While General Motors is facing investigations from almost every federal authority over the ignition switch defect recall, its dealers now fret the negative publicity could alleviate customers.
According to many of them, customers have been very anxious, calling the dealers and raising questions about the overall safety of the GM cars. Some of them already missed their usual March goals and fear the trend could continue.
“It will take some time for the brand to gain back the customers it lost,” saidVice President April Ancira of the Ancira Auto Group in San Antonio, Texas. “But I have got to believe that General Motors will use this opportunity to really focus on improving the safety of their product.”
“Time will tell. In the long term, we will be judged on how we take care of customers. We have advertising incentives and other tools to use if there’s evidence that sales in the short term may be impacted. But we haven’t seen that,” says GM spokesman Jim Cain.
Reuters has conducted interviews throughout US dealerships and has seen concerns that although the auto market is rebounding from the harsh winter the GM dealers would be avoided and current owners would pressure the repair facilities.