Friday, October 05, 2007

Earl Stewart on CNN Today - Friday 10/5

Check out Earl Stewart's interview with Susan Candiotti tonight during Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room. Between 7 - 8 PM EST.


  1. I have to laugh at the ignorance in this country. I called Mr. Earl himself to let him know how much I supported his effort to include the hispanic community. There are thousands of innocent children dying because of this damn country and its war, and here are the redneck hillbillies trying to defend the "flag". We can't even get the right vote count on election day-that's what you should be arguing about. This world is changing and all you "Americans" are going to have to get used to the Spanish because it doesn't stop here. I can't wait until I need a new car, I will fly to his dealership. America is a melting pot of cultures. Only the people with a lack of culture would say something like this. Espero que todos los hispanos le apoyen a Earl. Only uneducated ignorant confederate states would make comments like that. Thumbs up to Earl. He doesn't need business from ignorant people anyway. If you are so American, then why are you buying a foreign car?
    Sincerly, Angela D.

  2. Greetings Earl

    Unbelievable. It's amazing that people won't complain when a talking dog sells rotten tacos, but they will when an entrepreneur seeks to reach out and to demonstrate some respect to a lucrative and perhaps under-serviced market. I don't want to complain and suggest that all Americans are racist, as very, very few are. However, if some dufi get po'ed because you have the courtesy to be entrepreneurial and inclusive, then they should stop living in the 19th century and get into the 21st instead. I don't know that ignorance is in Spanish, but I can identify ignorants in the US. Grow up bigots, or buy another K-car.

  3. Looks like the same person wrote both anonymous comments.

  4. I saw the CNN piece and I know you have been on all types of radio spots, but I honestly have to tell you I don't think it did what you wanted it to do. I am sure you got hundreds of emails from fans and fanatics but I have to tell you I truely believe you will single handedly destroy the auto business in South Florida. I think you have hurt the reputation of the auto dealer than help. I strongly feel you have waged a war on your peers and you can not win. There are just too many of them and only one of you. You are seperating yourself so much from the industry you are in that slowly your friends and allies will no longer be there. I know of people who once would tolerate you now hate you and only wish bad things to happen to you. This is not good. This high horse you have jumped on is not only hurting you, but the industry as a whole. I hope you are proud of it.

  5. Bravo, Earl! Your motives may have been for profit, but the effect is to include everyone and there is nothing but honor in that! Keep up the good work!

  6. Hey Earl,

    I saw a article in automotive news about you and the red phone. You say that you have 100 or more people call you a month. That is 1200 people call you because your dealership has done something that needs your attention. You can say that you get compliments too, so did Manson. That means you have 3 people a day that have to call the OWNER to get involved because the people you have working for you can't get it done. If I had three complaints a day I would probally have to fire everyone and start over. I also admire your commercial stating that you are number one in customer satisfaction. What report are you looking at? You aren't number one in anything. Your service SPSI is yellow for the year and you are middle of the pack at best. Your sales is the same. So what are you number one in? Let me guess, this is based on last years numbers. I missed that part in the commercial. For someone who preaches honesty and how bad the other dealerships are, you seem to be the dishonest one. A wolf in sheeps clothing and look at all the free press you are getting.

  7. The report was done by JD Powers & Associates. Come by the dealership and get a copy. Toyota is scrapping the SSI and SPSI report you sre speaking of because of dealers cheating. That is a fact. The JD Powers study removed the dealers from the picture completely and suddenly the real picture of customer satisfaction was revealed. Earl Stewart was one of only two dealers in S Fla (out of 14) that was not busted for cheating recently by falsifying email addresses for the customer survey. That is also a fact. Face it "Hi Earl", you are you kind are going down.

  8. Stu,

    I realize that you are upset because everyone is picking on your Dad and the dealership you are going to run one day, but let's face it the JD Power survey you are referring to has also been tampered with. I am glad the SSI and SPSI is going away. You can't judge a business on 7% of your total business. Now as a young guy in a younger generation you have to understand fighting with your fellow dealers is suicide. Look at your service prices and honestly tell me that your prices are higher because you have the same cost as other dealers. Honestly tell me that you have to have a higher price because you don't have shop supplies. At the end of the day my prices are cheaper than yours by, in some cases, 20%. Look on everyones websites. The service prices are listed. You are the highest. Now is that because you body shop manager that you promoted is not very good at the service business or do you have to have higher prices to cover the cost of business. Either way you are being dishonest. Everyone has to cover costs but by bashing dealers because they charge shop supplies is not right when you are misleading your customers by charging more to cover the same cost. Shame on you. When you own the dealership look back at all these actions and hopefully you will step up.

