high quality reputation in the USA.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Hmmm…perhaps the Cruze will change that perception. I haven’t heard of any significant issues with them, and I see tons of them – many where I work own them.

        Until I see articles on here and on other sources that say otherwise, they appear to be decent cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      This analogy is inane but irrespectively, regarding the “brought to the US untouched” comment, guess you missed the entire MC Hammer posse supporting this act. So much for untouched.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    In the defense of Daewoorolet, I was recently a passenger in a ’12 or ’13 Spark sedan. I found it to have a somewhat impressive, if not cheap-looking interior (for a basic car) and thought it was comfortable and roomy, at least from the front passenger seat. It looks nothing like a Chevrolet, in all honesty it screams “Geo” to me but its a perfect appliance for the mindless plebs.

  • avatar
    StaysCrunchy

    Last weekend, my sister bought a used Volvo at one of those lots with an army of wacky wavy inflatable arm flailing tube men out front. I went along with her to look, and we almost didn’t stop there just because of that. The salesman was kind enough to cut the 50 balloons off the thing, but we still had to test drive it with “Bring Your W2 Drive Home Today!” and “Cash For Your Car Today!” written on the rear quarter windows.

    The car was good and she did end up with it, but the dealership’s little circus sideshow almost cost them a sale.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      What did she buy?

      • 0 avatar
        StaysCrunchy

        Real nice XC90. One owner, local car, no accidents on the CarFax. It was probably the nicest car on their lot actually, she lucked out.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Hope so for her sake. I know a little about Volvo sedans new and old, but almost nil on the XC90.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Hopefully not the V8 one.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Is the Yamaha V8 that much less reliable than the 6s? I have sometimes heard that it’s more reliable, but slightly more maintenance is required. Also, Volvo had a fix for the counterbalance shaft. In any case, it’s not offered any more on new ones.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I considered an XC90 for a while before I came to my senses and realized I didn’t need a 7-pass SUV. I liked the idea of the V8 because I stay away from turbos. That is, until I read about how many issues they have, both electrical (sensor) and mechanical.

            Everything I could find to read said stay away from the V8. However, for a while it was the only way to get the fully loaded model.

    • 0 avatar
      mccall52

      “wacky wavy inflatable arm flailing tube men”

      Is that from ‘Family Guy’? (lol)

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Is that a mint C4 Vette in the showroom? That absolves them of any other transgressions.

  • avatar
    geeber

    I’m not seeing how it is “inexplicable” that the Chevrolet Cruze has found a wide following in the United States. It’s a huge improvement over Chevrolet’s offerings in this segment, and the first small Chevrolet in my lifetime that you don’t have to be a UAW worker, Chevrolet dealer or GM executive to really like.

    Like it or not, in the real world, plenty of buyers want a comfortable, economical, easy-to-drive car with decent room and performance. They aren’t pining for the return of the Crown Vic or wailing over the imminent demise of the current version of the Impala.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It’s really old. It has nasty engine options. It was developed by Daewoo, which pretty much supplied the worst inexpensive sedans in recent US history. It’s prone to catching on fire. It weighs as much as the best 4 cylinder mid sized cars. It followed all those small Chevrolets that you conceded required a tie to the company to like. Doesn’t anyone ever learn anything from experience?

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        The Cruze isn’t really old. Go look at Corolla, or maybe a Civic. Those designs are old. It was partially developed by GM Korea. It was also partially developed by Opel and other parts of GM.

        The prone to catching fire thing is laughable. I wouldn’t complain about the weight considering the fuel economy it returns, both EPA and actual results, and is very very quiet.

        The history of Chevrolet doesn’t mean that the Cruze is going to be a bad car. And GM’s history in the segment is terrible. But the Cruze isn’t terrible. It is quite good.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=2008+Daewoo+Lacetti&id=D26A9E6C613497E52A3F5D79E6BD873C8E3C2382&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=D26A9E6C613497E52A3F5D79E6BD873C8E3C2382&selectedIndex=0

          It’s a rebadged 2008 Daewoo Lacetti. The Civic was new in 2012, updated this year.

          The Cruze fires thing wasn’t funny for the people that had flames flying 15 feet in the air from their fully engulfed Cruzes. What makes it laughable? That the lame-stream media propagandists ginned up Toyota recalls for defective buyers while ignoring the NHTSA ordering 2 years of Cruze production be recalled for fire hazards?

