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  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Yes, your credit beacon score must be above 700 points to be able to qualify for the 0% or special financing deals...this is what's called a "Tier 1" customer.
  • and overloaded with debt, so they don't qualify.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    GM just extended their 0% offer until next year. We'll see if other people match it. They included Saturn, too. First incentives for Saturns ever.

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks for your comments about 0% financing. Karen Lundegaard interviewed one of your for her article on the topic which appeared in yesterday's paper...

    Some Car Buyers Should Take
    Sellers' Rebates, Not 0% Deals
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    You're thinking of buying a new car because of the great 0% financing deals on offer. When you get to the dealership, however, you find auto makers now are limiting most interest-free financing to three-year loans. But you still can get a four-year loan for just 3.9%. And for a five-year loan, it's only 5.9%.

    Which deal is right for you? Actually, it might be none of the above.

    In many instances, buyers are finding that they may be better off taking a cash rebate in lieu of subsidized financing. That's because they often can find cheap financing on their own.

    Things have changed since the Big Three car makers rolled out their original round of 0% financing deals in September, which covered a wide variety of vehicles. A five-year, interest-free loan: the decision was a no-brainer. But the latest round of 0% deals, which run through January, isn't nearly as generous. So car buyers need to work through the numbers to figure out which deal is best for them.

    Consider Albert Follin of Framingham, Mass. All the advertisements on buying a new car with a 0% loan got him excited to buy a new $23,000 Dodge Caravan minivan. But when he checked the fine print, he found the interest-free loans were limited to three years on that model. And Mr. Follin couldn't afford the $550-per-month payments on a three-year loan.

    So, he found 5.9%, five-year financing from PeopleFirst, an online lender, and marched into his local Dodge dealership ready to take the $1,500 cash rebate on the Caravan. Once there, a salesman told him he might still be eligible for discounted 4.9% financing along with the $1,500. Mr. Follin still is negotiating the purchase. "Once you get the scent of a car, it's hard to get off that track," says Mr. Follin.

    (In fact, despite all the attention that 0% loans have received, only 25% to 30% of General Motors Corp.'s loans have been for 0%. But the marketing gambit succeeded in getting buyers into the showroom. October was a record month for U.S. car buying: 1.73 million autos were sold.)

    For other car buyers who, like Mr. Follin, are similarly intoxicated by the scent of a new car, here are some tips on getting the best deal:

    Start by doing research before even stepping into the dealership. Find out if the vehicle even has a 0% deal. Such financing is no longer available on certain models that sell well on their own, such as the Chevrolet Corvette sports car or the Ford Escape sport-utility vehicle. Next, determine if there are other incentives offered on the vehicle. The manufacturer's Web site should have up-to-date information on these.

    Car-information service ( has a particularly helpful Web site. First, it has information on all models for comparison shopping among brands. But Edmunds also publishes the so-called true market value for each model. This is the price that the model has been selling for in your area, and it roughly should be the price you expect to pay for it. Be sure to note the invoice price and the sticker price as well. All of that becomes handy when you're ready to negotiate a price.


    Low Interest or Cash Back?
    Should you take the current zero-interest and low-interest rates from auto makers or get your loan elsewhere and take a $1,500 cash rebate, thus financing less?

    Amount financed Total price, with interest, over the life of the loan
    $20,000 3 years at 0% 4 years at 3.9% 5 years at 5.9%
    $20,000 $21,633 $23,144
    $18,500 3 years at 5.75% 4 years at 5.99% 5 years at 5.99%
    $20,186 $20,851 $21,454
    Adding it up Take the auto maker's
    financing, save $186 Take the rebate
    and save $782 Take the rebate
    and save $1,690


    Then, find out what kinds of loans are available from independent lenders. Check with bank and credit unions, as well as with online lenders, such as PeopleFirst ( and E-loan Inc. ('s Web site ( lists average loan rates by ZIP Code, so car buyers can determine if they are getting a good deal.

    With such numbers in hand, car buyers might find that the much-ballyhooed financing offers aren't all that they are cracked up to be.

