Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Stories from the Sales Frontlines

1302130223024302630273338

Comments

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,935
    edited July 2013
    Saw a Tesla parked on the street yesterday so stopped to take a look. They are absolutely beautiful...

    We were taking our daily walk at Town Center Mall in Boca Raton on Monday morning and were totally taken by surprise. We saw "Tesla" written on the front of a new tenant that is moving in to the vacated Apple Store (Apple moved into a new store three times the size of the old store)! Tesla? So I went over to one of the managers of AT&T (the store next to that vacant store) and asked him what was going in there. He responded that TESLA leased the store and is going to actually have a showroom there to show their models. Usually, the dealerships just lease some space on the walkways - Cadillac, Bentley/Rolls, Toyota, Infiniti, etc. do that - but this will be the first time a manufacturer is leasing a store. It is right across from Macy's and the new Apple Store. Should be interesting to see what the do with the space.

    Yes, driver, the Tesla is great looking, but until they produce an electric vehicle with at least a 400 mile range, it won't be on my list to look at when I buy my next car.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,522
    It's not just range, it's also refueling procedure. You need to be able to refuel/recharge in minutes, not hours.

    However, Tesla is absolutely fantastic. They are also reportedly challenging current way of doing car business, from sales, to service. Basically they don't want franchise system. No surprise all those "free market" dealership owners are trying to kill it. What's worse, several states seem to agree that free market means free to buy from this guy, but not the other one. What a phoney. I understand direct sale may not work, but it should not be state, who decides which way manufacturer wants to sell and support their product. It basically is the same crap wholesalers and traditional grocers were trying to kill supermarkets in 30s.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    We saw "Tesla" written on the front of a new tenant that is moving in to the vacated Apple Store

    There is a rumour (Cdn spelling) that the genius who started Tesla may become the president of Apple, which is struggling without Steve Jobs.

    That could be a brilliant play for both companies, esp since Tesla is really more of a computer item, than a mechanical car item. Especially when you see that huge computer monitor on the instrument panel.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,935
    It's not just range, it's also refueling procedure. You need to be able to refuel/recharge in minutes, not hours.

    I would agree with you, dino! Range is not as important as the ability to recharge fast enough to take a long trip.

    Your comments about direct sales vs. franchise is also appropriate. The store they are opening in the mall should prove to be successful because the mall is located in a high socioeconomic area - Boca Raton. If they intend to sell cars, that would be the place to sell them. I don't know where they will build their service facility, however it will be interesting how it will work in. Boca Raton because they do not allow dealerships on the city. So the store will probably be a showroom which will refer customers to Palm Beach where I believe they already have a facility.

    It will be exciting to see Tesla succeed on a market that is highly competitive. They have several models. I know their stock has been gaining significantly lately.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,785
    I've owned three RX-7's in the past and I can tell you that they are amazing cars! The power that "beer keg" rotary puts out is amazing!

    They aren't for everyone. If they get low on coolant, it'll kill the engine. If you blow a hose you CAN'T drive it to the next shop! You shut it down!!

    The weren't great on gas mileage...not horrible and they did use a bit of oil but not enough to get excited about.

    When abused or poorly maintained they would punish the owners.

    If I could find a pristine 1st or 2nd Gen RX-7, I would be all over it!
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    edited July 2013
    I don't know where they will build their service facility,

    The Tesla warranty costs $600 a year and it is quite interesting to read. Go to:
    Tesla Motors Warranty

    Some hi-lites;
    *They bring a brand new loaded Tesla to your door and they take in your car
    *Loaners are top cars in top shape, you can buy one or trade at any time, they are $1 off per mile driven. If you prefer you can try out the sports model.
    *Even if you don't take car in yearly it is still covered by warranty.
    *Quote from warranty - Unlike gasoline cars, an electric car doesn’t need oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, smog checks, etc., which are only needed if the mode of locomotion involves burning oil derived products. For an electric car, you don’t even need to replace the brake pads, because most of the braking energy is regeneratively captured by the motor and returned to the battery
    *Read about the battery warranty, they will cover it no matter what happens.

    The whole concept is remarkable. Take your car in basically for an alignment and to get software upgrades.

    Eventually there will be service centres and they are going to unplug your old battery and exchange it for a fully charged one.

    I still wouldn't buy one yet. I wonder if they will have phony exhaust sounds, I still like the sound of a gas burning engine.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,275
    edited July 2013
    Eventually there will be service centres and they are going to unplug your old battery and exchange it for a fully charged one.

