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Hate to say 'I told you so...'

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 00:00

The telephone rang just a few minutes ago in the middle of a busy weekday, in the middle of a traditionally brutal week, at least here.

It was the manager of a local dealership that will remain forever nameless. He called to let us know he would match any price on a comparable part of comparable manufacture supplied by the aftermarket: Period! Let me run that by you again. The dealership, home of traditionally captive parts and excessively skinny margins was offering the same deep discounts the aftermarket has traditionally offered the repair community!"

I told you this could happen. I told you it wouldn’t take much for them to offer the same parts at the same prices! I just never really believed they would actually do it. But, here they are with their first foray into enemy territory — your territory!

I should be overjoyed because this ‘new arrangement’ allows me to access the world of factory ‘fit and finish’ without the traditional penalty cost of the 20 or 25 percent discounts most dealerships still offer their wholesale accounts.

I should be overjoyed because there are plenty of times the local – or, not so local –dealership is the only place to find that elusive part you are trying desperately to find.

I should be overjoyed because there aren’t too many ‘civilians’ out there who would suggest the factory part you just installed on their vehicle was somehow “less” than the comparable aftermarket part designed to replace it.

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