Few things generate as much cringe as a corporate TikTok, but one dealership in Arizona has struck viral gold for all the wrong reasons. Employees at Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Surprise, Arizona, rang on their absurdly high car payments, and the internet doesn’t have it.
The dealership has since deleted two of its videos where it asks employees to participate in their car payments, but copies and stitches react to the videos are still there. The principle is simple: it is a summary of the amount that the employees of the dealership pay per month for the vehicles they own, indicating only the monthly payment and the car for which it is intended.
To be fair, the Miller dealer is not neither is the only one to have done so. Other dealerships have everything from fairly normal payout rounding to more high dollar cringe. Still, dealer Miller’s Arizona is the one that released a “Big Boy Edition!!!” (direct quote from video text) of all four-digit payouts, and it’s the one that’s garnered the most viral attention.
The reactions were overwhelmingly negative, for understandable reasons. It’s deaf to publicize your employees’ highest car payments at a time when average monthly car loan payments are skyrocketing in a way that seems straight out of 2008. new car was $667 in the second quarter of this year, per Forbescompared to $582 in the second quarter of 2021. A record 12.7% of new vehicle loans issued in June 2022 had four-digit monthly payments according to Edmundsup from 7.3% in June 2021. Interest rates are on the rise and the assortment of supply chain disruptions in 2022 have driven car prices even higher, and that’s pressuring everyone, in particularly subprime borrowers, under less favorable terms that ultimately force them to pay too much over the term of the loan and this could put some borrowers in default.
There’s a disturbing “we do it too” factor in videos like this that works to normalize gargantuan monthly payments, whether or not that’s part of the dealer’s intent. (The reader contacted the dealership in the video for comment and has not received a response at the time of this writing.) Miller’s video only lists the type of car being financed, not the terms of the loans or any relevant data on borrowers, such as salaries or credit scores. Dealership employees aren’t usually high rollers, and frankly, it should be shocking to hear them shelling out so much on a single monthly car payment.
A few theories as to why these payouts are so high stood out in the reactions to this video. JD Power Vice President of Data and Analytics Tyson Jominy suggested on Twitter that these employees intended to flip the cars in light of the bizarre 2022 auto market, accepting higher payments to keep interest rates as low as possible. “All smart dealership employees return cars every six months and earn $5,000,” Jominy tweeted.
Another theory posted by a TikTok user ben_bossed_up– who says he has worked at other dealerships before – noted the added pressure on sales staff to sell to themselves when sales numbers are down. It’s still a sale, so it still counts.
Yet pair this contextless foray into dealership employee car payments with a social feed that also heralds the dealership’s willingness to work with subprime credit ratings, and it leaves you with the worst taste in your mouth. TikToks referring to pay $800 per month for a Jeep as if it didn’t matter “hit different” in this context, as The Teens(tm) might say. Borrowing to buy a new car isn’t inherently bad, but the hyper-focus on monthly payments and the normalization of paying more for a car than many mortgages aren’t good for anyone.
All this to say, please stick to usual cringe on the TikTok company. Your “classmates” will thank you if they don’t fall for loans they can’t afford.
Do you have any advice? Contact the author: [email protected]