I got a call from one of my Honda dealers on Tuesday afternoon saying there was a problem on his website. Read closely because what I am about to tell you will absolutely blow your mind.
This dealer has both a Honda and Acura store. Honda had called him and said his site wasn’t compliant because he had listed on his Honda site that he serviced Acuras too. They told him to take the claim down and remove any mention of service offerings to Acura cars.
When he called, I had just finished reading an article in Automotive News. It was about a consultant from NADA that reported statistics of private/independent repair shops with better rankings in Google than franchise dealers. The line I loved in the article the most was, “The franchise dealer has a facility investment sometimes as much as $20 million and shows up on the 10th page of searches and the independent shop owner has a facility investment of $1 million and shows up ranked 1st.”
The factory, in this case Honda, wants to have all their dealers on a level playing field which can be good for the sake of the brand. However, the average consumer who is looking to service their car or truck does not care about the level playing field. They don’t even know who is on it. All they know is that they want the best deal they can get because it is their money paying for it.
Now, I have a lot of great Honda clients who I also consider friends, but hearing this was mind blowing. Let the guy advertise that he services Acuras! Maybe he will even advertise that he services Toyotas, Lexus’s, Nissans and Infinitis!
It’s just my opinion, but these rules need to be changed and dealers need to be allowed to thrive – not just survive.