"King Of Cars" Closes Hummer Dealership, Will Start Selling Smart Cars

The Wall Street Journal’s “Deal Journal” blog says that the owner of the car dealership that serves as the backdrop to A&E’s “King of Cars” will close his Hummer dealership and begin selling “Smart Cars.”

This closing is notable because of where it is taking place and who is pulling the plug. It is, after all, one thing for enviro-friendly people in San Francisco–another city that recently lost a key Hummer dealership–to shun the brand. It is entirely different when Sin City decides the vehicles are too excessive. Towbin said Las Vegas is a custom fit for Hummer. “It’s all about bling and it’s in the desert,” he said.

And Towbin is an uber-Hummer enthusiast. He credits a Hummer with saving his life, and he counts a Hummer as his daily driver. “I feel very aligned with the brand,” he said. “Neither General Motors nor I wanted to go this way.”

One of Nation’s Largest Hummer Stores to Shut Its Doors [WSJ]

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  1. ClayS says:

    My question is, what happened to the TV show? I was a big fan of the Blue Genie.

  2. wiggatron says:

    I kinda dug the show they had about this guy. He seems like a fun guy to work for. I’m happy to hear that he is as smart a business man as he seemed on the show. This move will surely prove more financially lucrative in this time of high(er) gas prices.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @wiggatron: Ummm… perhaps he’d be a fun guy to work for, but it didn’t look like a fun place from which to buy a car, giant gong notwithstanding. The show was shocking in how honestly it portrayed some of the deals, but I guess they figured most slack-jawed TV viewers can’t do the math anyway. I saw a lot of “You deserve a nice car” sales tactics and lots of BAD deals getting done (bad for the buyer, not the dealership of course.)

      • wiggatron says:

        @GearheadGeek: ALL dealerships are the same way in my experience. I just accept that as part of the process of buying a new car, which I don’t do very often as result.

  3. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    …a Hummer saved his life? Hummers don’t save anything but a 50 year old man’s delusions of youth and power.

  4. Justinh6 says:

    The show hasn’t been on in ages.

    But those advertisements are on for his dealership non stop every time I go to vegas. Quite funny.

  5. JN2 says:

    Another victim of “The Chopper”!

    Why didn’t McCain pick him for his running mate?

  6. chipslave says:

    Ah yes… Blue Genie. I forgot all about him. I thought he was great! LOL

  7. snoop-blog says:

    I wonder if his company is traded publicly?

  8. From what I understand, GM had to buy AMGeneral b/c they refused to let them use the Hummer name for the H2. In reality,IIRC, the current model is built on a car frame, and gets better mileage than some cars.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @Git Em SteveDave is starlost: Nope, it’s built on the same body-on-frame platform as the Tahoe (H2) or the Colorado (H3). Also, maybe you were thinking of a diesel powered Hummer at SEMA a few years back which claimed something like 20 mpg, but the only cars that get equal or worse mileage than a Hummer can usually go over 200 mph.

  9. Mayor McRib says:

    I wish they would bring back the show now! I bet they aren’t enjoying themselves as much as they were a couple of years ago. It would be interesting to see a difference perspective from the inside. I learned a lot of car buying tips through watching that show. More of “what not to do”.

  10. Bourque77 says:

    I’ve read stories of him and his goons trying to bully upset customers away from his dealership. Seems like another lowlife car dealer to me.

  11. nogas2speed says:

    I cannot wait to see what a blinged out Smart Car looks like!

  12. Orv says:

    All I’m thinking is, “Would the guy in the photo even fit in a Smart Car?”

  13. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Ahh, Towbin – sleaze extraordinaire.

    There are a lot of dealers in that area – literally thousands of acres of cars. One of my best friends is a service manager for a competing dealership and has shared some seriously scary stories about that dealership. The car business is sleazy in general, but this guy is over the top.

  14. I stumbled on the Chopper Show several years ago on holiday in Vegas…quality local entertainment there. Had to call in the posse to watch. Turned into a drinking game rather quickly.

    Didn’t know A+E picked it up. Lolzorz!

  15. Namrepus says:

    Isn’t this guy a total rip off artist anyways?

    [www.dealerrater.com]

    [www.choppercarsfraud.com]

  16. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    I knew people who bought cars from him out in Vegas, and got royally screwed…the numbers in the contract were different that previously agreed upon, like trade ins being originally agreed upon at several thousand, and in the paperwork being several hundred. People who don’t go over every page of their contract got screwed, and there was nothing they could do in return.

  17. Corporate_guy says:

    Wouldn’t a larger vehicle like a hummer be perfect to be turned into a hybrid or a fuel cell vehicle? It should have more than enough room for the extra components.

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    “And Towbin is an uber-Hummer enthusiast.”
    A douche, in other words. Gods, what will we use to quickly identify these guys now?

  19. Rachacha says:

    I am just trying to envision a Smart Car with 23″ custom chrome spinners and a light kit mounted to the under carriage.

  20. Parting says:

    Slow, slow, slow. In Canada, small cars like Yaris, have been on top of sales for the last 3-4 years.

  21. Cary says:

    I have a better idea – since GM can’t sell a Hummer for any price why not just give one away with a Smart car and call it a Utility Carrying case?

    Should fit with room for his gut to spare.

  22. DH405 says:

    These are the same lowlifes pushing the “half off of msrp!” crap that turns out to be a “one-payment lease.” People think they’re buying the car, but 36 months from now it is pulled out from under them.

  23. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    One payment leases are not sleazy and many times a good deal. My father in law just did this and has new wheels for the next two years at $100/mo – 10k mi/year. Perfect fit for his needs.

    What IS sleazy is the bait and switch that SMSDHubbard mentions – advertising it in big starbursts “Half off MSRP” and then in unreadable print at the bottom it turns out it’s not a purchase, it’s a lease. I would say shame on the buyer for not reading the small print, but those ads are intentionally created to be misleading and the really ugly details don’t show up until you get into the showroom or when you get to see the finance shark.

  24. MJPByron says:

    Smart cars aren’t. For less than the cost of a Smart car, you can get a used Scion xA or xB. My xA gets 31/38 routinely, requires next to no maintenance outside of oil changes, and works well for a basic suburban lifestyle. It’s Toyota so it’ll last forever. For $14k, you can get a brand new xD or xB and it does pretty much the same stuff as Smart cars do, and you can’t really head-in park in most cities anyway.

  25. nerdychaz says:

    Green is the new black