Well, I was just thinking about a lot of stuff in the shower, as many do, and I started thinking about something interesting-- dealers displaying cars in shopping malls. This is something I used to see a lot around the Tucson area, and then, poof; they're all gone. I can tell you why they dealers failed to see the value of it.
In my neck of the woods, the Tucson Mall used to showcase some very interesting cars. It was actually the only reason I enjoyed going to the mall, as it just isn't as special as it was in the early 2000's. Suncoast Video and the Discovery store, anyone? Anyway, a local VW/Fiat/Alfa dealer used to showcase some very cool cars. I saw everything from more the mundane 500Ls, 500xs Jettas, Passats, Tiguans, and base Beetles, to Eoses, CCs, GTIs, Abarth 500s and 4Cs. You get the picture. Many times, these vehicles were displayed around an unstaffed kiosk; many of these vehicles were unlocked. I would very respectfully sit in the seat, take in the new-car smell, and daydream about driving that sexy red 4C, or little white GTI with plaid seats. This made my 18 year old self (at the time) happy as a clam. However, the more I looked around, I was astonished. Lock/unlock switches where busted, seat adjuster levers were busted, volume knobs were stolen, Monroney stickers were torn, and soft touch dashes has gouges in it. The utter disrespect blew me away. The more I saw these cars, I'd see little kids slamming doors, bringing ice cream cones in, playing hide and seek, and the parents just gazed in admiration at their children. How cute it must have been to watch them destroy property that wasn't theirs? I though I had seen it all. Nope.
One day, there was a sales person staffing the kiosk. It was was a very nice, witty lady who was there representing the dealer. I was checking out the cars as I often do, and I was small talking with her in the process. She told me all about how horrible the dealer treats her, how the sexist and anti-semitic (she was Jewish) Muslim dealer manager treats her like dirt, and would stick her with running the mall Kiosk, as well as horror stories about what often happens to the cars when they're left in the mall. The stories were juicy, as you would expect. The first one is about a first gen Tiguan. Some young pregnant broad with a two year old daughter was looking at a Tiguan. About a minute into it, the two year old starts crying and then pukes all over the center hump of the Tiguan. The mother let the sales lady clean it up. Then there was one about another first gen Tiguan. There was a family looking at it with a teenage son. They were looking over the vehicle, and then the teenaged son, who seemed mild mannered enough, started slamming doors like they would do in those early 2010's VW commercials. Well, the sales lady noticed in time that the slamming caused a huge hairline fracture in the windshield. The family got stuck with the bill, as they should. Another story was with a MK6 Jetta. Some family from Mexico thought it would be a cute idea to have a picnic in the Jetta with Mexican food from the food court. They got in when she was on break, and when she came back, she was greeted with an entire family of people eating tacos al pastor, and menudo in the car, and one person eating something sticky from the raspados stand, and several cups of horchata. They didn't speak a word of English, and the sales lady had to relay the message via a Spanish-speaking security guard that they couldn't have a picnic in the car. They got up, left, and let her clean up some trash and food drippings. Absolutely disgusting. That dealer didn't display cars in the mall much more after that. I don't blame them
Additionally, there was a Jaguar/Land Rover, Mini and Lexus dealer that would display Jag XEs, Mini Coopers and a hideous outlier Lexus NX over near Sears and Penney's. I never saw a sales person there, but they would leave a really nice, white, Jag XE on display, unlocked. I would sit in that as well, very respectfully. I never saw anything out of the ordinary on the inside. The exterior and trunk were another story. One time, I put my hand on the handle, and I was greeted with a sticky wad of blue bubble gum. When I saw, that I about gagged; I went in the restroom and scrubbed my hands like there was no tomorrow. On the other door handle, was a bloody booger wiped on it. Inside the gas lid? A Jack in the Box logo spoof sticker that said "Jack in the Crack". On the trunk lid? The J and the R in "Jaguar" was stolen of it, spelling the Spanish word for water, "Agua". However, in the trunk was a real prize. Someone decided they didn't want their doggie bag from the Vietnamese joint around the corner, and left it in the trunk. I don't know how long it was sitting in there, but it smelled like a dead cat or something. That dealer also did not have their cars in the mall for much longer.
Sucks, huh? A group of careless people destroy property that isn't theirs, and it ruins everything for everybody. Does anyone else have car display horror stories to tell? Well, besides Mercedes-Benz of Oakland. I want to hear them!!!