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      03-26-2008, 07:46 AM   #1123
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Just a reminder for those that are not reading the entire thread ... Husker
is just a small town store that is owned by VTAIG (Cecil & Larry Van Tuyl).
VTAIG is among the largest (~$6B), privately owned dealership groups (~60
dealerships), operating primarily in KS, NE, TX & AZ.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...ry+van+tuyl%22
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      03-26-2008, 08:10 AM   #1124
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Originally Posted by dooma350 View Post
Hey guys
Sorry I havent been posting any updates, I apologize for that as I have been under a gag order, and couldnt talk. These past 2 days, which have felt like an eternity have been pretty frustating, as Im not one to keep it all bottled up inside of me.

So here is where we are at. Up to now, I think a somewhat rosy outlook was kind of intimated, as I myself had posted that we were working towards resolution. Im not so sure of that.
This whole ordeal, to say the least has been pretty stressful, and I never imagined it would get this big. Not to mention uncharted territory for me. I now have an attorney representing me. I got in touch with Scott Tepper, who specializes in internet law and business litigation. Scott has been phenomenal, and his experience in these types of cases really show.

On monday, everything culminated into a huge firestorm at the dealer. Channel 8 news was calling for a interview, in addition to the BBB, Ebay, CNN and MSNBC. All wanting to speak to the dealer in regards to these sales practives. So thats what was happening as I spoke to the dealer on monday morning.

So the dealership proposed "conditions" as part of the deal.
First, they wanted to say I could not sell for a number of years. This condition has since been removed, thanks to Scott.

The one that really bothers me though, is this one.
The dealership wanted me to assist in defusing the situation, in letting the sites I contacted know that I was getting my deal. I didnt mind doing that,as long I was JUST that. I had no intention of becoming a pawn for this dealer, not after the way they treated me!

SO I went out and contacted Channel 8, Ebay, BBB and m3post to let everyone know things were moving in a positive direction. But in subsequent conversations, I got placed under the impression that the dealership really isnt sorry for anything they have done here. Their attitude, it seemed was that I am to blame for the firestorm that culminated, implying that I wasnt being proactive enough in getting the word out Hello? Did you not see the international outrage from this situation? Root cause, gentleman. Introspection.Why are hundred of thousands of people around the world so pissed? Until they get it, im under the impression that nothing will change. All the above is just
Did anyone see this newspaper article?

Absolutely ridiculous!
http://www.journalstar.com/articles/...e060113124.txt
“These bloggers out there, they have lots of time on their hands to do this.”
Did it ever occur to the dealership that they created a situation that compelled complete strangers to MAKE time? They dont get it, if they cant see that. So Im left as confused as ever.
So as you can see, it hasnt exactly been smooth sailing here.

I'll post again when I have an update.
Thanks
Ken

__________

Guys, the post I made over at bimmer drivers is me. As a favor to Scott, I wanted to post the first update over there before I did it over here. But it looks as if someone already cut and paste the whole thing.

I should have explained that over here first, my apologies on that.

Regards

Ken

Sounds like more BS. Don't conceded anything to them.
The auction was you pay $60k you get the M3. All this other crap they are trying to get you to do has no bearing on the transaction.
Looks like we need to keep this campaign going. Nothing seems to be resolved.
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      03-26-2008, 08:18 AM   #1125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epacy View Post
Sounds like more BS. Don't conceded anything to them.
The auction was you pay $60k you get the M3. All this other crap they are trying to get you to do has no bearing on the transaction.
Looks like we need to keep this campaign going. Nothing seems to be resolved.
Amen. Have you guys noticed that this thread now has well over half a million views? I sure hope Husker Auto has.
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      03-26-2008, 08:18 AM   #1126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMMM3 View Post
If the dealership was really looking to start a bidding war and sell the M3 for a ridiculous price - people have suggested around $90,000 to $100,000 in some posts - then why oh why did they set a buy it now price under $70,000?
You don't garner attention (start a frenzy) by setting the opening price
above MSRP. By opening bids below MSRP, Huckster was hoping to grab
attention and ignite a biddging war.

