Be assured that it is pamphlet-reading that is destined to work the great necessary moral and political changes among mankind. --Richard Carlile: The Republican (weekly journal), V. 279, 1822.
The following letter is but one of a number of communications received by AF regarding my October editorial.
Mr. Edward Bobit
Bobit Publishing Company
1155 Waukegan Road
Glenview, Illinois 60025
Subject: Bobit Rides Again!
Don't you really believe that you should think a little before publishing the written word?
Your Editorial in the October issue of Automotive Fleet surely picked on an Industry that supports both of us.
Leasing companies have enough trouble with huge car price increases and higher interest rates without someone promoting still higher costs in purchase and service. Our Industry rate factors have not been "innovated" with higher rates for several years. Just passing along inflation doesn't help the overall economy one bit.
In looking over your Magazine articles and advertising, it would suggest that Automotive Fleet represents the fleet buyer and user to a great extent. However, your Publisher's Page habitually takes a different approach and I wonder who your publication pretends to represent.
Leasing as opposed to selling dealers has always been a political football game and we don't need the lines drawn deeper. Our's is a most competitive business with little room for philanthropy. Purchase and service rates have gone up and there is no need to further aggravate your so-called "paper dealers" - a slur to which we take exception. We are all supposed to be big boys and don't need any controversy over the facts of life.
Perhaps you should re-read your daughter's Editorial copy and concentrate more on studying the ins and outs of the fleet business.
Arno R. Neuber
President, Automotive Rentals, Inc.
Anyone who has been sharing an interest in this industry has to know that Arno Neuber is one of the contributors in our industry and shares the mantle of the leadership in what has made the present status of leasing, one of respectability.
Arno calls it like it is. Many in the industry will echo his remarks that make our editorial in October one of number that cause speculation among our readers. If you know Arno, as I do, you will have no qualms about his comments. He is totally right in what he voices for his primary concern; the leasing business. And the whole environment of the fleet business. This I believe and embrace.
But, wouldn't it be just great if we could never have heard about Watergate; or Mai Lai; or a Kennedy assassination; or smog; or economist, Leonard Santow, telling us that the retail automotive business isn't going to be too good in the months ahead. The truth is that we all need to know the blatant facts that surround our atmosphere; whether it be personal, social or business.
Today, we are all more knowledgeable, better equipped to make dollar decisions, and more effective for our families, our communities and our management; because we know what is going on.
Today, you can attend an AALA meeting and beckon to the cry that some of the new or hardship leasing companies better take a more professional look at their rate schedule or they will not be around next year. You can attend a CATRALA meeting and hear the please to support a fight on a proposed piece of legislation that might tax your business to death. You can sit in on a local NAFA chapter meeting and learn that interest, new car purchase and leasing rates are all up for collective reasons.
None of these are necessarily good news. Our responsibility at AF is to make sure that you, our readers, know what is happening; and, as important, who. Ours is a communication and news business in an industry that we will remain totally dedicated to.
Our readers run a wide spectrum within an industry. We have our fleet managers who may be into leasing, company ownership or driver-owned. We have readers in Business-Corporate, Leasing, Rental, Governmental groups; dealers and manufacturers are a part. These specific groups are diverse and have a wide variety of interests. In retrospect, my October editorial was not a flag waving effort for any particular group. It was my intention to alert buyers that they may be in for some additional increases in car buying. The justification for such an increase may be similar to that of the lessee when he reviews a lessor's rate adjustment. American competition provides solid reasoning behind such moves.
Our articles and advertising do represent our industry. We are well aware of it. If our publisher's page appears different, it is to provide constructive thought and an awareness that is not necessarily available in the news of the day; or month.
If anyone can give me another, more proper, name for 'paper-dealers,' I will use it. But, they are there; and used in volume. It is not a slur, in my intent, but rather reflects the manner in which everyone in the market identifies them.
Admittedly, my daughter Barbara is a much better writer and analyst than I am. She has had me for a tutor.