          • 0 avatar
            Nick

            I dislike the Cruze because it is so damn dowdy. And even though I am impressed by your knowledge and insights, I do not agree with your singular drive to portray everything as black and white. Take weight. A same-class Honda or Toyota from the early 2000s drives much lighter, and probably is a little lighter, than say a Jetta. But there’s no comparison in highway driving between them, probably because of that. So a Jetta will allow someone drop down one class in dimension while driving a car that handles highway better. Lack of (significant) fuel penalty, as BrianL points to, makes that even better. I agree with his conclusions as well.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            From Wikipedia: “Underpinned by the front-wheel drive GM Delta II platform, GM has confirmed the Cruze development program occurred under a global design and engineering team.[25] The Company said GM Daewoo in South Korea played a leading role in the design and engineering of the Cruze, along with GM’s German-based Opel division.”

            Additionally: “Delta II is General Motors’ current compact car platform, which was developed by Opel in Germany. It is the successor to the GM Delta platform.”

            The Cruze has been developed (It would appear) mostly by Opel, with a gloal team and GMKorea providing other engineering services. Scream Daewoo all you want CJ, it’s not true.

            And please, stack the few defects we’ve witnessed (especially on THIS site) with the international Cruze (as opposed to the old Korean market one)compared to the legions of otherwise well-regarded cars that have shown to have awful characteristics.

            If you do objectively, then Daewoo did an excellent job engineering the new Cruze.

            But you won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Opel is one GM division that has been spared a Cruze. Even the article you sighted says that Daewoo played a major role in developing the car, ‘along with Opel.’ First of all, Opel stinks on ice. How is the company that gave us the Catera, the LeMans, the Kadet, the Astra, or the Regal a badge of honor? It is a concession that Daewoo is landfill to hype the involvement of Opel. As for the excellent job they did, your bar is subterranean. It’s heavy. It’s cramped in back. It’s fuel economy is limited to a specific sub-model. It’s been fighting it out with the Sentra and Forte for worst in class since the first 2012s were introduced, and it was just pure advertiser fluffing and charity that made the magazines say favorable things about it before it entered a comparison test.

      • 0 avatar

        “It’s really old” – First launched in China and Korea in 2008, the US in 2010 – Unless you are writing from Korea or China 3 years is not old – This comment – TROLLISH

        “It has nasty(?) engine options” – 1.4L Turbo and 1.6L with the Turbo (in Eco form) providing a REAL 42mpg highway (highest non-diesel, non-hybrid mileage of any vehicle) – This comment – TROLLISH

        “It was developed by Daewoo” – It was also developed by GME and GMNA and at the time most of Daewoo was GM anyway. Yes, Aveo was crap, but it still sold well globally and several Daewoo cars are built and sell (very well) globally (Matiz, etc.) – This comment – Partly TROLLISH

        “It is prone to catching on fire” – Recalled at launch for a heat shield that could collect spilled oil from the fill pipe – there were 2 actual fires and since the fix there have been zero – This comment – TROLLISH

        “It weighs as much as the best 4 cylinder mid sized cars” – True, it is heavy but still gets 42 mpg highway and handles very well. – This comment – TRUE

        “It followed all those small Chevrolet’s” – Yes it did, but was a total ground up re-design – This comment – NO POINT

        Doesn’t anyone think before they post anymore?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          1. Agreed, trollish.

          2. Disagreed, while your facts may be in line the base car is underpowered for its weight. 1.4: 118.4 hp @ 4,200 rpm, 150 lbft @ 4900 rpm riding on almost 3200lb. My Saturn SL 1.9 DOHC puts out almost identical power with 37mpg hwy at roughly 2400lb, and its almost 14 years old. (wiki: SL: 2320.5-2456.5 lb). Its clear the engineers were given too big/heavy of a car and had to work around it with a just adequate engine/transmission arrangement in order for Cruze could hit this figure and GM to make the claim. If the car sucks to drive why buy it… the fuel savings difference between Cruze/42mpg hwy and say a Civic/38 mpg hwy (IIRC) is miniscule. The economy market of today is not the economy market of old, if your car isn’t a reasonable driving experience the competition can offer one on a similar price point.

          3. Disagreed, again you may have the facts, but its clear Daewoo’s fingerprints are all over it. Depending on your opinion of Daewoo (or Korean cars in general) this is a good, bad, or irrelevant thing.

          4. Agreed, trollish.

          5. Agreed.

          6. Agreed odd comment, but I think he’s referencing the other Daewoos being sold as Chevrolets.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            #1. It is old. Being new here doesn’t make it new, just novel. It is an old car in Korea and China. Are their car markets more advanced than ours? Then it is not a new or even recent design.