    With respect to range anxiety I wrote this two years ago in a Buick forum:

    "cooleydd, ...I agree with you on the buying habits of Americans but not on the range limitations of future Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Take for example, an American company, in cooperation with the Japanese government and a Japanese taxi company, who designed a “refueling” station for electric cars. The station does not recharge the depleted batteries but instead replace them with a fresh electric battery in one minute and 59 seconds.

    Think about that for a moment, in two minutes the old battery can be swapped for a fresh one; in less time than a gasoline fill up. So, any thought of range anxiety or the need to have a second car is eliminated. And guess what? in the process will create millions of new jobs to put this new infrastructure in place.
    Here is a video link of how the system works http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lp_6VyIeSY

    Update: I read recently that the American company in question pulled out of this venture.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    in the process will create millions of new jobs to put this new infrastructure in place.

    Thanks for coming up with that bwia....that was really interesting.

    When I was imagining these transfer stations I was thinking they would need an attendant there to watch over things. But, there is a whole garage with a small imprint that can change the battery automatically in a few minutes.

    I don't know about creating millions of jobs. It will require people to move batteries around etc., but there will be a lot of gas station personnel looking for jobs too. I guess we will still need people to man the 7/11s, but even that could be automated.

    It is a huge job setting up the infrastructure, when oil and gas are already in place, but, like I say, every problem has a solution - the guy who finds it is a genius.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,918
    ...their plan is to have stores (they work very hard to avoid the dealership word) where prospective buyers are shown the features of the cars and how to order and service centers located nearby convenient to their customers. Due to the franchise laws in many states, you often can't buy a Tesla at the store. You can order it online from Tesla in CA and they then truck it to you. Tesla is opening stores in malls and retail areas because they want people to feel comfortable entering their stores. There is no price haggling, they don't have to inventory to push as all vehicles are built to order and the people in the store are more likely to have retail instead of car sales experience.

    Here in MA, they have a store at an upscale mall west of Boston (Natick Mall) and a service center just outside of Boston. An article I read said 300 Teslas are registered in MA. MA is one of the states where you have to order from California.

    Mike - Tesla has 3 stores in Flordia. 1 in Dania Beach and two in Miami at the Dadeland Mall and Lincoln Rd and two service centers with 3 more opening soon.

    Battery Swap - Tesla demonstrated a battery quick swap technology 2 weeks ago. It's an automated replacement of the batteries that will be located alongside their supercharging stations. It will cost about $60 or so to swap the batteries. You can then return to the station to get your pack back or keep the one you have for a fee as it has a longer warranty. They will be rolling them out along I5 in Los Angeles and Rt 95 between Boston and DC.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,935
    edited July 2013
    Mike - Tesla has 3 stores in Flordia. 1 in Dania Beach and two in Miami at the Dadeland Mall and Lincoln Rd and two service centers with 3 more opening soon.

    I did not know they had stores in Dadeland (south Miami, about 60 miles south of me), one in Dania (about 20 miles south of me) and one on Lincoln Road (Miami Beach - about 45 mile south of me).

    The one they are opening in Boca Raton will not be able to sell the cars from the store because Boca Raton does not allow new car sales within its city limits (no dealerships anywhere in Boca Raton). The store is supposed to open in 60 days according to The Town Center Information Booth.

    It should be interesting when the store opens. We were just talking about manufacturers doing away with dealerships - and now here is one that is starting in business with no franchises and no dealerships. That is the only way to do away with the dealerships and franchises - by not having them at all from the very beginning. I will just wait until all the variables are covered before investing in an all electric vehicle. Then I would begin looking at them seriously.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,522
    I think the battery swap is a great idea on a surface, similar to propane gas bottle exchange, but there may be issues to overcome. Suppose you have a brand new car with new battery. Then you come and they put an older one, later you get a newer one. Propane tank cost is incidental to the gas itself, considering multiple exchanges. Batteries, not so much. They age and older ones will hold charge less effectively, so there is potential arbitrage on new vs. old battery. It will not be a problem in first couple of years, but IF the solution propagates, there will be mix of new and old batteries. Once people realize that, there can be attempts to game the market, claims of being stiffed or otherwise wronged. The battery depraciation will have to be resolved in exchange system.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,935
    This sales story from my past life as a sales manager was recollected while I was at my Mercedes dealership the other day. Several of the salesmen who currently work there used to work for me at my dealership between 2004 and 2008. One of them approached me to relay a "deja vu" experience he had with a customer, the same customer we both worked with back in 2007 - a young customer who had come in to my dealership to buy a new coupe.