It was a gamble. When it didn't go as planned, they hoped that Ken would
simply go away without creating too much of a fuss. Boy did they lose that
gamble.

Speaking of gambling:

VTAIG is apparently gambling (again) that their high-rolling, BMW buying
customers that live in Lincoln remain unaware. I'm guessing that they've
already lost at least $6K in business as a direct result of their actions.

VTAIG is gambling that this cancer doesn't spread to the other cities
where they operate. They own ~60 dealerships. This is a relatively
safe bet ... although a couple of motivated netizens in other VTAIG
cities could certainly create unwelcome attention.

VTAIG is gambling that a US Attorney, DA or AG won't notice. That strikes
me as a VERY risky bet in an election year. A $6B scalp would make quite a
trophy. If a single phone call is made from any of these investigators, VTAIG
will begin writing really big checks to an army of attorneys. The risk to VTAIG
is real: Fraud, Deceptive Trade, Wire Fraud, RICO ... ad. naseum.

I cannot imagine that Fil has managed to hide this fiasco from Cecil & Larry
Van Tuyl. I would love to know more about the culture of VTAIG. Cecil
mentioned in one interview that you succeed by hiring people smarter
than yourself. Very true. But you also have to listen to them. I am
beginning to wonder, have Cecil and Larry have surrounded themselves
with a Nod Squad?

Last edited by rainsux; 03-26-2008 at 08:56 AM.
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      03-26-2008, 08:24 AM   #1127
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I passed this on to my CRX club.

Much support to you man!
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      03-26-2008, 08:51 AM   #1128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-Net-Automotive View Post
Malibu Bimmer,


Dealer profit margins shrunk 50% or more in the last 10 years due to the Internet, these people are out there providing a service, working 50-60 hours a week. I agree that some of them have shady ways of doing business but let's stop trying to make a buck off a dealer's ignorance and mistakes and let's try to move forward in good faith !

Anthony.
Oh please. It's obvious you make your money in the car business and have happily drunk the Kool-Aid. Anyone who is an informed consumer knows not to trust auto dealers any further than you can throw their products.

Auto dealers are predatory and opportunistic. Now, I don't begrudge a dealership with a shiny new M3 sitting on the lot putting a $90K price tag on it. If they can find a sucker willing to pay that much, that's market forces at work. Supply and demand.

Husker's scam is a well known selling technique. Announce an auction for a product at an amazing price and get a lot of buzz going. Then the bidding starts and, in Husker's case, you hope some SoCal or NYC buyers who can't get a car for months see it and start a bidding war.

In this case it backfired. I don't know if the internet sales dude fell asleep at the wheel or what. But they had PLENTY of time to catch the error of not setting a reserve and they didn't do it.

What boggles my mind is that the dealer, and the dealer's mothership still haven't grasped how much the bad press could potentially cost them. The best way to handle this mess, from a PR perspective, is to invite Dooma to NB, invite the press to the dealership and have a big press event handing over the keys to the "Best Priced M3 in the World." Everyone goes away happy, including Husker who gets tens of thousands of dollars worth of free POSITIVE press.

Someone said it earlier, I think testosterone has taken over and it's turned into a case of "I can't back down, I have to prove my dick is biggest" on the dealer's part.
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      03-26-2008, 09:03 AM   #1129
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This is definitely becoming one of the most viral stories of the year, after reading through the (at the time) 40 pages of the thread, it was also blogged about over at www.motortopia.com.

I live in Lincoln, and I do not have any first-hand experience with the current incarnation of Husker Auto Group.

However, its prior incarnations, when it was "Park Place" and before that "Misle", had horrible reputations around here. It seems almost everyone you talk to in the area had horror stories about Misle and Park Place. Definite shady dealings going on in those days.

Supposedly, when they moved to their new (current) location and became Husker Auto Group, they cleaned up their act. But with this current situation, I'm not so sure.

The interesting thing, I stopped by their showroom on Saturday, before I had heard about this, to check out the new 1-series in their showroom, and I saw this very M3 sedan on the showroom floor.

