On national television earlier this month, Chevrolet car salesman Matt Darcy advised consumers to shop their consciences and not simply "Buy American."
"If America makes a good product, I buy it," Darcy told 60 Minutes. "If they don't, I buy what's good for my money. I don't have to spend money because it's American. I buy it because it's a good product."
A few days later, he was fired.
Gordon Stewart, who owns a Chevrolet dealership outside Detroit, said he fired Darcy because his comments angered the General Motors employees who account for more than half of his customers.
"He chose the wrong forum. We couldn't continue to have him represent us with this obvious conflict," Stewart said. "Blue-collar workers take umbrage to the statements he made."
Darcy apparently won't be unemployed for long.
His answering machine was jammed with job offers this week after news of his dismissal became public, he said.
"I think there were 25 messages on it. I can't believe it," he said. The callers included representatives of Buick and Mitsubishi dealerships, a radio station, and a desktop publishing business.
Darcy, 31, a former GM assembly line worker, said he never advised anyone not to buy American.
"I wouldn't be selling these cars if I didn't believe in them," he said. "I don't know if I wasn't waving the flag enough or what. I really don't think I did anything wrong."