    Say you're looking at a 2002 Ford Windstar, which now comes with either a $1,500 cash rebate or a no-interest three-year loan, a 3.9% four-year loan or a 5.9% five-year loan. If you are going to finance $20,000 of the minivan's roughly $22,000 price, you probably are better off taking the cash and putting it toward the down payment. (This holds true unless you are willing to take a three-year loan, and the higher monthly payments that come with it, because the loan has to be paid off faster.)

    If you take the $1,500 rebate, you would finance $18,500. Currently, a conventional lender will give you a rate as low as 5.99% on a four-year car loan, resulting in a monthly payment of $434. By contrast, if you pass up the rebate and instead take Ford's 3.9% financing on $20,000, your monthly payment will be $451. The bottom line: Taking the rebate will save roughly $800 over the life of the loan. On five-year loans, the savings from taking the cash can stretch to almost $1,700.

    Even if the low-financing deal comes out slightly ahead on paper, it is still worth considering the cash deal, says Jeremy Anwyl, president of Many consumers don't keep their cars long enough to take full advantage of a low interest rate, he says. If there is a good chance you'll be paying off the car loan early, take the rebate money.

    Of course, some discounted rates from car makers are still great deals. Thomas Capote of Orange County, Calif., was planning on buying a new Ford F-250 Crew cab truck sometime next year, but when he heard about the 0% rates, he figured, "Now is the time to buy."

    But when Mr. Capote went on Ford Motor Co.'s Web site, he found the 0% rates were available only on three-year loans for the F-250, and he wanted a five-year loan. The five-year rate he could get for the $24,667 he was financing was 2.9%. The other option was a $1,000 cash rebate from Ford and a 6.49% loan from his credit union. Mr. Capote set up his own spreadsheet and did the calculations. He chose Ford's 2.9% financing deal over the rebate, saving himself roughly $1,500 over the credit-union loan, he says.

    The watering down of the 0% financing deals also means that car shoppers need to remember the cardinal rule of car-buying: It pays to negotiate.

    Mary Butler, senior editor at (, an automotive Web site,
  • Ateixeira, Saturn actually has had special financing rates available on its cars for the past several years. As far as the other major manufacturers that are offering 0.0% financing go, like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford extended their 0.0% offers with some revisions to the longer term rates (48 & 60 mo.).

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Also, Chrysler just extended its warranty, which is now 7/100 on the powertrain. That's significant.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Juice, it's significant only if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a long time. Unlike most extended warranties, the Chrysler 7/100 is not transferrable to a new owner before the expiration. So if you sell it at the 4 year or 50,000 mile mark, the warranty is over.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Most of the extended warranties (past the bumper to bumper) that near 100K miles are not transferrable.

    10/120K on the Isuzus (longest std warranty by the way)
    10/100K on the Hyundais and Kias (IIRC)
    7/100K on the Chryslers
    x/100K on the VWs(not sure if it's non-transferrable)

    Of course the items that usually put you in the poor house are not the ones covered by most of the non-bumper to bumper extended warranties. Items like A/C, Electrical, Suspension, etc. etc. are not covered.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think VW just changed it this year. It used to be transferable to family members only, now it's fully transferable. But they are the exception, so good point.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is the whole thing transferrable? For instance the BtoB is transferrable on the isuzus, but not the Powertrain part.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, at least that's what the AN article said.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, correction. The warranty is indeed transferable, but it's now 4/50 bumper to bumper and 5/60 powertrain. So the B2B is much more comprehensive than before (it was 2/24), but the powertrain warranty has actually gotten shorter.

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    i'm a reporter with the wall street journal working on a story about navigation systems and i'd like to talk to any ls430 owners about how you like the voice-control features. if you'd be willing to talk about your car, please send me an email telling me how to contact you. thks,
    [email protected]
  • anybody wonder what chryslers sales would have been without 0%?

    they were flat with 0%, GM and Ford were up over 30 %
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    The Hyundai 10yr/100k bump-to-bump warranty is transferable. That was one of the selling points of the extra warranty.
  • Its a 5yr/50K bumper to bumper (or is it 5yr/60K).