I hope everything works out okay for dooma350!
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      03-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #1130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ideliver View Post
This is from earlier in the thread
I culled the KANSAS incorporation website. These
businesses are listed with either "Van Tuyl" or
"Robert J. Holcomb" as the registered agent:

SUPERIOR HYUNDAI, INC.
V. T. TITLE CO.
VAN CAR & TRUCK LEASING, INC.
VAN CHEVROLET CO., INC.
VAN TOYOTA, INC.
VANTUYL AUTO CENTER, INC
ARTEX AUTOMOTIVE SALES
COURTESY CHEVROLET
CREST CADILLAC
CREST INFINITI
CREST OLDSMOBILE
IRVTEX AUTOMOTIVE SALES
IRVTEX IMPORT SALES
JMF
JOE MYERS AUTOMOTIVE
LUKE MOTOR COMPANY
O.B.D., INC.
PHALEN MOTORS, INC.
RELIABLE CHEVROLET
RICHARDSON AUTOMOTIVE
SHOWCASE CHEVROLET
VAN CHEVROLET
VANDERGRIFF CHEVROLET
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      03-26-2008, 09:34 AM   #1131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-Net-Automotive View Post
Malibu Bimmer,

I am not a lawyer and wasn't trying to give legal advice, I was just stating my opinion like hundreds on this blog.

Let's look at this from a different angle; if a dealer advertised a vehicle on a 3rd party website (Cars.com Autotrader, eBay...) for $16,985 and he intended the price to be $19,985 or let's say had a $199 lease in a newspaper ad instead of $299, which happens a lot, this dealer is NOT obligated to honor this price, they simply need to get a retraction letter from the newspaper or that 3rd party website or just claim it was a human error beyond their control. In the case of the $16,985 vs. $19,985 discrepancy most dealers will discount their cars beyond the $19,985 and sell it for cost just to make the customer happy.
The BMW dealer is selling this car for dead cost, this is on a vehicle that commands thousands above MSRP. I believe this is enough of a penalty!

I believe that the law, internet or otherwise must have provisions to protect businesses from such human errors, as long as they are just errors and not malicious and intentional consumer fraud.

If Dooma wins in court, I am afraid this will set a bad precedent and will make dealers weak and turn them away from Internet advertising.

Dealer profit margins shrunk 50% or more in the last 10 years due to the Internet, these people are out there providing a service, working 50-60 hours a week. I agree that some of them have shady ways of doing business but let's stop trying to make a buck off a dealer's ignorance and mistakes and let's try to move forward in good faith !

(I didn't read all 53 pages of this blog and I'm not sure what the status is, I am also not trying to give legal advice, I am not representing the dealer, last thing I want is a blog about me, I know you guys have lots of time on your hand !!!)

Anthony.
All that typing and it only takes 3 words to totally make you wrong, legal binding contract. When you sign up for ebay thats what they did. They had plenty of time to take it down or fix the listing. They didnt they lose end of story.
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      03-26-2008, 09:54 AM   #1132
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> when somebody provides you with a product and a service they are
> entitled a profit.

Entitled? Huh? Businesses sell loss leaders all the time. For 20-years, GM
was selling Saturns at a loss. Me thinks we have another teenage troll.

> Look at the Jewelry industry for example

Okay - let's. It's the family business.

> these guys have a 100-200% markup

Incorrect. Keystone (mark-up) is typically 300% for fine jewelry.

> consumers don't haggle the jeweler!

Incorrect again. Many jewelry customers haggle.
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      03-26-2008, 09:57 AM   #1133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-Net-Automotive View Post
Anywhere in the world, when somebody provides you with a product and a service they are entitled a profit. This is how they stay in business, pay the mortgage and feed the kids!

Look at the Jewelry industry for example, these guys have a 100-200% markup, consumers don't haggle the jeweler! at the jewelry store, it is what it is !

In the car business on the other hand, haggling seems to be the birthright of every consumer out there. Customers want to beat you up, want to steal the car, and they will flat out tell you they don't want you to make a profit off of them! That is not fair!

Consumers enjoy this game, and thrive when they feel they are getting a good deal and giving it to the dealer! Consumers made dealers what they are, they have no respect for car salesmen and they are vocal about it. No wonder thousands of people are responding to this blog.

