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Not going the extra mile

A North Florida automobile dealer had one of its employees arrested this week.

Dude, where's my car? One woman found out her car, left at a Gainesville car dealership this week, reportedly went for a ride without her.

Police charged Paul Stephen Rogers, 20, of Gainesville, with grand theft auto after officers stopped him for speeding and driving without headlights early Wednesday. Police said Rogers told them the vehicle wasn't his and he shouldn't have been driving it.

Officers learned the car's owner had dropped the vehicle off at a dealership on N. Main Street Tuesday evening so it could be serviced, according to an arrest report. Rogers had been working at the dealership, police reported, and took the car "for personal purposes."

Totally unremarkable news but what I find interesting is what the article lacks. The name of the car dealership the car was borrowed from. A internet search shows twelve such businesses with a N. Main street address. Shouldn't local consumers be aware that one of these dealers was less than safe with their valuable property that had been trusted to them?

I guess protecting the advertising dollars the Gainesville Sun acquires from the one dealer is more important than reporting the entire story. Newspapers are a business, and only a naive person will believe important revenue streams wouldn't or couldn't affect reporting. Then I'd pose this question to the Gainesville Sun- By not identifying the one dealer, aren't you creating the possibility consumers will question if one of the other eleven dealers is a place to do business with? By protecting the one dealership, the newspaper has indirectly called into question the integrity of all the auto businesses with that street address.

One of whom may not be happy when it comes time to buy more advertising.


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Comments (5)

I guess protecting the a... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

I guess protecting the advertising dollars the Gainesville Sun acquires from the one dealer is more important than reporting the entire story.

Or perhaps the "more important" thing is protecting itself. What are the legal ramifications if the newspaper prints the dealership's name, and the dealer suffers a business loss as a result? I don't know. Do you?

Wolfwalker writes-... (Below threshold)

Wolfwalker writes-

"Or perhaps the "more important" thing is protecting itself. What are the legal ramifications if the newspaper prints the dealership's name, and the dealer suffers a business loss as a result? I don't know. Do you?"

Why would their be legal ramifications for reporting what actually happened? The car was droven off the lot from ABC dealership.

From 40 years in the newspa... (Below threshold)

From 40 years in the newspaper business, I can tell you that is probably exactly what happened. It's not that the reporter didn't want to name him. Auto dealers are as detested by reporters as much as by the general population. It's just that the loss of advertising would probably mean a couple of more layoffs.

On the other hand I have seen abuses by reporters that would curl your hair. One involved an "Action Line" reporter who skewered a dealer for not honoring a warranty for a woman who had written the paper with her complaint. Turned out it wasn't just someone off the street, it was the reporter's girlfriend, the car was out of warranty, and the reporter accompanied his girlfriend to the dealership in violation of the paper's policy. He was using the paper's good name to shake down the dealer for his girlfriend.

It works both ways. Dealers are a tough group to deal with. They have a hair trigger when they think they have been wrongd and they will cancel you off a schedule at the drop of a hat. But they are big money to the papers and in some cases they are right.

Geez, I guess the guy that ... (Below threshold)
ECM:

Geez, I guess the guy that took the car for a spin watched Ferris Bueller one time too many.

i live in gainesville flori... (Below threshold)
jeremy green:

i live in gainesville florida. i also know the kid i worked with him and i know the dealership, and by putting the name of the dealer will make a huge decline in sales and customers getting their car serviced at the shop there at the dealer




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