    That transfers, but the 10yr/100K is a powertrain warranty.. and it only transfers to immediate family members. Once you sell or trade the car it becomes 5yr 50 or 60K.

  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    You are correct about the 10yr/100k 'powertrain' factory warranty. The one I was talking about is the 'extra' 10yr/100k 'bumper to bumper' warranty that I purchased from the dealer.
  • Gotcha
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Extended warranties you purchase are generally transferrable. We were talking about the std. Powertrain ones that are covering 10/100K or more.

  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    Hyundai posted it's numbers for the oct.

    They doubled there numbers for oct'01 vs oct'00.

    They are up almost 100k units over last year at this time. Where are they pulling buyers from?

    What is pulling them? price and/or warranty? Someone lost sales.

  • Remember everyone, this particular discussion was created so that community members can respond to requests from the media. If you would like to get into a running conversation about a particular topic, like Korean vehicles, there are plenty of discussions out there that would be more appropriate. Thank you.

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I was wondering if any of the press people who you guys are in contact with might be interested in an upcoming event that some of the subie owners are running. "The 48hrs of Tri-state Benefit Run" is a 1200 mile drive-a-thon to raise money for the WTC victims and families. Check out our webpage at Thanks.


  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    I'll alert some of my friends in the media to your event. Are you recruiting participants using Town Hall?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a few guys from the subaru crew coming from edmunds. I will probably post up in some of the other owner's areas to recruite people as well.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I leased a '97 rodeo, ended up on the wrong side of the odometer with about 15K extra miles and payed for that. Decided I had to buy my next truck and bought an '00 Trooper. With no downpayment $ I pay $700/mo for 48 months. Feel free to have em contact me for more details.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I paid cash buy way back in August 1998. That doesn't qualify as "recently".

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,616
    When I met the woman who is now my wife, she was in the beginning months of a 4-year lease on a Gallant. About a year into our relationship, I got myself into a 3-year lease on a 626. Of course, not looking into the future, I didn't see us getting married, moving into a house, getting new jobs, etc. So we were looking at being way over on the miles on both cars which would end their leases right around the same time. This was just no good. We attempted to unload her car first as a trade-in since it was older and worth FAR less than was owed. Turned out that nobody wanted to get us out of the lease and we basically had to buy a used vehicle and keep the Gallant in the back yard in order to stop putting miles on it. Its still sitting there, by the way, and needs to go back in 2 months where we will have to come up with about $1300 to pay for the miles. Anyway, we waited a while and then decided it was time to do something about getting out from the 626 since I was getting close to my miles limit and still had a year to go. I certainly wasn't going to have another vehicle sitting in the back yard. So I managed to trade it in and bury about $4,000 into a slightly used volvo. As a result, I'm paying about $430 a month for 6 years on a $20K car with no money down. I think we'll come out ok in the end, but it was a tremendous amount of work, stress, and time to compensate for the leases. Needless to say, we will never do it again.

    footnote: yes, of course I could have bought the cars out from their lease, but what is the point in paying $12K for a car that is worth only $8K, especially when you don't want to own that car - that's why you leased it in the first place!

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • I bought a Toyota Celica, cash, last year. Monthly consumer payments annoy me, and except for my mortgage I avoid them. For the same reason I would never lease a car. I plan to drive this one for at least eight or ten years.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good for you. Why pay interest, right?