A car is a depreciating asset, a house isn't. A realtor is respected a car salesman isn't. Interesting!

The dealer in this case does not want to lose money, I think the dealer should have his own blog and state his side of the story!

Anthony Rush.
Personally, I don't have an issue with the dealer -any dealer- making money. Hell, I don't even have an issue with tricky auctions that start low to get you hooked until you are dry. That's business also and the buyer is the one that needs to be educated and aware of these practices. Again, business as usual, buyers beware, no harm done if done by the rules

But this particular case is completely different: this was an auction with a catch that did not went thru and because of that fact the seller broke the rules. We can argue another 54 pages about if this was a dealer mistake or not, but the fact remains that on eBay this type of tricky auction is completely normal, frequent and intentional. And this dealer is not an eBay novice...

So we should stop for once fooling ourselves that this was something that it wasn't.
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      03-26-2008, 10:03 AM   #1134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-Net-Automotive View Post
The dealer in this case does not want to lose money, I think the dealer should have his own blog and state his side of the story!

Anthony Rush.

Sure. It would be fascinating to see, however, if the dealership or its management compnany had a blog that managed to get over half a million views and something along the lines of about 95% support for its position.

Hell, even the comments on the hometown newspaper site--with the rosy comments from the dealer--are all against.
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      03-26-2008, 10:08 AM   #1135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsux View Post

> consumers don't haggle the jeweler!

Incorrect again. Many jewelry customers haggle.
Wow... that guy has never met my wife... Best haggler I have ever seen. Ever see a car dealer slam his clipboard on the table and walk out of the room, muttering crap under his breath never to appear again, and send in a different guy? Ahhh... magical!

PS. Dooma.. We are still rooting for you. Take that car immediately to some place that can check it out to make sure some joker didn't sabotage something vital.
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      03-26-2008, 10:10 AM   #1136
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I'm starting to doubt BMW's dealership services. In Hong Kong, the dealership always treated me pretty badly and often gave me the cold shoulder even when I walked in with my parents arriving in a Merc S-class. Then the dealership in Nashville has always been polite face-to-face, but treats me pretty bad on the phone and delays the service of my car from a more typical 2-3 days to 9 days.

Now I understand BMW Lincoln wants to redeem image, but the way to go is not by still aggravating your customer by giving him the impression that the dealership is blaming him for all the mess. With such a poorly setup ebay internet auction, any one could have ended up being the bidder. Clearly, it's the internet manager who screwed up that is the problem. What BMW Lincoln should do is punish or fire (if necessary) the internet manager, honor the deal, apologize sincerely and profusely and throw in additional support i.e. free tinted windows, mods, warranty upgrades, free upgrade from 18" to 19" etc.

Of course, from the business side, Lincoln is going to lose out on this deal since their profit margin wasn't high to start off with, but at this point, and with this much publicity, if BMW Lincoln doesn't show some sincerity, it is in their incentives to do damage control and honor the deal.

Yeah, dealership might go for litigation and there is a chance for some bizarre reason they get away with it, but how does that make the dealership look? They got it wrong in the first place, didn't want to apologize for mistakes AND then use law and litigation to get out of their mess wrongfully, sure "win hearts" that way...

Dooma, I'm not a lawyer nor am I experienced in this matter, but I will be supporting and rooting for you all the way. Get the beast, the M3!!!
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      03-26-2008, 10:39 AM   #1137
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Back up on AutoBlog!
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      03-26-2008, 10:45 AM   #1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickypaws View Post
No, and with my post I wasn't trying to imply any foul play. Those pix are from the eBay auction in question. But it's something I immediately noticed.
Yeah... I just wanted to make sure that nobody would take either of our comments and use them as a starting point from which they could run off screaming about how they're trying to damage the car or some such.
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      03-26-2008, 10:56 AM   #1139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-Net-Automotive View Post
Malibu Bimmer,

I am not a lawyer and wasn't trying to give legal advice, I was just stating my opinion like hundreds on this blog.

