Bail the people out, not the auto industry

I recently came across a television commercial advertising Kia’s ‘Worry-Free Purchasing’ incentive for consumers. Their concept is based on offering security where everything is insecure. It is a warrantee of sorts that allows a buyer to return their vehicles if they suffer job loss 12 months following the purchase.

It got me thinking about the current fearful buyer’s market we’ve been witnessing that has forced major industries to take a step back and evaluate their long term circumstances.

But today, inside many Canadian homes, big ticket purchases are unlikely to be scribbled onto the average grocery list. So naturally, fear and hesitation is a major concern for the auto industry right now.

However, one Ford sales manager actually tried to feed me some BS line by telling me that business is “very well”. He even went so far as to call worry-free purchasing a “gimmick”.

Ford does not currently offer worry-free financing and this is Sales Manager Blair McBride explaining why he thinks that is.


Dodge is another auto maker not offering the product and this is Finance Manager Brian Patrick’s reaction to Ford’s comment.


Kia backs the choice to offer worry-free purchasing, and Finance Manager Ryan Bender explains why calling it a “gimmick” is a big mistake.


For the most part, auto execs, excluding Ford (I guess), have probably been sitting in their offices wondering how on earth they can make a pitch to the public, and convince them that financing a new vehicle is a good idea.

I challenge them to try to sell this idea to those who haven’t already damaged their credit enough in the wake of the recession. Job security is a whole other bag of worms. If I am one of the lucky ones hanging on to a job right now, who’s to say that in the near future my services will “no longer be required” thereby making me part of the statistic. This would not come as a shock to be honest, because I’ve always felt that there is so much more that we, as the working class middlemen, will continually be restricted from being privy to.

My sister is one of the few who are in the market for a car. She told me she never would have considered even looking at a Kia until seeing this commercial. This made me wonder, why aren’t all auto companies offering this kind of assurance? When it’s clear that assurance is what consumers are really just looking for, why not give it to them, especially if it means keeping your dealership from going under. For instance, take a look at Davidson Chrysler or Bob Johnson Chevrolet. Both were formerly on Kingston Road, and closed their doors in the past year.

What you probably aren’t aware of is that each and every dealership has the capacity to offer a service that offers programs like that of ‘Worry-Free Purchasing’ through a financing company called Walkaway. My suggestion is if you are feeling the slightest need to purchase a car, go to their website and look through a list of authorized Walkaway retailers near you. Maybe by showing other auto companies what it is they are lacking, will save them from going under too.

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Posted: Apr 13 2009 7:30 pm
Filed under: Opinion