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks to all who have responded so far - it will be fun to see who best fits the reporter's needs. I'll post the story as soon as it appears in the paper. Meanwhile, for those of you just joining us, we're looking for:
    1. someone who recently paid cash for a vehicle.
    2. someone who has been leasing for awhile and is sort of stuck
    leasing--with no trade-in or discretionary budget to buy new.
    3. someone who had been frustrated in that situaiton, but finally bit the bullet and bought a car, but is paying for it with high monthly payments.
    If you are interested in sharing your story, please post here and/or contact Jeannine Fallon at [email protected] It is always helpful if you include your daytime phone number, and city and state of residence.
    Thanks as always.
  • sarah233sarah233 Posts: 161
    #2 above, but I don't feel "stuck" leasing. Just got out of a 3 yr. lease 2 months early to start another lease on a better, more fabulous car.
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    On Nov 23rd, I traded in my '94 Accord coupe, and bought a '02 Hyundai Sonata GLS w/ moonroof. With the trade and negotiations, I got the car with the 10yr/100k mile bumper to bumper warranty for $14k cash. I figure 14K for good wheels for the next 100k miles is pretty short money. The warranty is the icing though. No deductible, if it breaks they fix it. If you need a loaner, done deal.
    I wasn't really in the market for a new car, but the Accord needed 2 major services (133k miles) and it didn't owe me anything. I noticed the new styling of the Sonata '02 as I drove past the Hyundai dealer, stopped in the next day, took it for a test drive, bounced thier offer off of other dealers, dealed a little more, and went to the bank. I am really happy with the car, and the fact that I didn't need to take a loan.
  • I paid cash for 7 cars this week.

    Wait. Im a dealer. OK.

    Nevermind then.

    Just keeping Jeannine on her toes. haha

  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    With loan rates under 5% for most new vehicles now why not put the money to work for yourself. While this probably doesn't work with the bear market of the past couple of years I'd hedge my bet and finance and keep that money working for me.

    Sorry, I know my opinion isn't what you are looking for.
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    I ran the numbers on a loan, even the best loan going is at 3.9%, unfortunately Hyundai wasn't/isn't offering apr% deals on their 2002 model sonata. On 4yrs @ 3.9%, $14k would cost $1150. If someone knows of a 'guaranteed' investment that would yeild more than 3.9% apr on 4 years, let me know. A 4yr cd is maxed at 3.9%. If guaranteed yeilds were in the 5% or more, then that's a different story. Bottom line cost with a loan is more. If the market took off in a year, then my choice wouldn't have been the greatest.
    Alot of my decision for buying a new car came from the fact that my honda needed $1000 to $1500 in work, timing belt, clutch, clutch master and slave cylinders, and an a/c service. It still had the origonal starter ,alternator ,cv shafts, accessory belts, not bad for 133k miles.
    The full bottom line cost $12.5k ($14k-$1.5k) is pretty decent. I don't think that there is a car out there that can match options (same vehicle class) and be guaranteed for 10yrs or 100k miles for the same money.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,616
    well, just real quick cause this isn't the place. But, odd1 said he'd "bet" that he would be able to do better. Not that you can at the moment, but don't forget that it was only a year ago that you COULD get a 5-year CD at better than 5% (I got a 2-year at that time for 6.75). So when the market improves, if you still had that money then you could jump on something better than the current low financing. But, yes, still a gamble. Not a bad one, though.

    But, believe me, I'm not saying you're wrong in paying cash. Wish I could. ;)

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Why cash? Several reasons, in my case.

    First, many people don't qualify for those 0% loans. I heard only 25-30% of customers end up getting it. You have to score 700 or higher in your credit report. Also, those are some times for 2 year term max. Payments would be close to one grand a month.

    Second, you give up massive rebates. Some times the 0% replaces a $2000 rebate, even more.

    Last and most important, if you have the money, odds are you will spend it on something else. How many people honestly have the will power to go open a new account? Even then, the market has been rocky lately.

    That's my case, every one is unique, of course.

  • I paid cash because my daughter is sixteen. (I also had to buy the car because she is sixteen, so that she can have my old Honda.) In about a year and a half, I'm going to have to fill out one of those ghastly forms for college financial aid. It is better to buy a car for cash before that moment, because all my assets will be counted at that time and deducted from any possible aid package. I will look more eligible, on paper, for having paid cash now. (In fact it would also be better to spend all the college savings on a trip to France or something, but this I can't bear to do.)

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    No wonder all the journalists are coming here for good commentary - you all offer some great perspective! Thanks.
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Here's the Chicago Tribune article as it appears today - thanks to all who participated.
    Buyers often pick their cars through a process of elimination
    by Rick Popely
    Published December 10, 2001
    The auto industry spends truckloads of money each year analyzing why people buy vehicles, but a clearer picture of their preferences may be found in their reasons for rejecting certain models.