    He was met at the door by this salesman who showed him the coupe and had taken him on a demo drive. When they came back from the test drive, he showed the salesman his business card. The salesman came to my office and showed me the card. He was a sales manager at a Lexus dealership way out in southwest Broward Cointy. I went out to greet him and brought the salesman and the customer back to my office. He wanted to buy the car for my invoice which was $3500+ below MSRP. I told him that the owner of the dealership provides employee pricing as a courtesy to managers and salesmen who worked in dealerships in southeast Florida, which was $250 over dead cost to cover the minimum commission for the salesman and internal costs. He agreed and the salesman took him to his desk to begin the paperwork.

    When my salesman asked him for his drivers license and insurance card, several things had fallen out of his wallet - business cards from several new car dealerships naming him as a sales manager. My salesman came in to tell me what he had seen. I scratched my head and decided to call the Lexus dealership he said he worked for to verify his employment there. When I did, no one there knew who this guy was and verified that he was not an employee of that dealership.

    I got up from my desk, walked out to the customer and explained to him what I had done and that since he had lied about his employment, I was not able to sell him the car at any price. My salesman stated he had seen several business cards fall out of his wallet naming him as a sales manager at several other dealerships. He then admitted to us that he did not work in the automobile industry, but that he was an insurance salesman just trying to get a great deal on a new car. I then promptly threw him out of my dealership.

    As I mentioned at the beginning of this story, the salesman at Mercedes (who used to work for me) saw this same guy try to pass himself off as a sales manager at a BMW dealership, business card and all - a kind of "deja vu"! We both laughed while reminiscing our experience with him way back when. Luckily, they didn't get taken in by this guy.

    He must be counterfeiting business cards to pass himself off as a big shot in a dealership so he could "steal" a car from some unsuspecting dealership. My guess is that he must have succeeded several times since he was still working his scam 8 years later at a Mercedes dealership.

    I guess people will do almost anything at times to get a great deal on a car. And the most hilarious part of all this is that he could probably get that deal, or any other deal, by just simple negotiation, research and shopping. Small world this car business is!

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Couldn't they just offer exchanges of similar age stamped batteries? There would have to be a way to avoid getting an old battery.

    What they actually need is a quick high current (while staying safe) recharge. I'm thinking something that could maybe get the battery to 80% or so in 15 minutes.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,388
    >He must be counterfeiting business cards to pass himself off as a big shot in a dealership so he could "steal" a car from some unsuspecting dealership. My guess is that he must have succeeded several times since he was still working his scam 8 years later at a Mercedes dealership.

    I don't find this business card scam surprising in the least. A close friend of ours was a large office supply box store manager in Dayton metro area. He said that half of the population of the urban part of town had been in to get cards made up showing them as a pastor of a church. There must be some ability to save money on taxes if you declare yourself a pastor is what our friend assumed. Unless the Mercedes/BMW dealers were giving discounts to pastors. ;)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I've been really busy so never told this story. As we talk about all the time, used car values are pretty much stupid these days. All you have to do is troll Craig's and look for 2-3k cars and they are trash.

    So..... My sister in law who doesn't have any money needed a car. No credit, not much cash so what to do? She tried a "buy here pay here" and yes they would get her into a car but at a huge cost (like probably 30% above what the sucker is worth).

    I went out on a search and couldn't believe the garbage in the 2-3k range. I ended up finding a 99 Century (beige/beige) with a little over 100k with everything working including a/C. It was listed at 2800. Since I had to be out of town, my wife and SIL went to look it over sent me pictures etc. it checked out, older man driven one owner. I told my wife to offer 2400. Guy wouldn't budge, so I said wave 2600 cash in the guy's face. Still wouldn't budge, he caved at 2700 which judging by what it out there, they did fine. So far the car is serving her well. Very boring, but safe for a young girl and infant.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,072
    you are making me think I should of held out for more when I sold my Integra. though entirely possible if you had come to see it you would have put it in your trash pile...

    I am still happy to have freed up a garage space and some cash, so not really worried about it. But man, did I get a lot of hits on that.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    "Well Celine Dion was part of the joke as well - right??"

    Driver--

    Your statement about Beiber and Dion reminded me of a funny back and forth between Canadian and American border patrol agents fighting over an arrest on the Niagara River above the falls in an episode of The Simpsons.

