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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,167

    @roadburner said: No, you are right; that was an option on some T Birds- and I think Chrysler offered it on some of their cars as well.

    Yes, you are correct...both had them. I think the swivel seats were standard in a T-Bird. We would probably have them today, except they probably won't meet safety requirements.

    Did anyone tell me how to put in an image? There are lots of pictures of swivel seats if you google it.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,272

    @driver100 said:

    Stever has a topic in general that includes post pics, if I do the link thing correctly you can just click on it :

    forums.edmunds.com/discussion/16564/general/x/forum-navigation-tips#latest

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,167
    edited December 2013

    @ray80 said: [forums.edmunds.com/discussion/16564/general/x/forum-navigation-tips#latest](http://forums.edmunds.com/discussion/16564/general/x/forum-navigation-tips#latest

    Thanks for the info ray...I am not sure it works as stated. I can't find the URL unless it is like the old system when I used the "image information" option. I tried it below but I don't think it is going to work.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,167

    One thing that I did master is the bookmark thing. I click on the star, check bookmarks, see if there are new posts, and go to sales frontlines. What a sense of accomplishment!

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571

    My 1974 Monte Carlo had the swivel seats- a fun novelty that was very appropriate for a baroque '70s "Personal Luxury Car."

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • mako1amako1a VirginiaPosts: 1,722

    @roadburner said:

    > My 1974 Monte Carlo had the swivel seats- a fun novelty that was very appropriate for a baroque '70s "Personal Luxury Car."

    Yeah, my buddys Monte Carlo was baroque a lot too.

    2013 Mustang GT, 2006 Silverado 2500 LT HD, 2001 GMC Yukon Denali

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025

    @roadburner said: My 1974 Monte Carlo had the swivel seats- a fun novelty that was very appropriate for a baroque '70s "Personal Luxury Car."

    With your current taste in cars, I just can't imagine you driving a 70s American piece of iron. I think I remember reading that you hopped yours up a bit. 74 wasn't exactly a high mark for performance.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571

    I didn't have much choice as my dad was helping to pay for it. He wanted me to buy from a local dealer and thought a Z28 was too fast for me(15 second quarter- a rocketship :D ). I was already hooked on BMWs and Road&Track had tested a Monte Carlo and said that it drove very well and that it would keep up with a Bavaria if the road was wide enough, so that pretty much put me in that particular car. Two years later I bought a Datsun SPL-311 roadster and since then all but two of my cars have come from either Europe(BMW, Ford of Germany, Volvo) or Japan(Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan).

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257

    So, catching up here. Since my Audi is still languising yet again at my dealership while U.S. Corporate, the Region, the Chicago dealer and the local dealer decide what to do with it., I went out looking around yesterday.

    I'm driving around in a recent (2013) 4 cyl A6 loaner. So, I must have "anti-sale" stamped on my forehead since there weren't many people who acutally approached me when I pulled into most lots.

    First up, I visited my friends at my local BMW dealership. They know me there, and were surprised to see me in any Audi. After a brief "this is a loaner...I have something else....no, it's not a BMW" chatter, we got down to talking about cars. Surprisingly, I guess cars are considered good Christmas gifts, as they were pretty busy. Luckily, my sales person has so much tenure there, he can write his own deals. He tells me he's with someone writing up a deal, and that I should look around and come back with an idea of what I might want to drive.

    Cut to the chase, I drove an X1 35ix (small SUV). It's very fast and handles well for what it is. Not sure it's size (small) makes it ideal as an SUV, but still fun. Kind of "funky" looking as only BMW can make funky look.

    I also drove a 528ix. I really have a hard time liking BMW's 4 cyl turbo. Yes, it's torquey. Yes, it's probably about the right size for me. But man, does that engine thrash. I was underwhelmed, particularly given its price (MSRP nearly $60K, not even remotely loaded).

    Was going to drive a 3-er, but figured I have enough experience that I pretty much know how they drive.

    Took a little trip to the Benz dealership. They had two CLAs. No ifs, ands, buts....they're lookers. Again, a turbo 4 cyl. There's some cost cutting that is apparent once you sit inside, and the seats may as well be church pews they're so hard. Very briefly drove one, Not bad. Peppy. Torque steer is evident if you stomp on it. Looks alone will sell these cars.

    Drove a C300 4 matic. Again, these cars drive nice. The one I drove MSRP of $50K, give or take. They aren't particularly quick. But, they have some safety features that are interesting (telling you when the car thinks you're falling asleep at the wheel). Leather's extra (huh?). Withall deference given to abacomike, I think an Accord drives better, by a pretty wide margin, than either the CLA or the C300.

