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Taking the Dealers to the Factory

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DELTA TWP. - Mike Bowsher has sold all kinds of General Motors Co. vehicles.

Now, he's a little more familiar with how some of them are built - and he's impressed.

"It's overwhelming how much teamwork goes into making these vehicles," Bowsher, president of the Carl Black Automotive Group in Kennesaw, Ga., said while touring GM's Delta Township facilities Wednesday.

Bowsher, who also is co-chairman of the Buick-GMC Dealer Council, was one of 900 Buick and GMC dealers from around the country who are converging on the Detroit carmaker's Lansing Delta Township assembly plant and Lansing Regional Stamping facility to learn more about the vehicles they sell.

Read More: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20101007/NEWS03/10070346/1004

Dealers who have a greater understanding about the work that goes into making the Acadia and Enclave are in a better position to tell their customers about the vehicles' quality, plant spokeswoman Jennifer Brown said.


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I think that factory tours should be part of Goodwrench tech training as well as the dealers themselves. For techs, this should include a couple of hours or more with presentation material, at least an hour where the techs can ask questions and, with permission and escort, look at areas not on the tour agenda, and a certificate for the experience. This will help counter the famous tech dourness and cynicism, particularly if it's done as part of the Goodwrench training so that it is a preventive measure, but for existing old-timer techs too. Tech work is back-breaking, frustrating, and burnout-overwhelming at times, as well as satisfying and lucrative work, and is heavily competitive with politics and hazing in the bays; these guys need all the help they can get, and this little thing could be major.

Another segment that should have the tour is the sales staff. Customize the tour for them too, although the same tour that they use for the owners might be pretty much what you would want for the sales staff. Anyone at a GM dealer for more than, say, 90 days would be eligible to go; you could ask them to promise to remit something like $200 from their severance check toward the cost of the transportation and tour if they don't stay for the rest of their first year as a retainment strategy.

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