  9. You are focusing on shop supplies and the price of an oil change because that is least of your sins. You won't honestly answer the points about your dishonest advertising tactics and you won't address the truths about your dealer fee. Explain to the good readers what is honest about a loss-leader ad. Why doesn't the headline scream "ONLY ONE AVAILABLE STOCK #12345?" It is because you want to give the impression that all your Corollas can be bought for $11,999. That's a legal bait-and-switch. Spin it however you want, but the truth cannot be avoided. What is honest about trying to add another huge chunk of profit to your agreed upon price and call it a "fee"? Go ahead and tell the good people that you're going to just sell the car for less to make up for that nasty little inconvenient "dealer fee". That is a joke. You will try to sell the car for MSRP plus your additional dealer mark-up, and then try to charge your dealer fee. Sure you may work your way down, but you'll screw as many as you can along the way. Your dealer fee is indefensible. Period.

    I am curious, why do you think this is Stu Stewart? At this very moment he is with his wife at the hospital having their third child.

  10. your damn right,

    Send Stu my best.

    I thought I did answer all your points, however I will try again.

    I agree I try to sell every car at MSRP. SO DO YOU! That was an idiotic statement to make. Everyone wants to. Again I can't tell you the last time I did that. Again customers know what the can afford and what they can spend. They give you the bottom line price and you try and match it. As far as my advertising, why do you assume I do that. See this is what I am trying to point out to these good readers. You are not the end all authority. You are making a blanket statement and you are dead wrong. I do not advertise one stock number specials. So again you are dead WRONG. I don't do business that way. Some dealers do but you and Earl make blanket statements that all dealers do. Again you are dead WRONG.

    I keep bringing up the service specials because I am right and it is easily proven by asking these nice readers to shop around on the internet websites to show them. Maybe if these fine readers see through what you are trying to do they will be a little more educated.

    I have said this before, we all have operating expenses and must pay them. The only people who pay for our operating expenses (and profits) are our customers. That is true in any for profit business. The difference between your dealership and mine is that I show the customers what they are paying for line by line I don't increase my prices and try to sell my customers the fact I don't charge shop supplies. Let me ask you a question. What do you think would happen if a law was passed to stop charging shop supplies? My answer is that most dealership would increase their prices on services. Kind of like you did when you stopped charging shop supplies. Why? Because they still have the same expenses that must be covered along with still turning a profit.

    So again you can put any spin on it that you wish but if I am cheaper than you in every aspect regardless of shop supplies or dealer fees, doesn't that make more since for a customer to do business with me over you?

    What you want to try and sell to the customers is that because you don't charge these things you are a better company to do business with. Not true. They end up paying more. All I am trying to do is show the customer both sides.

  11. Thanks again for doing a better job than I can at revealing the mind of the typical car dealer/salesman. You're not answering whether or not you believe the "dealer fee" is ethical. I love how you say the point of surprising your customer with your fee after you agree on a price is a way of showing what they're paying "line by line". I guess you think your customers are stupid.

  12. Stu says "hi Barry, thanks for the warm wishes"

    baby girl 6 lbs 15 oz at 3 PM on the dot!

  13. I have to assume that Barry used to work for you guys. Everytime someone comes on that disagrees with you people you blame it on an ex-employee. I have news for you, there are hundreds of people that do not like you what you guys are doing. If you want to blame it on Barry you can.

  14. That's not it at all my friend. Stu thought it was Barry because of the writing style: intelligent and thoughtful. We don't think Barry holds a grudge. He is in a pickle: a good and honorable man in a bad place. He has to create a justification for himself even if the logic for that justification exists in his mind only. An unintelligent person - or worse, an unintelligent and amoral person would happily and ignorantly go on with life doing business that way and feel no remorse. That is not Barry and there is certainly no blame to be laid.

  15. your damn right....

    For the record I would like to say that just be we disagree doesn't mean ill will. Wonderful thing about the country. I am sure you are a very nice person and I am sure we could sit in the same room without wanting to fight each other we just have different passion for the same cause.

  16. Viva Earl Stewarart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Que todos los "Americanos" busquen sus raices. A los verdaderos americanos los enviaron a vivir en el West.