    IF you made me buy a car today, based on yesterday's drives, I'd probably look more seriously at an X1 35ix. Loaded up, it comes in well under my target price, plus BMW is putting some deals out there right now.

    We'll see what Audi says next week (although I really don't want to be bothered with car shopping next week).

    If forced, I'd probably have to look at Acuras and Lexi, too.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,761
    @graphicguy>...in all deference to mike...

    gg, I have the same opinions as you regarding the C300 and the CLA. But with $5000 incentives on the E350, I think you test-drove the wrong cars. You can pick up an E350 Sport (MSRP around $58,000 - nicely loaded) for invoice less the $5000 incentive. That would be for a 4MATIC AWD. So, until Dec. 31st, you could have one of those for around $46,800. That is what I would recommend to you. Give it a shot - you might be surprised!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257

    Thanks Mike. I'm going out next week..I'll give the E350 a look.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257

    Mike...just curious, where are coming up with the $5K E350 incentives? I can't find them.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,761
    edited December 2013
    @graphicguy...where are you coming up with the $5000 incentives - I can't find them...

    Mercedes dealers have $5000 coupons on E350's, $3000 on CLS's, $1000 on CLA's, etc. These are unpublished incentives given directly to the dealer, not the customer. You may not want to wait too long since I don't know if these incentives are limited. They have been available since Nov. 1st.

    I used my USAA certificate instead of the incentive since I got $3500 instead of $3000 the dealer has. I couldn't combine the two.

    Besides, it's going to take you some time to negotiate a dead invoice price less $5000 - a dealer isn't going to drop his pants without a fight - so you may have to hit 2 or 3 dealerships before you find one ready, willing and able to do so.

    GG, best chance is at the bigger dealerships who have end of year quotas or numbers to hit. These incentives to dealers came about because Mercedes is out to take over the lead for the highest volume luxury import vehicle manufacturer from BMW. From what I understand, Mercedes has, in fact, surpassed BMW in US sales for the year.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,626

    I was also surprised that on Saturday morning, in crappy weather (up in NY), the Volvo/Mazda dealer was packed. There were multiple people waiting for salemen on the Volvo side.

    VW dealer in the afternoon was dead though.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,167

    @graphicguy said:

    We'll see what Audi says next week

    GG, great imressions of the car you drove. I especially agree with your impressions of the 528, but a 535 with M Package is a whole different animal.

    It is too bad you had so many problems with the S4 and so you will be negative on the Audi. I say that because I love driving my wife's 2013 A4. I am so glad we ended up with the Audi over the BMW 3 Series. It is a manual and the handling and gear shifting make it the nicest handling/most fun I have had driving a car. Gear changes are smooth and the little 4 can really move. The steering and handling are also the best I have experienced. She had it in for service and they installed a new program to get the Bluetooth working.

    Just a far out suggestion, but, they may make you a better deal if you took an A4. You could drive it - lease it may be better - and see how it goes. Or, I guess you have to try a Lexus/Infinity /Accura . Keep us updated.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025

    In case the next few days get away from me, here is an early Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Enjoy!

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257

    @abacomike said:
    GG, best chance is at the bigger dealerships who have end of year quotas or numbers to hit. These incentives to dealers came about because Mercedes is out to take over the lead for the highest volume luxury import vehicle manufacturer from BMW. From what I understand, Mercedes has, in fact, surpassed BMW in US sales for the year.

    Well.....got word this a.m. Audi is buying back the S4. A shame really. It's a very nice car. The dealership wanted their "loaner" car back immediately upon hearing this judgement. I asked them if I could keep it though Chirstmas, and they refused my request. They wanted it back TODAY! So, I made plans to borrow a car (a Nissan Sentra from my previous "date") and have her pick me up at the dealerhip this a.m.

    Car shopping I went.

    Mike....thanks! Went to the local Benz dealer. At first, the salesperson feigned ignorance about the "dealer certificates". I didn't want to argue and just asked if his store had them available.

    I was getting ready to leave and he asked me to stay while he asked his manager. According to the certificates this sales person had in his cubical, he'd been at this dealership for awhile. So, I figured if there were certificates to be had, he'd know about them.

    It took about 10 minutes, and just as I had my hand on their front door, he came back and said they did have certificates available. So, in the course of 10 minutes, he went from "i don't know what you're talking about" to "yes, we have some".

