Emery Bear: County losing money


— 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.

Emery Bear



als362 6 years, 12 months ago

I must agree with Mr. Bear. I cannot believe that the leaders of this city allowed this fly by night outfit to sell their vehicles here. There are car dealers that have paid taxes, done improvements to their businesses, employed many people, stood by their word, and made friends with their customers in this city for years. Only to have their legs shot out from under them by the people that are SUPPOSED to be protecting the interests of the people that live here, not a group from out of town. The people that allowed this to happen, in my opinion, should removed from office, as they are not acting in the best interest of this community.


lonelyone 6 years, 12 months ago

It is too bad that this has happened and these people bragged that we are "an easy mark"! The way I see it tho is that the car dealers from Craig are the only ones who really lost. You didn't make the sale so you didn''t make any profit at all off these cars. But I don't see that the city or county lost any money because those taxes will still need to be paid when these 68 people go to get their new tags. If they live in the county they will have to pay that county tax, if they live in the city, they will need to pay the city and county tax! Correct? So the way I see it is, the local dealers are the only ones that lost money, which I agree is to bad.


Ray Cartwright 6 years, 12 months ago

Mr. Bear, When these people go to purchase licenses for the 68 vehicles they bought they will in fact have to pay the sales tax (city and county) so did they really steal from us. I am not familiar with Victory Motors branch office in Steamboat but I know that they used to have one in Meeker. The main reason that they opened the Meeker office, Cook opened one in Steamboat and Craig Ford opened the sales office on South Ranney was: so I could purchase a vehicle at the sales office in Craig, take possession of it at one of the branch offices outside of the City Limits and not have to pay the City Sales taxes. Please Correct me if I am wrong Mr. Maneotis, Mr. Cook, or Mr. Thompson but I remember the repeal of the USE tax. Does this practice still exsist? I urge the customers who have had this happen to them to write in and tell their story. Yes the fly-by-night came in and stole moneys from the coffers of City Government but maybe you need to rethink your philosophy too. You can deny it if you want but we all know that it is true.


emery bear 6 years, 11 months ago

In response to dentedfender...yes you can save city sales tax by taking delivery and getting your temp tag at an out of town location. Those sales where delivered here in Craig. The folks who bought will have to come up with the taxes when they get their plates. Some people need to have their taxes financed in the deal. Coming up with a couple thousand dollars after a major purchase will be tought on some. I wonder how much the city and county will lose on 1/2 a million dollars that won't get spent in our community? Yes the dealerships lost out on profit. Which means the some of the employees lost out on commisions. That hurts their pay checks. Any way you slice it 1/2 a million dollars left he city and county. It won't be spent here, that means no sales tax collected as the money makes its way into the system. Craig needs to do what Steamboat does, ban outside dealer sales!


lonelyone 6 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Bear, do you just have a problem with the outfit that came in and sold cars a week ago or would it be any dealership that came in and did that?? The reason I ask is because some time ago Kia use to come in once or twice a year and set up at the mall to sell cars. I don't know that I ever heard anyone complain about them, but maybe that was before we had this forum through the paper to say what's on our minds?!?!?!? And you are very right about the fact that many of those people may faint dead away when they find out they have to pay those taxes and how much they could turn out to be!


emery bear 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes lonelyone I have a problem with any dealer who is not part of the local community coming into town and selling vehicles. Your local delaers can get most any vehicle you want. I have a bigger problem with an outside dealer getting a marketing group like G&A. Nothing more than rip off artist. I do belive in doing business locally.


lonelyone 6 years, 11 months ago

I was just wondering, so thank you for answering.


Ray Cartwright 6 years, 11 months ago

ebear, I guess I hadn't figured in the fact that a Dollar Changes hands 6 times by the time it leaves the community. I was wrong and you were right thanks for clearing that up.


AltitudeAdjustment 6 years, 11 months ago

Chevy is closing two more big plants by year end so in another 4 or 5 years it won't matter because none of us will be able to afford to buy anything. If you're the last one out, remember to turn the lights off.


lostyermarbles 6 years, 11 months ago

I would like to know that being's they sent all the "winning key's" in the mail, did someone get one or was that all a 'get you there thing"??? Chevy's all are running around with one light out already, you can spot them coming at night, i wonder,do they get stopped for this?? Just play a guessing game at night at see how many one lighters coming at you are chvy's. it kinda fun.


jeff corriveau 6 years, 11 months ago

I know one of the mail carriers and I was told that ALL the keys were identical. Get real folks; this was a set up deal to get to those folks that don't know the old saying; "when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is"! This is a bunch of fly-by-nighters who stuck folks with overpriced cars; outrageous interest rates and warranties that no dealer in Craig will honor! For those of you that might have fallen prey to this, take your paperwork to one of our LOCAL dealers and go over it with them. Find out what the real value of the vehicle is and how much overpriced the warranties are. You just might be mad enough to do something about this. And, not let it happen in Craig again!


craigcarpet1950 6 years, 11 months ago

The Bottom Line is Mr. Bear

the same group from G&A marketing is at the eagle county fairgrounds this week, they are running around telling everyone that they work for the bank, they are the banks cars, they are selling them below wholesale, and they are from out of town. They also do not show prices, only payments which are for as long as possible. I have also talked to a few people who don't understand why they were talked into having a 400 dollar a month payment when they only make 700 dollars per month. After talking to my nephew I was enlightened that if someone has good enough credit, the out of towners will just send in to the bank that the customer makes whatever the bank requires for the customer to have that payment. He explained it is just like the mortgage industry only worse because the approvals are instant for the loans. He also informed me that the kind of people that work for these companies are people who can't get a job anywhere else because they have background records, I think if Mr. Bear wanted to contribute to putting a stop to these people someone should notify the state, from what i understand you have cannot have a background with felony's and convictions to be licensed for colorado. Unless of course they just lie on there application like everything else.


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