Not long ago, he wouldn't have even considered buying a GM vehicle. "It was an older person's brand as well as if you were looking at a truck."
But Lipa started looking at the Chevy Cruze, with its 42 mpg on the highway, and he may give it serious consideration. "GM's image has changed a lot over the past couple years," Lipa says. "They've become a car manufacturer who's able to offer cars that are good quality, instead of just what I used to consider bargain and cheap cars."
Rocky Walls just bought a brand-new Honda Accord and drove it from Indianapolis to DisneyWorld in Orlando. "It's working great for me so far." He briefly considered a GM car when a client he worked for suggested it, but the idea was only fleeting. "We feel like Hondas have a little bit better resale value," he says. "Some of the American cars that I see don't look like they're in as nice a shape."
Walls admits he's no car expert. "I don't even know how to change my oil," he says. So why is he anti-GM? "It's a sentiment I think that has been passed on to me by people that I do think know a lot about vehicles."
His last vehicle was a Honda, and his next vehicle will probably be a Honda, too. "I feel like General Motors is probably a great company, they probably produce great cars, but I feel like Hondas are just better."
Chris Theisen is what you might call Car Salesman 2.0. He's the head of digital communications for Hare Chevrolet in Noblesville, Ind. He's been busy blogging, "Tweeting," and "Facebooking" for the dealership.
"So when I help you online, and you have a good experience, you tell your 1000 friends, instead of telling your 10 friends in Noblesville."
Theisen says October and November have been Hare's two biggest months in terms of unit sales. Why? He credits new models with unique styling which give Chevys a distinctive look separate from other GM brands.
"Chevy's kind of helped pull in people with the product the last couple of years. So instead of you having to go and find them and they'll say, 'I like you, but I don't like your cars.' Now it's, 'I like you AND I like the cars.' "
Theisen says his efforts are focused on reaching the buyers "in the middle," those who are open to the possibility that GM has really changed. "The people that want to drive Hondas and Fords are going to drive Hondas and Fords," he says. "And then, we're always going to have the Chevy people."