    In fairness, I stopped in without an appointment. But, he did take me for a test drive, albeit a very brief one. It was in an E350 sport 4matic. Very nice car. First impression is "very solid". I'm not sure it's the car meant for me, though. Maybe if I had a longer test drive it might be different.

    I thanked him for his time as he started to put the press on to buy since "end of year deals can be had".

    Drove a Volvo S60 T5 (Volvo dealership is across the street from the Benz dealership). Again, nice car...actually better than I expected. Nothing about it really grabbed me, though.

    I think a lot of this is a result of the last few cars I've owned, given they're all on the "sporty" side of lux-sports cars. I'm test driving those who emphasize lux over sports.

    Not sure where I'm going from here. I'll give my local Acura dealer a call and see what they have available. I don't want to be in a hurry. But, right now, the BMW X1 35ix seems to be the one I'm most interested in (and the least expensive of any car I'm looking at).

    I might have considered an A6 if the Audi dealer wasn't so abrupt in wanting their loaner back.

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,316

    Honda is giving dealers 3k for every car they sell above yearly target sales numbers. Good til the end of the year. You might have to work to get into that money but worth a shot if you want aHonda.

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,316

    Actually its for sales above December 2012 totals. Posted on the Wall Street Journal web site. Just google Honda $3000 dealer cash.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,028

    @graphicguy said: But, right now, the BMW X1 35ix seems to be the one I'm most interested in (and the least expensive of any car I'm looking at).

    Doesn't an optioned-up X1 35ix bust through $50K?

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,761
    TACTICS JUST NEVER SEEM TO CHANGE!

    My cousin called me last night and asked me if I would help him buy a new car. He lives up in Melbourne, FL, but since the dealerships up there are rather small with very little competition, he wanted to fly down here and drive home with his new car.

    I met him at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport early this morning. It's about a 30 min flight. He wanted to buy either a BMW 528i or a Mercedes E 350. His price range was $50,000 - $55,000.

    We first stopped at the BMW dealership I used to work with back in the mid 2000's. He drove a 528i that MSRP'd for $57,750. It had the 4 cylinder turbo, and was nicely equipped. He did not like the 4 cylinder turbo - he said it was grossly underpowered. He then drove a 535i - MSRP was $65,450, but I think he fell in love with it - even though it was $10,000 over his budget (MSRP).

    We then stopped into a Mercedes dealership just down the road so he could test drive one to see if he liked it. He drove an E 350 sport model, MSRP was $63,470. He liked the style and the interior, but I could see he was stuck on the BMW. That's why I did not take him to my dealer - if he had liked the E 350 , we would have been right around $54,000+++. Just didn't want to waste my dealership's time - which turned out to be wise.

    We then drove to the BMW dealership nearer to where I live. The place was jammed - but we finally got a salesman while we were looking at new 535i's on the new car lot.

    The car he picked out MSRP'd for just about the same as the first BMW dealership we went to. Made an offer of $55,750 +++. The salesman actually laughed at us. "...you really think you can buy a 535i for that - are you serious?" I then asked to speak with the manager. He sat down, said he had one counter offer - take it or leave it! He put a 4 square on the table and pointed to his number - $61,500+++.

    We stood up, thanked them, and walked out. We drove back out to the first dealership, made the same offer, and they countered at $56,250+++. It took 3 hours to get the car ready, complete the paperwork, and drive off with his new car. I talked him onto returning to the dealership near me because I wanted to rub the sales manager's nose in the sale contract.

    We arrived there, went inside, got the sales manager, and asked if he could join us in front of the dealership. My cousin pulled out his paid contract, pointed to his new car, and said, "...how do you like them apples?" (Reminded me of the movie Good Will Hunting).

    He turned to me and said if we weren't off his property in 2 minutes, he'd call security.

    Don't ya just love when you can turn the tables on care sales managers who lie through ther teeth? I loved every minute of it.

    My cousin left for home after we had a bite to eat. This was one of my more satisfying days!!!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,976

    @graphicguy - I have never driven the E350, but whenever I see one, I always stop and pause to admire it. Just an impressive-looking car to me. I like the coupe even better. I don't have that same sort of reaction to any of the smaller BMWs or any Japanese car, really. But obviously you need to buy what you like.

    Can you link me to a post explaining the woes with the S4? I really like those and am surprised it needs to be bought back.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Doesn't an optioned-up X1 35ix bust through $50K?

    Shifty....I think you'd really have to tick every box on an X1 35ix to get it near $50K. The one I'm looking at has the "Ultimate Package". That pretty much has everything I need/want. My dealer gives me any incentives and sells to me for $250 over invoice. I'm good with that.

