King of Cars is a basic cable reality show that follows the very charismatic owner of Las Vegas Towbin Dodge. It almost comes off as a 30-minute infomercial, but goes way deeper. The show revolves around and follows "Chop" (we don’t know his real name) and his employees in their day-to-day business selling cars.
Sounds stupid? Somehow, it is the most compelling thing on the dial. Of course, at midnight on a Tuesday, there isn’t much else on. Initially, it was a replacement show on A&E that only ran a few months. I didn’t think I would see it again, but am blessed to say it is returning at the end of the month for a second season.
One would think watching someone sell cars is like watching paint dry. Not true, because if you have ever bought a car, you know that how those things work are a complete mystery. How much do they really pay for those cars? How much is their markup? Do the employees really work on commission only? Who is that oily guy they always hand you off to right before you are about to sign? Everything about the process interests me, because I can never get a bead on it. Watching this show gives me a better feel about what is going on at that round desk.
A brief example: last summer I bought a used truck. I went in and the salesman told me his manager would sell for $30,000. I could clearly see the "manager" guy, a big, hulking, shady, bearded character behind a computer monitor. I thought on it and left (which is what I always do). I came back the next weekend and asked about the truck.
Unfortunately, I had to deal with a different sales rep, though. The new sales rep came back and said, “My manager says we can let it go for for $40,000.” I looked over and it was the same guy. I was positive. What a douchebag! I said to the guy, “I was just in here last week and he told me the truck was $30,000”. I went to talk to the manager and he said, “It wasn’t me, I can tell you that. If I sold this truck for $30,000 I would be taking a loss. However, I will honor his offer and take it out of his check. See, I am losing money on this.”
What kind of bullshit is this? Now, I consider myself a smart and well researched shopper. So, this is what happens every single day to every American buying a used car. Watching Chop and his crew educates me a bit on the process, and thoroughly entertains me in the meantime.
These guys make selling cars fun for the dealers and the customers. I know I sound like a paid hack, but I am not. You know that if you have read me here before. So check out King of Cars. If you don’t dig it, I’ll owe you back a half hour of your life… and I can make that happen.
Everyone has a car, and so everyone has to deal with dealerships. To me, it is what makes this show so fascinating. You get a feel for the ins and outs of the used car business. Through almost ten years of late night infomercials, Chop and Towbin Dodge have become the number one Dodge dealer in the nation. Pretty impressive considering the two Dodges my wife and I had were the worst cars on the planet.
However, I wasn’t buying cars from the Blue Genie and his other cast of employees who have become local stars. It is tough to describe, but I put my name behind it. Normally, I am a music guy… so I am going out on a limb for this show. Watch it on January 30, late night. The time slot is kinda sucky (late night Tuesdays), but I guess there isn’t much competition then. I generally DVR it and watch it on the weekends.