    "Why consumers rule out vehicles is a much better insight into the shopping process," said Chris Denove, a partner with J.D. Power and Associates, which surveys consumers about their buying decisions.

    "People are much more specific when they talk about why they don't buy certain vehicles. When they talk about why they bought a particular vehicle, they can be pretty vague."

    Denove says price is often the driving factor when consumers narrow their candidates to a handful of vehicles from the hundreds of new models.

    "Less affluent buyers are rejecting a Toyota Camry for something less expensive, and more affluent buyers are rejecting a Mercedes S-Class and buying something less expensive," he said.

    "If they have an $18,000 budget, it automatically rules out just about everything that is $20,000 and above."

    When consumers compare vehicles in the same market segment, a lower price will transform more shoppers into buyers, Denove said, citing BMW and Acura as examples. BMW is desirable because of its performance image and European lineage, and Acura offers less panache but a better price-value relationship.

    "BMW gets a large number of aspirational shoppers, but a relatively low number of those shoppers will buy a BMW because the vehicle is out of their price range," he said. "Many of those people will end up buying an Acura instead."

    Robert Hammen, a 36-year-old information technology manager from Wisconsin, wanted a car with strong acceleration, but his price limit of $30,000 eliminated most European and Japanese sports sedans. He lowered his sights and bought a used Oldsmobile Aurora with a V-8 engine for $17,000.

    "I don't want to be paying for a car for five or six years," Hammen says. "With so many models out there, shopping really starts with a process of elimination."

    He lopped more than 50 models off his shopping list by dismissing all sport-utility vehicles.

    "I'm one of the rare ones out there," he said of his distaste for SUVs. "I enjoy a car with good handling and performance, and those aren't reasons for buying an SUV."

    Viktoria Rastorgoueva, a computer programmer from Algonquin, shortened her list by eliminating minivans after looking at a Toyota Sienna, though it offered ample room for hauling her two dogs and was within her price range.

    "With a minivan, you might as well just put a big cross on yourself and say, `I'm a soccer mom,' and I didn't want that," said Rastorgoueva, 34, who is married but has no children.

    "I don't like mainstream cars either. I had a Honda Accord before, and it was a fine car, but every other Joe has one."

    Instead, she bought a Subaru Outback wagon, which has room for her dogs but is "less soccer-mommy."

    J.D. Power says 20 percent of consumers reject vehicles because they don't like the styling, one of the highest reasons. Even consumers who say styling is not their prime motivator will reject vehicles that don't please their eyes.

    Hammen, for example, ranks styling fifth among his priorities, behind reliability, safety, price and whether a vehicle fits his needs.

    However, he blew off the Chevrolet Impala because of its styling, despite rating it "a great value" at less than $24,000 loaded.

    "It's a classic example of a car designed by a committee," he said. "The guys who did the front and the back never met. I want to like it, but I can't. Sometimes my heart overrules my head and [styling] trumps the other ones."

    Another car doomed by design in Hammen's book was the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus, which he thinks "looks like a fish."

    Michael Ireton, who is working on a doctorate in architectural history, and his wife, an architect, didn't look at vehicles both didn't find attractive.

    "If it doesn't have a design that appeals to us aesthetically, we won't even consider it," Ireton said, adding there was little debate over styling. "Because we're both involved in design, it's almost a shared, unspoken thing."

    Bottom line: People won't buy a vehicle they think is ugly.

    Other reasons for rejecting vehicles are just as personal yet more practical, says Denove, such as size and interior space. "Twice as many people are likely to reject a vehicle for being too small than too big,"

    Interior space is at the top of the list for Ireton, who at 6-foot-5 says his knees are "up around my ears" in the front seat of most vehicles.

    His wife, Joni, is 5-foot-11, and they are expecting their first child, making rear seat room a concern.

    Ireton eliminated dozens of vehicles by browsing specifications on the Web site.

