Monday, April 17, 2006

To Auto or not to Auto

There's an interesting article in today's San Jose Mercury News about the disappearing car dealerships in the Heart of Beautiful Downtown Los Gatos.

Once upon a time, the area across the street from South Bay Honda used to be a Dodge dealership where they sold swanky van conversions.

The Rotunda strip mall used to be a Chevy dealership.

McHugh Lincoln Mercury moved to Capitol Expressway.

The Flames became an Auto Mall high end car dealership. But it blew up.

And now Swanson Ford is closed because they could get a better deal if they sold the land that they'd owned for generations. Oh, and Los Gatos Hummer wants to move as well.

So what's the controversy? The Town of Los Gatos is trying to prohibit Swanson from selling the land to be anything BUT another car dealership. Swanson maintains that they should be free to honor their deal with Sand Hill Properties.

They're trying to claim that buying a car in a little town is a much better experience.

I'm sorry, guys, but balogne. It's harder to test drive because you have to go far out of your way to find a spot to get the car REALLY up to speed. Steven's Creek Auto Mall is far better because you can pop onto 280, floor it, and then take the Wolfe Road exit which is a reverse camber and allows for really excellent testing of "roll" on a car.

I've bought a few cars, and one was from a Los Gatos dealership. I didn't feel my experience was any better or higher quality.

The Town worries that they'll try to put a Fry's in. Hah. As if. The Town is quite hostile to businesses, and I can't imagine a Fry's wanting to put themselves into a no-win situation like that.

Currently, Yarndogs and the Bead Store are embroiled in a problem with what constitutes teaching a class. The Town wants them to pay a huge amount of money each month because they're teaching classes. The amount is far more then the in store tutoring sessions.

No, Town of Los Gatos, you are not business friendly, and you're going to keep losing businesses until you wake up and learn to appreciate them.

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