KBB: Car Dealers' Websites Need CGC… Good Luck With That

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Kelley Blue Book is one of the good guys; the organization that led the way towards pricing transparency for consumers. So it's no surprise that their Western Sales Manager Jay Campbell thinks car dealers' websites would benefit from some user generated content. Writing for Dealer Marketing Magazine, Jay uses the term CGC (Consumer Generated Content) while making his case for e-Glasnost. "Today, consumers turn to auto enthusiast sites, online forums and message boards, question and answer sites, and blogs to post their feelings. Imagine how large and untapped this opportunity is for your dealer Website?" The misplaced question mark tells the tale; the idea that car dealers would open themselves up to potentially negative comments from the great unwashed requires a leap of imagination that Evil Knieval wouldn't have attempted in his [fall into the] heyday. Although Jay's heart is in the right place (gold star from TTAC), I felt compelled to call him and see if he lives anywhere near planet Earth.

[Apologies for the low audio levels.]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Carveman Carveman on Jan 08, 2008

    Excellent interview. There are only two kinds of businesses regarding the internet. The quick and the dead. I have been involved with the internet for years and spoke on the subject business internet integration nationally. I am still amazed at what people don't know about its impact on their own company and industry. But that"s why I'm in business. Purchasing a car is open warfare and a guerilla operation. Is there any other business transaction (legitimate) that is acknowledged by all parties concerned as a knife fight? Because of the internet the tables have turned. Especially for the domestics. You wind up with your foot on their throat and negotiate how much blood you going to leave them with. And if they don't like it there are plenty of other dealerships who would gladly bleed a little more than the next guy. I believe 75% or more of the sale takes place with out the assistance of any human. Internet savvy consumers don't rely on a salesman with dubious motives for information when there is so much to be had online. Armed with the straight snot from TTAC, Edmunds TMV pricing and information gleaned from forums, EBay etc, they are an old school dealership's worst nightmare. Let the carnage begin.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jan 08, 2008

    Sanjeev, I am not sure you really know the depths of stupidity the car dealers deal with. It's part of the reason that intelligent people hate the places - they assume you are an idiot when you walk in. We will see if anyone can pull this off. Perhaps someone knows of a site that is a good example? Surely someone has tried this?

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Jan 10, 2008

    I don't think the dealers understand the Internet. I remember a recent case where a guy wrote about his terrible VW dealer experience in Atlanta on his website/blog. The dealer filed lawsuits against the customer, and filed a restraining order against the guy (because he vented how pissed off he was with his VW dealer). VW America didn't have the guts to tell the dealer that he went too far. The thing was, the dealer screwed the guy over, and he was mad. The dealer owner read the guys rants on the web, panicked, and starting siking his lawyers on this customer. Of course lawyers know no restraints and filed every criminal and civil complaint against the customer. The point is, dealers don't know how to take criticism. They are in no way ready for the no-holds-barred style of public comment that they would be exposed to on their site. The temptation to be heavy-handed in deleting comments would be too great a temptation for them.

  • Kim1987 Kim1987 on Feb 19, 2009

    Hi, dealers shows monopoly in the market,they thought that only they are the top. kim Used Cars