Everyone is very familiar with the rioting that is ongoing in Ferguson, MO and other cities around the world, but Ferguson is obviously being hit the hardest. With the burning and destroying of businesses, property, vehicles and general destruction around the city, it is surely going to affect the bottom line for businesses. Automotive dealerships are not immune from the chaos. Videos flood the internet of rioters and looters burning brand new cars, trucks, and SUVs to the ground in protest of the Michael Brown case. Once Officer Darren Wilson was acquitted, rioters took to the street causing immediate havoc across the town.
So how does this affect businesses and especially dealerships? Let’s take the personal vehicle. Across towns, random vehicles belonging to individuals in the city are burned in the streets. They are now out of a vehicle to get to work or school. This affects their paycheck and their bottom line. They now do not have the means to purchase a new car and have to hope that insurance will cover enough of the damage to replace the car or truck they have with a like vehicle. Most insurance companies will not cover the entire cost of a brand new vehicle, so now that individual has to purchase a used vehicle, possibly from a private seller. Their insurance costs may go up, since we all know insurance companies love to sock it to you when you are at your lowest point and their pocketbook is hit hard.
Now let’s take a look at that individual’s workplace. When looters and rioters set their business on fire, they are putting this individual out of work all together for a while. The business no longer has the funds to pay salaries and either have to lay that individual off until they can rebuild, or choose not to rebuild if the insurance costs to rebuild are too high. Now there is unemployment involved, which is never enough to cover regular pay, hitting the budget once more. If that employer does choose to rebuild, they may pass that cost off to employees by not issuing raises or bonuses that they may have been relying on, again, hitting the household budget. With no buying power, the relentless cycle continues.
We have seen time and again the images of rows of vehicles being burnt to the ground at dealerships in Ferguson. These vehicles are the dealership’s bread and butter. Now they have to file an insurance claim, order replacement vehicles from the manufacturer, and most likely pay higher insurance costs in the future. And who pays for these increases? The consumer. That’s right, now the individual we have been talking about above will really have a difficult time replacing their brand new vehicle because the price of destruction rolls down hill from the insurance companies to the businesses, to Mr. Individual, hitting the bottom line for everyone, but especially the consumer.
At the end of the day, if the people that have caused so much chaos in Ferguson and surrounding cities could only see that those who really pay for their destruction is the innocent consumer who most likely is working very hard and living paycheck to paycheck. There is no positive outcome that will occur from looting and setting things on fire for the hard working citizens of Ferguson and they will have to work twice as hard to dig themselves out of the mess that the rioters have created for them. There are better ways to protest the things that we don’t agree with than harming our city, community, and neighbors. So think about your actions and how it affects other’s bottom line.