Let's look at this from a different angle; if a dealer advertised a vehicle on a 3rd party website (Cars.com Autotrader, eBay...) for $16,985 and he intended the price to be $19,985 or let's say had a $199 lease in a newspaper ad instead of $299, which happens a lot, this dealer is NOT obligated to honor this price, they simply need to get a retraction letter from the newspaper or that 3rd party website or just claim it was a human error beyond their control. In the case of the $16,985 vs. $19,985 discrepancy most dealers will discount their cars beyond the $19,985 and sell it for cost just to make the customer happy.
The BMW dealer is selling this car for dead cost, this is on a vehicle that commands thousands above MSRP. I believe this is enough of a penalty!

I believe that the law, internet or otherwise must have provisions to protect businesses from such human errors, as long as they are just errors and not malicious and intentional consumer fraud.

If Dooma wins in court, I am afraid this will set a bad precedent and will make dealers weak and turn them away from Internet advertising.

Dealer profit margins shrunk 50% or more in the last 10 years due to the Internet, these people are out there providing a service, working 50-60 hours a week. I agree that some of them have shady ways of doing business but let's stop trying to make a buck off a dealer's ignorance and mistakes and let's try to move forward in good faith !

(I didn't read all 53 pages of this blog and I'm not sure what the status is, I am also not trying to give legal advice, I am not representing the dealer, last thing I want is a blog about me, I know you guys have lots of time on your hand !!!)

Anthony.
Even so, in this instance, there were very obvious signs that they were keeping an active eye on the thread and they could have canceled the thread a couple minutes before it closed when it was clear the price was not going to go up. They've done plenty of car sales on ebay in the past and they updated the buy it now price and/or the ebay auction 3 separate times over three different days, which says to everyone that it wasn't that they weren't aware of the price of the bid or the bidding situation; on the contrary, they were very aware of the bid and they wanted the price to go up, but when the auction closed and it didn't go their way, they decided to say, "oh wait, it was a mistake!" If there weren't any updating to the buy it now price or it was their first time selling on ebay, I may buy the whole "It was a mistake, I meant to do a reserve instead of a buy it now" or some other logical mistake, but when the people are actively changing the auction here and there, especially for a product that they want to sell for a high profit, I don't believe that story. I think they didn't set a reserve so that even if the bidding went to 65k or 66k, they would allow the bidder to get the car, because it's "the cheapest m3 sold" blah blah blah, even if it is at invoice or slightly over invoice, as long as it's under msrp. It was only when the bidding didn't go up above the original price that the original bidding price, did they balk. i don't think this was an instance of human error; as others have stated following this post, it was a tactic to get people to bid on the car so that the price would go to where they wanted and it backfired on them.
I think, now that the auction has closed, they realized that their "sales tactic" or gimmick didn't work and they want protection from their mistake. Yes it was a mistake, but the auction information was not a mistake, the price wasn't a mistake, it was a mistake on the sales tactic. THAT type of mistake should not allow them to back off the deal. I will agree in your logic that when a dealer can claim a HUMAN mistake and stuff for an error to pricing for an ad / auction / what not they should be protected from that.. Whether it's ethical when it comes to an auction, especially an online auction which has been running for several days, is a different story. Should they honor a deal in a setting of a human mistake when it comes to listing the price, I think they should in an ebay-like setting as the consumer should not pay for the dealer's mistake especially when it comes to 5k of a 60k car. If the ad went out on a newspaper that's one thing, but for an ebay auction open for a couple days, that's different because they can always either change the auction due to price error or cancel and relist the item with the correct price and reserve prior to the auction closing. The dealer should eat the cost and deal with it; they'll gain the money elsewhere, even if it's a high profit car like the m3. However, I do understand the point that if it is a true honest human mistake dealers should be protected. If it's a sales ploy, they're on their own.

On other topics, my feeling is their comments to the news article are them being arrogant and thinking that they aren't going to lose business of it since they are one of the few bmw dealers in nebraska and that they are trying to make it seem like they are the good guys. I'm sorry, but their actions prior and the tone of the comments (even if I am a little biased already) is a questionable at best.
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      03-26-2008, 11:06 AM   #1140
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> For a business to be viable it needs to make a profit.

