Car Dealer Pushes The Metal–And The Boundaries

O.C. Welch, the owner of a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealership in Hardeeville, SC, is clearly fighting for his livelihood. His new radio spots spell it out:

From WTOC in Savannah:

Saturday, five radio spots began running. One is titled, “Wake Up America.”
“One thing I wanna ask you, with those Japanese cars. Even when they are brand new, how come they don’t smell like a new car? They are rice ready, not road ready,” Welch says in the commercial.
“I don’t think it’s going too far. It’s reality and I think we need a reality check,” Welch told WTOC today.

But what’s really interesting is that Welch is also not afraid to go after the Mecca of the Heartland, Wally World, a place where his customers surely shop:

“When will you Wal-mart shoppers, you import buyers, when are you gonna wake up and do something for the United States of America,” Welch asks in “Wake Up America.”
“It’s a little bit out there, but we are at a point where we need to be out there. This is our country. This is the USA. We need to act like it is,” Welch said.

A lot of smaller car dealers have a lot at stake in this whole bailout debate. You might hear more of this type of sentiment on the airwaves.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. what a bozo. tell me why i should buy YOUR cars. and while you’re at it, tell me why “joe sixpack” domestic cars have the lamest interiors of all vehicles on the planet (and possibly other planets). knock me over with new car smell, but you still can’t mask detroit’s perplexing inability to make the inside-the-car experience remotely as aesthetically pleasing as my (insert japanese/german/swedish make here).

  2. Obviously, this presents a major PR challenge for the corporate entity, which typically doesn’t get involved in local advertising.
    Luckily, we have a strong dealer network, and through our dealer communications manager, one of our regional sales manager called the dealer yesterday and the dealer pulled the ads.
    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  3. Does this mean OC won’t take my Nissan Pathfinder on a trade in?
    BTW, nice find Danny G. You may know that OC’s new dealership on Highway 278 to Hilton Head is just a few miles from where we lived in Bluffton (and still own a house).
    This guy is always flying a gigantic American flag over his lots. Because he’s a real American, unlike those Wal-Mart shopping, Toyota-driving red necks masquerading as Americans.
    p.s. Thank you Scott Monty for giving AdPulp readers the latest and greatest on this story.

  4. I’m glad Scott got to weigh in.
    I suspect there are lots of dealers like OC–not in their views, but in their business situations. He sounds like a small-town dealer who didn’t sell out to a large dealership group and didn’t diversify his business with, say, a Subaru or Honda dealer like so many other s did in the 80’s.
    OC is clearly in a tough spot. He didn’t make the cars, design the cars, and he doesn’t have the clout of a huge multi-millionaire dealer.
    Based on what Scott said, it does sound like Ford told this guy to clam up. I wonder if there are other dealers who think the Big 3 aren’t looking out for smaller dealers.
    Just goes to show ya, this bailout is personal for a lot of people.

  5. Just to be clear: I’m not aware that we issued an order. To my knowledge, we simply expressed our dissatisfaction. The dealer made the decision.

  6. OK, Scott, thanks for clarifying.