    "I don't know what a compression ratio is, but I know that 43.7 inches of leg room means I will probably fit," he said.

    Even so, several candidates that survived the initial cut were scratched when the Iretons tried them on at dealerships.

    "We would walk into the showroom and tell them, before you even think about going on the road, first we have to see if we fit," he said. They settled on a 2002 Toyota Highlander, which they found roomier and more appealing that the Lexus RX300, with which it shares major mechanical components.

    J.D. Power says one in five consumers will reject a vehicle because of doubts about its reliability, and they are more likely to reject a domestic vehicle for this reason.

    "The quality gap between imports and domestics is now much smaller, but perceptions tend to lag reality by a few years," Denove said.

    Fifteen percent of shoppers rule out models because they were unhappy with their experience at the dealership, and 10 percent reject vehicles because of low fuel economy, though the percentage is much higher with large SUVs.

    More than 20 percent of shoppers will kiss off one brand for another that offers a better incentive. This affects domestic brands more than imports because the domestics depend more on incentives for their sales.

    "Every year, incentives seem to become deeper ingrained in the American buyer," Denove said.

    "Now, consumers simply expect to get a rebate or interest-rate incentive."

    Copyright © 2001, Chicago Tribune
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Attention: recent buyers who were drawn into the market by zero-percent financing or other major incentive earlier than they had planned to buy. I'm looking for people who weren't planning to buy this fall but just couldn't resist the incredible offers like zero percent, particularly from the domestic brands. I would like to know how much you borrowed, how much you pay per month and how soon you expect to be back into the market -- whether that is next year or next decade. Your identity will be protected upon request. Also, if there is anyone who blew off zero-percent in favor of an import brand, I would like to talk to them also. Please respond to me c/o [email protected] Thanks!
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    I'm a repoter working on a story about the shift in sales from domestic automakers to Asian-based. I'm looking for someone who just bought their first Toyota after owning GM, Ford or Chrysler vehicles in the past. Thanks. You can reach me at [email protected] or via [email protected]
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,616
    may I ask why just Toyota? Is this some sort of elaborate advertisement for Toyota? Doesn't sound like a good news story (or legitimate one) if only concentrating on one manufacturer. Heck, I'm going to be blunt: sounds more like a marketing rep asking this than a "reporter". Am I warm?

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    I know the reporter personally and feel sure he must have a great reason for only focusing on Toyota...
    At any rate, he's got everything he needs now so let's move on to the next request...
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Now we're looking for consumers who bought used vehicles (preferably certified used) manufactured by Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes and/or Volvo. Maybe you always bought new and now are trying out the used car market because you are tired of huge depreciation, want to take advantage of great used deals and expect no one will know the difference since your used vehicle is in great shape.
    Or, maybe you've been buying used for years, enjoying how great the deals can be.
    If you care to be quoted by a major newspaper regarding your experience, please post here and/or respond to [email protected] with your story and contact info. Thanks!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    We bought a BMW Certified Pre-Owned 1997 528iA. Great car, great price, great warranty. I like to let someone else take the hit on depreciation. Let's see... 1997 528i or a new Accord/Camry/Impala/Regal/Taurus? Gee, that was a tough call.
  • If it helps...

    I sell used Highline cars. ANd I am selling a LOT more to people who were new mass-market customers. Its reflected inthe trades I am taking in.

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks. I'm forwarding your comments along and expect the reporter will come to you directly to follow-up. Please feel free to contact me offline at [email protected] if you have any questions.

