Craig To the editor:
Moffat County just had half of $1 million stolen.
Let me tell you how I arrived at this conclusion.
Grand Valley Auto, a dealer from Grand Junction, brought in a marketing group called G & A Marketing. They sent out a slick mailer with a key - I got one, myself - and promised that one of the keys they sent out would start a new car they would give away. Grand Valley Auto, through a third party, promised great trade values and incredible deals.
Now, here's what I have heard they, G & A Marketing, are saying about the sale.
"Our biggest sale ever, 68 units and $492,000 in gross profit. What a hick town. Moffat County, nothing but moochers and losers, easy place to steal from."
Wow! Looks to me that what brought down the financial markets just happened in Craig.
I work for Victory Motors. I currently manage their Steamboat Springs operation. I moved to Craig two years ago. I came to work for the Maneotis family after determining that they sold cars and did business they way I believed is right, treating people fairly.
After 35 years in the auto industry and having managed a large Toyota dealership in Columbus, Ohio, I was fed up with big city selling tactics. I was right about my decision.
What a great community to do business in; people trust us, and we trust them. How refreshing to do business on a handshake and to be able to stand behind my sales backed up by the owners. Craig is an easy place to sell cars and trucks because people trust us, and we trust them.
But we don't have to steal - and that is what the "big tent sale" from out of town did to 68 of our fellow citizens.
Folks, the average car dealer in the U.S. needs to average $2,000 to $3,000 more than the cost of the vehicle they are selling to make a profit and stay in business. These people made more than $7,200 per vehicle sold using the worst of selling tactics. That is not free market economics; that is free-for-all stealing.
The rip-off goes even further: The thieves did not collect city or county sales tax.
I have been told that G&A Marketing is banned from doing business in six states. Maybe the 68 buyers should consider a class-action lawsuit, or some calls to the Colorado attorney general. At the very least, the mall and city should consider a ban on outside dealers coming into town, ripping off good people and taking money from legitimate businesses, the employees of those businesses and their families.
Half a million dollars just left Moffat County. Shame on Grand County Auto and G & A Marketing. If it happens again, shame on us.