Agree. But a business is not entitled to a profit or viability. The
bankruptcy courts are full of businesses that cannot turn a profit
that will sustain their operation.

> I don't know what you mean by Teenage Troll

One of the [cough] "lawyers" posting sheer nonsense was susequently out'd
as being a 16 year-old. I'm wondering if you're the same "yute" that is trying
to reinvent himself. I'm guessing, not ...

> I don't think many jewelry customers haggle

You are mistaken. In my personal experience, at least half our customers
haggle. Only ~10% succeed. <g>

> 90% of car shoppers haggle!

I'm surprised it's that few, but I'm among the few truly cash,
folding money buyers and I target distressed dealers and
tell'm what the deal is gonna be. No negotiation whatsoever;
take-it or leave-it. If they pass, I roll-up the wad and leave.
For me, it's sport.

> let's stop looking at car dealers as these big bad liars

I'm not broad-brushing all car dealers. I've dealt with good ones. I've
dealt with bad ones. Husker Auto Group's deeds and actions speak for
themselves and VTAIG.

> try to resolve the issues at hand with some understanding and compassion.

Huh? Are you back to "entitled profit" again, comrade?

I believe that Huckster made an offer enforceable under the UCC. It's okay if
we do not agree. Really, it's okay to disagree. If the principals cannot agree,
a judge will decide.

Huckster is betting that they can out-spend Ken ... and they certainly can.
The issue is simply how much are they willing to risk and how much are they
willing to spend to preserve $6K?

If the story gains further traction in Lincoln, not even Herb Kelleher will be
able to salvage this particular store - it'll take a name change and a broom.

Last edited by rainsux; 03-26-2008 at 11:52 AM.
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      03-26-2008, 11:08 AM   #1141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0.02eurocents View Post
Oh come on... BMW is a corporation, and their shareholders demand profit. They are not a charity. I mean, looking at THAT price and the dollar exchange rate, I am guessing that BMW makes no profit at all on cars delivered to North America. They are probably just serving the market to keep the loyal customers and hope to make a few dollar/euros later on in parts and maintenance.
You, sir, are wrong. Dead wrong.

Go spec up a $70k 550i, and then check the ED invoice on the car. I guarantee you that it will be very close to $60. And yes, BMW does indeed sell cars within less than $1k of invoice.

The profit per car on an M3 is likely to be even higher than a 550i. BMW would lose no money if they sold him a car at $60k. In fact, I'll bet true cost of an M3 is much less than $60k. After all we know for a fact that true cost of a 335i is much less than $34k - because that is ED invoice on a 335i. No way in firey hell an M3 costs them a whopping $26k+ more to produce than a 335i. In fact, an M3 may well have $26 of profit in it. I would not doubt that at all.

Quote:
That care spec'ed on the german BMW site goes for about 60k or 62k in EURO (some option packages are different so not completely equal setup was possible.). At today exchange that comes down to about 92k dollars... one of the reasons I will never buy a german here in Germany.
Yep - and comparing prices across regions is a process that is frought with fallacy. But its true, for as much BMW makes on each M3 sale in the US, they will make a whole sh*t-load more off the same sale on the other side of the pond.
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      03-26-2008, 11:09 AM   #1142
mbonus
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Offering support to the Original Poster, good luck!
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      03-26-2008, 11:36 AM   #1143
saMxp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laszlo View Post
Cannot believe BMWNA hasn't taken this over for you. They should handle this directly with Hudsucker and get you a brand new BMW M3 for $60K and white glove deliver it to you in SoCal.

BMWNA, where are you?
So true.
If and when these weasels do fork over the car, you know every slimeball salesman is going to take his $6k worth of joyrides out of the car.
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      03-26-2008, 11:40 AM   #1144
eclipsisNA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-Net-Automotive View Post
This has nothing to do with BMW NA. The dealer is 100% responsible.
WTF are you smoking? BMW has brand image to worry about and Husker is killing that image. BMWNA is responsible for handling this situation just as much as Husker at this stage.
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