One of the guys I sold with sold Mercedes in the late-70s through the early-90s. He equated the H3 to the 190, plenty of sales and profit to be had on them, but totally different customer than the rest of the brand and not enough profit to make it worth dealing with them.
Anyways, I recalled a funny story today as my brother is dealing with a dealership ~60 miles from his house and getting fed all of the lines to get his butt through their doors.
(Names were changed to protect the guilty)
So I was in my fifth year of sales, and third with Hummer. We had a very successful shop, thanks to a lot of inventory and pretty aggressive marketing. This small shop a little over an hour out of Manhattan was the largest-volume Hummer dealer east of the Mississippi. There were only 5 sales guys, so we did pretty well for ourselves, but we also had a lot of contact with people I would be fine with never talking to again.
I have this Russian guy who got my desk number at some point who calls me every two weeks or so. He had a very thick accent and wanted to buy everything on MSO rather than have it titled and registered, he would export them, blah blah blah. I can’t do any of this according to the franchise agreement with GM, so it was a non-starter.
He would call and go, “I want all black, luxury package H3, Automatic for $26.5, I buy all you have.”
“I can’t go that low, those trucks invoice at $32.3, you can have them at $32,750 and I’ll sell you as many as you want, titled and registered to your company.”
“NO! TOO HIGH. FUCK YOU!” and he’d hang up.
Now the first time this was a little jarring because it felt pretty unwarranted, but by the 15th-20th time, it was commonplace.
So one day I am sitting at my desk when the call comes through, I see the number and call my manager over, “Hey Bob, get a load of this guy.”
“Hello, Thank You for calling Hummer.”
“Cut crap, you know who this is.”
“I want all black, luxury package H3, Automatic for $26.5, I buy all you have.”
“I can’t go that lo...” but my manager cuts me off.
“Where are you calling from?”
“White Plains, I can be there in one hour.”
“Great, ask for Robert.”
Two hours later, this guy who is every bit of the Russian exporter stereotype, comes into the showroom. It’s a Tuesday at 3 PM, so it’s dead and we know exactly who this is.
My manager goes walking out to greet him.
“Where is H3? $26.5?” very excitedly.
My manager walks him outside towards the car, points to it, and goes “$32.7, FUCK YOU!”
My manager then comes back into the building after launching Sergei and says to me, “The only way to get rid of an asshole is to out asshole the asshole.”
That was the last we ever heard from Sergei. To this day I have wondered if he actually meant “Fuck you,” or he just thought that’s how you ended a conversation.
The world may never know.