    That puts me in the low $40s for one pretty loaded up.

    Dealer phone calls are coming fast and furious today. I'm not in a hurry, though.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,761
    @graphicguy....Thanks, Mike....

    Any time, gg. All it takes is knowledge - once you know what the salesman knows, you are one up on him - because now he knows he can't BS you on anything else.

    As for the BMW X1x, that is going to be darn near what the Mercedes 4Matic would be. Just take your time - BMW also has some dealer incentive money - not quite as much as Mercedes, but they have room to negotiate.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,656

    @graphicguy

    Sorry to hear about your S4. I'm glad Audi is buying the ca back from you. I'm really surprised that the dealer took their loaner back instantaneously. You'd think they'd want to turn lemons (no pun intended) into lemonade & tell you to keep the loaner for another couple of days while you consider this "knock out offer on a 2014 A6, A5, A4, Q5, Q5 diesel..." We want to keep you as a customer.

    The X1 is a nice vehicle and is especially potent in 35i guise. When you do buy, be sure to register your "punch" on CCBA;). Keep us posted!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,723

    It's the Monday before Christmas, not too many people in the office, so a quiet day. Had an appointment to look at a fluid leak in the '04 Escape. It has been leaking oil for the last year and a half, but not a lot. When I first brought it in to have it looked at, it was diagnosed as an engine front seal leak and was going to be about $900 to fix. It wasn't a big leak, so I declined to get it fixed at the time. Fast backward to last month. Escape is due for the 5k maintenance we always do, oil change/tire rotation. I told my daughter to bring it in for 'The Works' and call me about anything additional. Dealers writes up 2 problems; oil leak ($250) and front axle seal leak ($425). Told my kids to drive it back home. Same dealer that looked at it originally quoted the $900, today told me no axle seal leak and fixed the oil leak for $300. YAY! THEN, got an email from HR that company stock I bought is paying a huge dividend. YAY! THEN, wife calls me, hit a pothole and blew out a tire on her 2013 Escape. 2013 AWD, so might need all 4, probably around $900. BOO!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,028
    edited December 2013

    " He put a 4 square on the table and pointed to his number - $61,500+++." --- no wonder that salesman lost the deal. Are guys still using the foursquare? They are going to be left behind.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,761
    @MrShift....are you guys still using the four square?...

    Honestly, I hadn't seen one in over 7 years - that was the first one I have seen since then. When I managed a dealership, I did away with them - not only very old school - but insulting to the salesman and the customer.

    I would send the salesman out with an MSRP INVENTORY SHEET showing all options and pricing. Offers and counter offers all appeared on the itemized sheet - intended to show value for the money being exchanged.

    Yep - he used a four square - unbelievable .

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,723
    edited December 2013

    @abacomike said: MrShift....are you guys still using the four square?...
    Honestly, I hadn't seen one in over 7 years - that was the first one I have seen since then. When I managed a dealership, I did away with them - not only very old school - but insulting to the salesman and the customer.
    I would send the salesman out with an MSRP INVENTORY SHEET showing all options and pricing. Offers and counter offers all appeared on the itemized sheet - intended to show value for the money being exchanged.
    Yep - he used a four square - unbelievable .

    When I bought my Fusion last February, the salesman broke out the four square, but I pretty much ignored it. Funny thing is, I never saw one before I bought my 2011 Explorer. I already know exactly the specifics of the vehicle I'm looking to buy before getting to the dealership.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,761
    @explorer4...I never saw one before I bought my 2011 Explorer...

    Dealerships obviously still use them, but it depends upon the management. Old style management - old style techniques. Also, what the salesman uses to present the numbers depends on the kind of software they use and what that software generates.

    We used a software program that pulled up the vehicle being considered by VIN number. It presented the model, the color, standard features and all options spelled out showing what was included in each option. It also pulled up MSRP.

    The purpose of showing the customer all equipment and options was in case pricing could not be agreed upon - we would reduce the options the customer could live without - thus pricing got much closer to what the customer wanted to spend. We had 700 new cars out on the lots and could usually find a car on the same color but with one or two options less.

    I always felt that if you were up front with the customer, a sale was easier to make.

    But 4 squares should not be used in today's negotiations process - most customers come in knowing invoice, incentives, etc. My Mercedes dealer presents his first numbers on a similar sheet - but offers the customer the pricing Edmunds shows on their site as to what the average person is paying for that vehicle, as equipped, which is usually $2000 under MSRP, or more.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

This discussion has been closed.