New OC Welch radio ads cause controversy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

New OC Welch radio ads cause controversy

OC Welch OC Welch

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - They don't call it a bailout, but the big three could be getting a big loan.

One prominent local car dealer is fuming and took his frustrations to the radio airwaves.

It's causing some controversy. The man in the middle: OC Welch. Welch says business is picking back up, but he's not expecting his new ads to make any new customers.

Saturday, five radio spots began running. One is titled, "Wake Up America." 

"One thing I wanna ask you, with those Japanese cars. Even when they are brand new, how come they don't smell like a new car? They are rice ready, not road ready," Welch says in the commercial.

"I don't think it's going too far. It's reality and I think we need a reality check," Welch told WTOC today.

Welch has no apologies for his latest radio ads. "Right now, it's running a 96 percent approval rate," he said.

He says December sales have finally improved. "Past months have been horrible. It's been a horrible year," Welch said.

If his radio commercials are any indication, OC's still in a bad mood.

"All you people who buy Toyota and send your money to Japan. When you don't have a job and can't make a payment, don't come crying to me," Welch says in, "Wake Up America."

"I'm just really sick of our government, what is happening in Washington," Welch said.

Of the five new commercials running through the end of the year, two of them focus on selling 200 more vehicles for a "Big Check" from Ford. Another offers "Three Things" the government can do to really help the auto industry.

"I think the government should have tax incentives for people to go out and spend money, whether at a mall or car dealership," Welch said.

He says of the big three, Ford is doing the best. His ad, "Cigar Box," even says so.

"You call me up. You know who this is. I'll be your huckleberry. No big deal," Welch says in the ad.

However, the big three are still calling on Washington for help. Today, Congressman Jack Kingston told WTOC help is on the way.

"It will probably be a $15 billion loan, a bridge loan, to get them to the next year and then take another look at it," Kingston said.

"It's not going to make people buy cars," Welch said. "Until people have a reason to buy vehicles that's just a band-aid."

Welch says the loan wouldn't have saved any car dealerships and won't stop more from closing. "If we don't order vehicles, it's not going to help. Until we can start selling vehicles, then there is no need to order anymore," he says. 

His radio ads however, will continue to run. Welch even welcomes negative responses to them. "That's fine with me. I'll help them write it. Mail it in. Whatever," he said.

As long as he gets his message across.

"When will you Wal-mart shoppers, you import buyers, when are you gonna wake up and do something for the United States of America," Welch asks in "Wake Up America."

"It's a little bit out there, but we are at a point where we need to be out there. This is our country. This is the USA. We need to act like it is," Welch said.

Kingston says Congress could vote on the big three loan possibly tomorrow or Wednesday. He says the loan should include clauses and stipulations, an oversight board and rules for what they can and can't use money for.

Welch just shakes his head at the whole thing. He says inventory has helped spike his business, but also helping is the fact other dealers are out of business. Those customers are coming to him. 

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