Ending Oldsmobile will give away lots of market share An open letter to General Motors Corp's CEO Richard Wagoner:

I am very disappointed at the announcement that you are eliminating the Oldsmobile brand line. I believe this action is premature and irresponsible.

It is true that Oldsmobile has to overcome its previous image of making large American style cars. This can only be overcome by more advertising and most importantly, giving the division time to change its image. A totally redesigned product in virtually any market needs more than three years to change public opinion.

The cars in Oldsmobile's product line are, by all accounts in industry magazines, rated far above competing vehicles. It is only a matter of time before consumers will recognize this. All are steadily increasing sales, with the exception of the Intrigue. Why destroy an entire car brand because one vehicle is not profitable?

If you eliminate Oldsmobile, you will be giving away a good portion of your market share. The new Oldsmobile buyer is not switching from another GM product but from foreign brands. They will not simply buy a different GM product but will return to the foreign make they drove before.

Oldsmobile makes some of the best products that GM has to offer. They perform well above the competition. The only barrier to profitability and strong sales is time. I am asking you to reconsider this action before an irrevocable mistake is made.

Please check out our web site: http://home.talkcity.com/SparkplugSt/saveoldsmobile Jos Ferguson Portland, OR

Editor's Note: Mr. Ferguson says he is a recent Oldsmobile owner "who converted from Volvo."

Auction association officer questions on-line remarketing As the past president of the National Auto Auction Association and a wholesale auction owner, I am always looking for better ways to sell used vehicles at the wholesale level. Our investments make it possible to assemble large numbers of vehicles at one site so that the many steps necessary to prepare vehicles for re-sale can occur quickly and efficiently. Without that investment and the economies of scale it creates, the auto remarketing industry would indeed be fragmented and inefficient.

Our association now observes the arrival of on-line auctions, some claiming that the current remarketing system is "wrought with inefficiencies." These companies propose to eliminate those inefficiencies through the powers of the Internet. While our industry has always welcomed new competitions, we would suggest that dealers ask a few questions of those companies.

Where is the vehicle? Cars and trucks can be parked a lot of places, but not in cyberspace.

Are these vehicles secure? Is the vehicle housed on a fenced lot with 24-hour security, as they are at auctions?

How much confidence will you have in the vehicle's condition report? Will the vehicle be reconditioned and certified? Who will handle arbitration?

There is an incredible complexity to remarketing. We urge dealers to get all the facts before they buy on-line. Henry Stanley Frederick, MD