'Be aware' says Walsh to the Detroit 3

Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press interviews auto analysts, dealership owners, and consultants on their view of the Detroit Three in the form of a follow up to last week's article on trust.
Walsh admits the results are troubling. Though he points out those being interviewed are business people and are answering from that perspective, they reflect what their customers are buying (or not buying) from them.

Jerry Pyle of Friedkin Automotive, for example, replies that Ford and GM have too many brands and people. Both he and Walter Czarnecki of Penske Corp. see their domestic dealerships selling half or less compared to their Toyota dealerships. And dealership owner Herb Chambers bought several domestic dealerships even though they make no profit because of their low acquisition costs.

Several of the businesses interviewed did acknowledge DaimlerChrysler's success with its 300C and Ford with its new Fusion. But Glenn Mercer of McKinney & Co. points to a current trend by older customers of purchasing near-luxury and luxury vehicles, a weak segment for the Detroit Automakers.

Walsh ends his article as a form of warning to the domestic automakers, their part makers and unions to keep aware of consumer perception when making their recovery decisions.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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