By Earl Stewart
I must explain that those dealers listed as “Good Guys” are far from perfect. I urge you to shop and compare prices, stick up for your rights, and do your homework in preparing to buy. South Florida is the “Sodom and Gomorrah” of the retail car business. Listing the best dealers is like listing the most honest inmates in Attica or Leavenworth.
I arrived at my evaluations of these dealers by my weekly mystery shopping reports that I’ve conducted for more than 7 years. I also gather data from my constant interaction with you, the car buyers of South Florida. You call my weekly Tuesday afternoon talk show, “Earl Stewart on Cars” (stream it live at www.StreamEarlOnCars.com 4-6 PM), my cell phone, and text me, you send me emails, and you write me letters about your experiences in buying and servicing your cars. You post comments on my blog,www.EarlStewartOnCars.com.
This list is not static and I update it regularly, adding more “good guys” and dropping the undeserving from the list. Hopefully, I will not have to add to the “bad buy” list very often, but I will if I have to. These dealerships are the worst of the worst and should be totally avoided at all costs. You would be better served to drive an extra 50 miles to buy the make car you seek than buy it from one of these dealers. In fact, you would be better served to buy a different make from a good dealer.
I know I’ve angered a lot of car dealers (so what else is new?) by leaving them off the “good guy” list and especially the bad guys. I urge those of you who are sincere to call me personally and I will be glad to discuss with you what your customers told me about you that led me to omit you from the “good guy” lists. The “bad guys” won’t call me because they know exactly what they are doing and how they are premeditatedly deceiving their customers.
If the make car you are seeking does not show a dealer, it’s probably because not many people buy that make. I listed only the most popular. I suggest that you choose a dealer a “good dealer” who is listed that also sells your make. For example, Schumacher also sells Mitsubishi and Infiniti and he is listed as a good dealer for Chevy and Buick.
Bio: Earl Stewart has been featured in news coverage by CNN, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New
York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week and locally in The Palm Beach Post, The Sun Sentinel and the South Florida Business Journal for his innovative and often unorthodox approach to operating an automotive dealership. Earl is well known for pioneering unorthodox customer service methods like his famous red phone hotlines and the implementation of his Earl Stewart Code that guides the conduct of all employees.
Earl currently is featured as a weekly contributor to The Hometown News, writing weekly columns on a variety of automotive and consumer-related topics. He has a blog site offering advice to consumers on buying and servicing cars, www.EarlStewartOnCars.com as well as a live weekly radio talk show airing Tuesday afternoons from 4 – 6 p.m. on 900AM The Talk of the Palm Beaches and can be streamed online at www.StreamEarlOnCars.com. Earl’s first book, Confessions of a Recovering Car Dealer, was published in the fall of 2012 and is offers unique insights into the car business and serves as a useful reference manual to anyone wary of walking into a car dealership.