    American patrolman: "Beat it you puck smacking maple sucker!"
    Canadian Patrolman: "Take a hike you Shatner stealing Mexico touchers!"

    Gogiboy
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,855
    edited July 2013
    Four months ago, I traded in my '11 Explorer and got what I thought was pretty good money for it.
    According to the dealer website, they haven't sold it yet, but they are asking more money than when it was originally offered.
    The property tax on my 91 Mustang went up 30% from last year, although not a big number.
    The property tax on my '02 Explorer went up too, but not as much.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,707
    edited July 2013
    "...99 Buick Century with a little over 100k...listed at $2800..."

    That's actually not bad if it's not a rust bucket. (I wouldn't touch one from NY) While that era Century was not a bad car I actually have an interest in the previous generation on my list of bargain transportation vehicles.

    This generation was the best selling Buick for many years:
    http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/3892332010.html

    Your 99 was probably a good deal at $2700:
    http://sarasota.craigslist.org/cto/3848401588.html

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    edited July 2013
    American patrolman: "Beat it you puck smacking maple sucker!"
    Canadian Patrolman: "Take a hike you Shatner stealing Mexico touchers!"


    That is cute....sometimes the Simpsons nail it.

    I forgot to mention William Shatner and Leslie Nielson.

    Martin Short and Eugene Levy went to my high school.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    image

    Sarasota! A Florida Buick...it has got almost wire wheels on it, just needs a vinyl roof and you would be all set.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,275
    edited July 2013
    Good news as we celebrate the 4th. of July. Thanks in part to the auto bailout (?) and to the many new and fuel efficient vehicles hitting the market.

    Auto sales grew 9.2 percent during June to 1.4 million vehicles, compared with about 1.28 million in the same month a year ago, according to the Autodata Corporation and the NYT.

    But the bigger surprise was the closely watched seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, which came close to 16 million vehicles during the month — the highest level recorded since 2007.

    Sales at the Detroit Big 3:
    GM --- 265,000 units, up 6.5%
    Ford---235,000 units, up 13.4%
    Chrysler – 156,000 units, up 8.2%

    The foreign brands did very well also except for Hyundai and VW:
    Toyota – 195,000 units, up 9.8%
    Honda – 137,000 units, up 9.7%
    Nissan – 104,000 units, up 12.9%
    Hyundai – 65,000 units, up 1.9%
    VW – sales fell by 0.3 percent

    Sales of electrics were up sharply. The Nissan Leaf was up 315 percent and GM’s Volt was up 53.0%. Thanks to incentives?

    What is driving this demand? According to the NYT, “analysts said the results were an indication of an industry hitting a sweet spot in its comeback, because of a combination of pent-up consumer demand, more available credit and a plethora of new products.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/business/a-stronger-economy-lifts-june-auto-sa- - les.html?src=recg
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,707
    "...Nissan Leaf was up 315% and GM's Volt was up 53%..."

    So what's that mean, they sold about a dozen between the two? :P

    I tried to get enthusiastic about electric cars but there's just too many limitations to make them practical outside of major urban areas. And in urban areas public transit is superior to the cars. :(

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,707
    "...a Florida Buick..."

    If you were in modest financial circumstances which would you rather pay to repair, a 14yo Buick or a 14yo BMW?

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    If you were in modest financial circumstances which would you rather pay to repair, a 14yo Buick or a 14yo BMW?

    Definitely the Buick, if I had to.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    We are off to Chicago just for 2 days...will try to do waterfront boat tour and achitectural tour if at all possible.

    I was charging up the Netbook and the mouse isn't working, but you can work it by touching the pad. We aren't great at that. The mouse was working fine a few weeks ago, not it doesn't seem to work at all.

    Is there a setting I can go to to get the mouse going again?

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,072
    this a wired or wireless mouse? If wireless, check battery.

    also, look for a switch on the mouse that turns it off. maybe that happened inadvertently.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,480
    Thanks stick........it is not wireless.

    I'll check to see if the mouse could be off......but it does light up blue when plugged in. Also tried an old larger mouse and it didn't work either.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,072
    if it is USB, and you have another port, try that.

    also the obvious, reboot and see what happens.

    I have no idea what settings you might want to check on one of those.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,935
    Martin Short and Eugene Levy went to my high school.

    Sheldon Leonard (producer/director of the Dick Van [non-permissible content removed] show) and James Cagney were both graduates of my High School - Peter Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. It was a specialized Math and Science magnate for all 5 boroughs of New York City.

    Happy Canada Day, driver!

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

This discussion has been closed.