  18. Anonymous October 10, 2007 7:56----- ""That all the "Americans" look for their roots. To the true Americans they sent them to live in the West."" --Que'? What? Who? are you referring to?-- Marez? Chiapas?

  19. I was out of town and watching CNN when I saw the story on Headline News about Earl Stewart Toyota over the weekend. I was surprised that such a story would make national news, but then again, maybe because its time that we have such a public discussion of this issue. As a natural US Citizen, I would hope that immigrants to this Country would want to learn and use the official language as was done years ago to create "the melting pot" that we call America. As a business owner myself, I have no probelm with Earl Stewart trying to reach and attract a different market.

    Earl Stewart runs a great dealership. I have purchased four Scions/Toyotas from his dealership and have no plans to discontinue doing business with him because he runs hispanic commercials.

    Keep them running Earl!
    Sheri M.

  20. Hey, we are all very proud of you Sheri. You idiot.

  21. Earl Stewart is gay.

  22. We are honored to have this extremely insightful and complimentarly editorial written about our Spanish language TV commercial by Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist.

    Posted on Sun, Oct. 21, 2007

    English language not endangered

    La gente dice que Earl Stewart lo hizo sólo por el poderoso dólar.

    (People say Earl Stewart did it only for the almighty dollar.)

    El dice que tienen razón.

    (He says they're right.)

    What's that? The subtitles are distracting? Fine, I'll stop.

    But the point here is, all Stewart wanted to do was sell Toyotas. It's something he's been doing for 33 years as the proprietor of Earl Stewart Toyota in Palm Beach County. Then he hit upon an idea he thought might expand his market: Spanish-language commercials with English subtitles. The spots run on English-language television and, though he speaks no Spanish, Stewart stars in them himself.

    The subtitles, he says, were an afterthought. 'I said, `You know, I'm going to be talking to a lot of people that don't speak Spanish so, as a courtesy or to explain what I'm doing, maybe I should use English subtitles.' It was really an effort on my part, albeit a failure, to be nice to the monolingual folks.''

    The ''monolingual folks'' were not feeling the love -- putting it mildly. Stewart says the commercial brought him a ''flood'' of angry, often profane e-mails and phone calls, nine out of every 10 sharply critical of his commercial. As described by Stewart, the complaints tended to be longer on emotion than on logic.

    For instance, they said that by advertising in Spanish, he encouraged Spanish-speakers to avoid learning English. But he was advertising on English stations, so anyone watching presumably already spoke the language.

    And people kept referencing Mexico, usually in sentences that began with, ''Why don't you go back to . . . '' But anybody who knows South Florida knows that, while it is home to many Spanish speakers, the bulk of them are not Mexican.

    ''I think there's a lot of fear out there,'' says Stewart. ``All of the (presidential) candidates to some extent are using the immigration thing as a lever to get elected. They're appealing to the fear Americans have, some of this 9/11 stuff. And the rhetoric has a lot of the people who are not as informed or maybe don't listen carefully, convinced that most of the Spanish people in this country are illegal immigrants or they're terrorists.''

    It's a cogent analysis, but I think there's more going on here. One suspects that at bottom what set Stewart's critics off is a fear so visceral they might not even have words to express it. Put simply: Since when do we need subtitles in our own country?

    To which the best answer is probably another question. Who is ''we''? What is ``our''?

    The fact is that ''we'' is not what it used to be, and ''our'' reflects a nation more diverse than ever before. The Census Bureau says the Hispanic population of Palm Beach County stands at 16.7 percent, nearly two percentage points higher than the national figure. Isn't it smart business to reach out to them? Why begrudge Stewart's efforts to do so?

    Granted, it's not hard to empathize with the sense of dislocation some people feel as they watch the nation changing around them. But to understand what they feel is not necessarily to share it.

    In the first place, hysterical predictions to the contrary notwithstanding, it's exceedingly unlikely that English is in danger of losing its position of primacy. In the second place, people will sooner or later have to understand that while change is frightening, change is also life, especially in a nation as susceptible as this one to the forces of the free market. Which is, for my money, the moral of Stewart's story.

    He says that as that story has become better known, the public response has done a 180-degree turnabout. The commercial -- and the notoriety -- have brought customers from as far away as Miami. And he's just had his best September, ever. All of which leaves Stewart with mixed emotions. He's disappointed in many of his fellow Americans.

    On the other hand, business is good.

    Leonard Pitts Jr.

    Leonard Pitts Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. He is the author of Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood. His column runs every Monday and Friday. Email Leonard at or visit his website at


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