    Any other takers?
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    November 16, 2001
    Financing Deals for New Cars
    Shake Up Market for Used Cars
    Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    DETROIT -- The 0% financing offers that have boosted new-car sales to record heights are shaking up the used-car market, too.
    As buyers pounce on Detroit's financing deals for new vehicles, inventories of used cars are piling up, forcing most used-car dealers to slash prices to move vehicles off their lots. But some are holding back and expanding their used-car lineups even more, on a bet that demand for new cars will weaken early next year when the attractive financing offers end.
    The upheaval in what amounts to a futures market in used wheels has a lot of players on edge. Manufacturers are finding that leased vehicles at the end of their contracts are fetching less than expected at the big wholesale used-car auctions where dealers buy stock. At the same time, many dealers, who also routinely put cars up for sale at the wholesale auctions, have been pulling their cars out after receiving unacceptably low bids. "The market is not quite good enough so they're waiting it out," says Tom Kontos, vice president of industry analysis at ADESA Corp., an auto auction company based in Indianapolis.
    Consumers are the clear winners in all this. Prices are now some 10% or more below summer levels. The wholesale selling price for a late-model used car was $9,300 in October, down from $10,400 in August, according to data from 140 auto auctions nationwide. Last year, prices dropped between $300 and $400 during the same time period. So far in November the average price fell another $100.
    Joe Ferezy, used-car general manager at giant Ford dealer Galpin Motors Inc. in North Hills, Calif., says a used Explorer sport-utility vehicle is retailing for about 20% less than last year, starting at about $15,000.
    "We're getting $200 or $300 less than levels last year. Our gross on the deal has gone down," says Walt Thatcher, general sales manager of Bill Currie Ford Inc. in Tampa, Fla. "We're not trying to make a lot of money here."
    The 0% financing deals on new vehicles, which auto makers instituted to pump up sales that had fallen sharply in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, led a lot of traditional used-car buyers to purchase new vehicles. While new-vehicle sales climbed 35% in October, used-car sales grew by a more modest 4.5% that month, according to Art Spinella, vice president and general manager of CNW Marketing Research Inc. in Brandon, Ore.
    But the subsequent tumbling prices and widening inventory of used cars is starting to sway some consumers back to the used side. Janet Stemmer and her husband had been waiting for the redesigned 2002 Honda CR-V sport-utility vehicle, which is just about to hit showrooms. But they have since decided to look at a used CR-V or Subaru all-wheel-drive model.
    "There seems to be a glut of decent used cars around," Ms. Stemmer says.
    A number of factors have contributed to the surplus of used cars. Most of the new-car buyers -- more than half in October -- traded in their old vehicles when they bought their new car. Dealers now have to move all of those trade-ins. In addition, many rental-car companies, stung by the downturn in travel, are unloading vehicles they no longer need. Analysts say the rental agencies need to reduce fleets by 20% to 30%, which would amount to tens of thousands of vehicles nationwide. At the same time, leases are expiring on a flood of vehicles; most of them will end up in used-car lots, too.
    In addition, in the high-end, luxury market, "a lot of people dumped their vehicles and pulled their money out," after Sept. 11 brought heightened economic jitters, says Gary Brustein, co-owner of Champion Motor Group Inc. on New York's Long Island. "All of a sudden there was a lot of supply and demand wasn't there." He says his used BMW M5s used to sell at prices in the high $70,000s. Now they are priced at about $60,000. And his 2001 Ferrari 360 Modenas sold this summer for $225,000. Now they are priced at $179,000.
    Some dealers see an opportunity in the used-car pileup. Many say they are gearing up for a big used-car sales year in 2002. They expect demand for new cars to fall as consumers grow more nervous about the economy, and as manufacturers back off expensive incentive spending and refocus on making profits. This week, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the biggest U.S. auto companies, extended their 0% financing programs into January for three-year loans but offered less-generous terms for longer contracts.
    "We think [new] car sales are going to be down, at least in the first half," says Fritz Hitchcock, chairman and chief executive of Hitchcock Automotive Resources in City of Industry, Calif. To gear up, he is expanding used-car inventory and advertising by 25% at his seven dealerships. He's also stocking up older vehicles that carry smaller price tags. "We think for some people out there that will be all they can afford," he says. "We need to be there for them."
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    Ha ha, good article, but I think CNW Marketing Research Inc is going to be a little upset when they find out their company has moved from Bandon, Oregon to a non-existant Brandon, Oregon.

    I would have thought that The Wall Street Jouranl would have double checked that kind of thing.
    Granted, Bandon isn't exactly a large "city", but it still takes some pride in its community.
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