            #2. I missed the new engine introductions. I was under the impression that US Cruze buyers currently have an awful 1.8L naturally aspirated engine that was holding back the Astra five years ago or the indifferent and risky 1.4 liter turbo that provides the same performance as other people’s 1.8 NA/automatic combos while sounding like an industrial unit and with an inevitable appearance on mistake lists in the future. I don’t care about EPA scores, as I wasn’t born this morning. Edmunds got 25.3 mpg over 27,816 miles. That isn’t class competitive. In comparison tests, the Cruze is often the worst performer in its class when driven in identical real world conditions. The Eco is an exception, but then you have to make trade offs for good mileage in a Cruze that you don’t in certain alternatives.

            #3 I’ve seen GM management quoted as saying these cars are products of GMdoKorea, which was Daewoo when they started developing this car many years ago.

            #4 “Recalled at launch” is straight out dishonesty. Over 400,000 Cruzes were recalled in the US for being fire hazards, representing two years of production.

            #5 All that extra weight might not matter much on the highway, but it sure does in stop and go traffic.

            #6 The point of my comment about the cars that came before is that they represent an excellent indication of the quality and service that will be received by buyers today. If something breaks, you still have to go to the Chevy dealers that have been ruining lives for decades. If something doesn’t break on its own, they’ll have a shot at messing it up when you’re getting your service done. Aren’t these cars made at Lordstown?

            http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/cruze/2011/long-term-road-test/wrap-up.html

          • 0 avatar

            #4 You are right, my mistake, but saying “prone to fires” is just as much a lie…

            #6 “they represent an excellent indication of the quality and service that will be received by buyers today” – Disagree. [Hell, even your referenced link disagrees – “This Chevy was better than any GM compact preceding it. Depreciation (based on a private-party sale) was 23 percent, suggesting increased resale demand as well. Ditching the Cobalt for the Cruze, GM moved up the compact sedan hierarchy from tailpipe to B-pillar”]

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            They had a good dealer, but I’ve never lived anywhere with a good Chevrolet dealer. Their dealer did have to correct a little flaw with the car filling up with water as delivered, which would be a giant flaw for a car from some companies. Moving up from the tailpipe to the B-pillar in class is pretty much damning with faint praise. The Cobalt was considered a huge improvement when it was released too. Remember the big deal GM made about finally figuring out how to reverse engineer VW’s 1985 rear suspension bushings?

        • 0 avatar
          Piqutchi

          Not everything you disagree with is “TROLLISH”.

          The word is supposed to refer to someone who posts purposely to get people riled up.

          You don’t think geeber’s out to get you, do you?

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      +1. The Cruze is way above anything else in small cars that GM has produced, even if it isn’t that small or isn’t entirely homegrown. I wouldn’t get one, but I don’t see cars as pure appliances of transportation. Neither do most of the posters here, but I’d say 90% of car buyers do see cars as appliances. As far as that goes, a Cruze is a far better appliance than anything small and wearing a Chevy bowtie. One only has to drive a Cobalt back to back with the Cruze to see that.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I had a Cruze as a rental a few weeks ago. My first impression wasn’t to good, sort of felt like a day late, a buck short. After spending time with it for the week however, I respected it way more. Ride was decent. Fuel economy not bad. The seats didn’t kill my back. Not too bad.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Ugh there are a million Harlem Shake videos out there which demonstrate the formula and they still didnt get it right.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    I have had no seat time in a Spark, a little in the Sonic, and a good deal with the Cruze. The Sonic seemed ok when I was in it. The Cruze is absolutely great. On its on merits is sells. It isn’t something unexplainable.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This video makes me depressed. Damn.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Detroit? Korea? A really big meh. Small Chevvies are NOT performance cars and neither are most four door sedans. People that like GM or get a good deal will buy a Chevy. GM haters going keep hating. The I got 400k miles on my toyondavolsan; I’ve only went through 5 clutches, 6 timing belts,enough brake rotors to make a belt for a fat man, 3 radiators, and some MIT/CALTECH level electrical problems but I’ll keep buying these cars for life will chime in. Recognize appliances as appliances and drive them until they die.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    I thought the commercial was kinda humorous at least the first time watching it. Better than that one with the fat guy from SW Ontario in the tuxedo that played pool that was aired during Hockey Night in Canada. Somebody help me out what was his dealership?

  • avatar
    Nick

    Not too wander off topic, Jack, but if you don’t find a way to pull a Jeff Gordon on a dealer, I’ll be terribly disappointed.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I guess I’m lucky, car dealers in and around the Raleigh NC area are mostly decent. The circus stuff is at the “well used” lots with the 12×25 trailer as the office. The Toyota dealer I bought my car from last month has a very nice comfortable facility, the waiting area for service is damn nice, big flat screen tv, free coffee and food, wi-fi, etc. And one of the few dealers that can properly detail a car.


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