01 May, 2006
More details on the Chevy dealer taking deposits on new Camaro…
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Chevy dealer pulls ad after $1,000 deposits draw fire from GM
DETROIT — General Motors has not announced plans to build the Chevrolet Camaro, but that’s a mere technicality for a Detroit-area Chevy dealer. Les Stanford Chevrolet in Dearborn, Mich., has solicited deposits from enthusiasts who want to order the Camaro. In the May edition of the national car-enthusiast magazine duPont Registry, Stanford published an ad that says “the new Camaro is coming,” advising readers to “reserve yours today.”
The dealership took five deposits of about $1,000 each after placing the ad, says owner Paul Stanford.
After hearing from GM on Thursday, April 27, Stanford says he will discontinue the advertisement. The ad will run in the June duPont Registry, but Stanford says he’s pulling the ad from the July edition.
“I have agreed to take the (Camaro) picture out of the ad,” Stanford says. “It will be removed, and any language about the new Camaro coming will be removed.”
Customers can reclaim Camaro deposits if they wish, Stanford says.
GM not amused
No doubt that will be good news to GM executives who objected to the ad. “We would obviously not condone a dealer taking deposits on a car we have not verified that we will build,” Mark LaNeve, GM’s vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, wrote in an e-mail to Automotive News.
Chevrolet has received unsolicited deposits from people eager for the Camaro, which GM unveiled as a concept at the Detroit auto show in January. Chevrolet returns the money, says Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano.
Albano says GM has not made any production announcements to dealers or to GM employees. “We do not endorse the idea of using the Camaro or any concept car in a misleading way in advertising,” he says.
Albano did not say whether Stanford had violated the dealer sales and service agreement. GM officials are investigating the matter, he says.
Although Stanford concedes GM has made no Camaro announcement, he offers a defense: “Our contention from our sources is that it’s coming. In the event that it is being produced, we want to be in a position to offer it to our customers.”
Chevrolet hopes to announce its plans for the Camaro this summer, Albano says.
Other popular concept cars have experienced this sort of frenzy. When Chrysler Corp. unveiled the Dodge Viper at the 1989 Detroit auto show, deposit checks deluged the project managers, says Chrysler spokesman Dan Bodene.
“We were getting checks in envelopes addressed to Viper Highland Park, Michigan,” Bodene says. “People had no idea who to send them to.”
One man sent a check for $60,000 to then-Chrysler President Robert Lutz, for two Vipers – one for himself and one for his wife. Chrysler returned the checks. Source: Autoweek
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