22 July 2007
Seeing These Things On Cars Makes My Blood Boil
Dealer decals are the scorn of beautiful cars everywhere. Got a nice Cadillac? Let's chintz it up by sticking 'Jim Bob Cadillac' on the rear bumper just so everyone knows that you're a Jim Bob kind of guy. Want to spice up the rear end of your Camry? John Doe Toyota/Lexus is more than happy to oblige with not so discrete vinyl adhesive flair for your vehicle. Feeling that your brand new Dodge just doesn't have enough masculinity to get you through the day? Here's a set of ram horns and a big pentastar from your good friends at Randomberg Chrysler/Dodge. And the list goes on and on and on.
A few dealers don't do this. I don't know whether this is done because they're smart or because the vinyl decals cost too much, and quite frankly, I don't care. What they do instead is install the license plate holder of doom. You've seen those too- license plate frames emblazoned with 'Anytown Nissan' across the back, ensuring that everyone will know you're-
a)from out of town
b)probably easy pickings for car thieves
c)probably packing a lot of valuables in your trunk
While less obnoxious than the vinyl decal for the simple reason that you don't have to do much work to remove them, the license plate frame is still an offender in the bad taste wars.
So why the hell do dealerships do this? Ostensibly, it's to increase awareness of their dealership, especially in larger cities where they may be competing against their own company. But is that a valid reason to deface a vehicle? Especially since you've already spent a lot of money with them in the first place? It reminds me of vehicles that have incessant badging INSIDE the vehicle, a common trait among many cars from the 80s, where it was apparently very hard to remember what vehicle you were currently driving. 'Honey, let's go take a look at those new Buick Regals right there... oh wait, we're ALREADY driving a Buick Regal! Thank God this fake chrome Regal badge was on the glovebox!'
Probably the biggest sin in all of this is that it's done on the down low- the dealer does it without asking. You've got to specifically ask them NOT to mark their territory, and even then, they push back. It's quite amazing to see in action- 'You DON'T want our sticker on your otherwise new vehicle? Why not?!?!?!'. Well for one, I don't want to look like your dealership courtesy shuttle. The mixture of amazement, puzzlement and just under the surface seething is hard to quantify, but it's there.