April 22 Weekly Open Thread: The "New Car" Blues
Our recent $100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge has inspired me to seek out and find a new vehicle. I won't say the brand so that nobody gets offended or sued, but I will say that so far, the experience has been a borderline nightmare.
On my first visit to the dealer, they said they can't discount any new ones at all. Then I got on the internet, and saw that they are advertising a $1,500 discount or more on all of them (after a "Dealer Fee" of $598 is added).
Now I'm getting the usual runarounds... "There's no markup to work with," and "It's the time of the year where everybody wants one."
There was the perennial favorite, "There aren't any incentives on them right now." Then I got hammered with, "What are you going to trade in?" (I never trade.) Also, "Who do you have your financing with?" (It's a cash deal, folks.) Seems they're exploring every other opportunity to stick me as well. At this point, I'm seriously thinking about forgetting the whole thing.
But the biggest "pisser" has been when I have twice placed a vehicle request all over the Middle Tennessee region, and the local dealer sees it. They saw the requests and quickly called me back to say, "You won't get a better deal than we will give you," and, "You need to come back in so we can toss some numbers around."
I should mention that the salesman I first talked to, then drove a vehicle with on the second visit, is no longer with them. And now I have been approached by another salesman that says I "have" to talk to him from now on. I haven't met him in person or driven a vehicle with the guy, so I feel that I owe him no loyalty.
I made an online offer on a vehicle they had in stock, and they didn't budge a dime from their online price. So except for getting surrounded, outnumbered, and bullied into possibly taking their numbers, I see no need for a return visit there. That second salesman is also calling here every few days.
We have a neighbor that has a fairly new one of these; his hand brake broke. This same dealer quoted $900 to fix the thing, citing all kinds of broken and/or worn out stuff. So he doesn't like the place either.
Folks, isn't this part of what got the American car makers in trouble decades ago? An unwillingness to work with a customer, or at least to not insult them? I have decided that before I go back to this dealer a third time, I'm going to ask up front that if we can't make a deal, they will pay for my gas there and buy me lunch at the restaurant of my choice. We'll see if they take that offer or not.
But I wanted to vent this experience to you dear readers, and ask for any suggestions. Should I continue to pursue this, or tell them to take a hike? Maybe even find the owner and tell him this tale?
And as usual, this place is the place for any other vehicle-related discussions... hopefully happier ones.
Image Credit: Our similarly frustrated new car buyer image is from WordPress.com.