For many, car-buying is an experience that rates somewhere between pouring a basket of scorpions into your underwear and a visit to the dentist from Marathon Man. Some dealerships feel like hives of villainy more wretched than even the Star Wars Cantina, though being held at gunpoint by Greedo is likely preferable to enduring the overall auto-buying process at one of those retailers. After all, as Han Solo demonstrated, one can actually "deal" with Greedo in a satisfactory manner.
Dealing with anyone in a satisfactory manner was, unfortunately, not in the cards for Washington Post blogger Vijay Ravindran, who probably would have had better luck negotiating a peace treaty with the Rancor monster in Jabba's palace. Ravindran, guest-posting at WaPo's Achenblog, reports that with his nine-year-old Bimmer beginning to feel a little tired, he was ready to make the move to a new car. Now, Ravindran is one of these people who admits that "domestic sports coupe" is not a thought that had ever tickled his synapses before, but the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro's drop-dead looks changed all that. Ravindran started with a nearby dealer that advertised Camaros in the newspaper, and things pretty much tanked from there. He called the dealer, left a voicemail requesting a test drive, and promptly never heard back. Good thing the auto market is so strong right now that dealers can turn away prospective customers so easily.
Ravindran's efforts were similarly futile as he expanded his search to other area Chevy dealers, each of whom appeared to have an aversion to the general concept of getting him into a car. Or responding to his queries at all. The dealer that did finally engage him excelled only at giving him a slimy runaround. Granted, we understand Camaros are hot commodities right now and that they may be hard to get, but Ravindran's story flies directly in the face of GM's post-bankruptcy spin about great dealers, great service, etc. You can read Ravindran's whole tale at Achenblog. As for Vijay Ravindran himself, he's no dummy: he's pretty much given up on his Camaro quest.
UPDATE: Just in, via Twitter from GM's Adam Denison, one of the PR personnel for Camaro:
"FYI, we offered that WaPo blogger a ride with Ed Peper at a local dealership tomorrow. Haven't heard from him yet."
Based on Vijay Ravindran's Twitter feed, tomorrow may not work out, but it's interesting to see that GM PR is all over this.
[Source: Washington Post's Achenblog via TTAC]