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Audi A6

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Comments

  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    to take on unnecessary risks just to be different is unwise. Do you see a lot of Yugo's, Daihatsu's, or early Huydai's still on the road? Probably not. Why, because these cars are being obsoleted.
  • Read all about the fall and rise of Hyundai in the November Fast Company magazine -- apparently even while their cars were late nite comedian joke fodder, Hyundai was quietly building very high quality and very reliable cars. After reading this article, I have decided to use Yugo as my "poke fun at car" -- Hyundai's story is very impressive.

    I still don't like their cars, but after reading this article I now have respect for the company.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Around here in Minnesota you see many older Audi's, but then again Audi's have always had a good following here, for obvious reasons. In fact our local dealer, Carousel Audi, now claims to be the largest Audi dealer in the country. (this past summer they finished their beautiful new building, with an expanded service area and expanded service hours, which should hopefully cut down on the wait time to get an appointment).

    Anyway, I'm impressed with the number of older Audi's on our roads, and even more impressed when I see the vast majority of even the older models rust-free. Our streets and highways get TONS of salt dumped on them over the winter months, and many cars do rust out well before their time. Even though all cars are becoming less susceptible to prematurely rusting out, it seems to me that Audi's hold up particularly well (which is now backed up by their 10 year corrosion protection warranty). Of course even here, Audi sales picked up dramatically beginning with the '96 A4, so there are many more newer ones on the road than older models. But I do see many older ones on the roads around here, and most seem to have held up to our harsh elements relatively well.
  • I have almost never seen a rusted -out Audi here in St. Paul/Minneapolis, regardless of year. I've seen a few broken down, but no rust!

    Carousel's new "hanger-like" building is very impressive, I didn't know they were the largest Audi dealer in the country! I know that one of the salesmen there mentioned that 98% of the Audi sales are w/ Quattro- for obvious reasons here in the deep snow belt! It is snowing out right now as I write this posting!
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    I guess all the 80/90/100/5000's migrated from LA to Minnesota. Hope we can get some rain/snow in return :-)
  • lar60lar60 Posts: 15
    When was the last time you went to any car dealership,of any make, that didn't claim to be one of the biggest in the county?? For Audi here in San Diego, Hoehn Motors makes that claim (by the way, a dealership people go out of their way to avoid), in LA it's Keyes Motors, in No. Cal. it's Niello.We are talking about car salespeople, politically correct, right?
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    lar60, notice that I said Carousel "claims" to be the largest Audi dealer in the country - I was skeptical of this myself but that is what several of their people have told me on the last couple of visits. I would like to see a listing of Audi dealers and their sales figures to see whether their claim is true. I don't doubt it though as they have a virtual monopoly in this area - and the only other dealer, which is much smaller, is owned by the same people. This naturally keeps prices up (example: I got a quote about a month ago for a '02 A6 2.7T, and they were only offering $500 off MSRP). But as I mentioned, there seem to be many Audi's in this area, especially compared to what I see when traveling to other parts of the country, and Carousel is selling the vast majority of them. I have to say that their service department is excellent, and no doubt this brings in much repeat business from customers who apparently don't mind having to pay close to retail.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,235
    I believe the largest Audi dealer in the country is New Country Audi in Greenwich, CT.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • I look at the MSRP and say that is what they think they can get for the car -- the bigger the discount I get the less leverage I feel I have over the long run. I have very high expectations from my Audi dealer. I always ask "is this the lowest price" -- of course. But often when folks boast about how much they got off of the sticker they answer the question, "what do you think of the dealer's -- service after the sale, sales after the sales, etc?" I get answers like "well I bought my car there, but they're really terrible. . ." You pay now or you pay later, and when you pay later, you pay dearly (generally speaking).

    Of course it helps, too, if you buy almost literally every car from the same dealer for over 25 years -- everyone, and I mean everyone (except for the brand new employees) knows my wife and me at our local Audi dealership. Heck, we even exchange Christmas gifts with some of the staff and management -- even had a couple of them over for dinner and been to the owner's house for dinner.

    We do not regulary and frequently socialize with them, but we keep a very strong acquaintence with the folks at our dealership -- makes the process (of automobile acquisition and ownership) almost a pleasure.

    Price is really a very small issue when it is something as important as a car -- at least here in the public transportation wasteland of Cincinnati Ohio. Service and support get my attention and my dollars.

    In summary, size of the dealership is not very meaningful and size of the discount between dealers is usually diminimus, and as I noted often works out to cost more in the long run. The sweetness of low price is quickly forgotten after the bitterness of crummy service is discovered (and sometimes they do correlate).
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,235
    As someone who is soon to be a small business employee, I understand the value of good service. I will be posting less and less as I make a transitional move from my advertising career to working at my father's plumbing supply and hardware store. People who buy from my father can certainly get some things cheaper elesewhere (Home Depot, Lowe's), but he knows 90% of the customers who have been coming to him for years and their fathers did business with my grandfather and all started with my great grandfather in 1900.

    More great service, I bought a set of Bridegstone Blizzak Snow tires for my 1992 Beretta when I was a freshman in college from a tire dealer near my house (they were even cheaper than tire rack). I mounted them on a separate set of wheels. The place where I bought the snow tires from did changeovers and tire rotations for free. So every spring and every fall I would go and have the tires changed over. I got rid of that car in 1998. Last year (4 years later) when I took my Saab in for inspection and a tire rotation, I looked at the bill and noticed they never charged me for the tire rotation. I went in and told him there was a mistake, he said that I was a good customer and not to worry about it. I will never buy tires from anywhere else ever again!

    The dealer where I bought my 2001 Prelude from in April of 2002, went out of his way to locate a car that was sitting on another dealer's lot and sold it to me at invoice (other dealers wanted to charge me either sticker or $400-$600 above invoice) without charging me to go and get the car (like some other dealers were going to do). I will never buy a Honda anywhere else ever again.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • which tire dealer is this in NYC? Can you let me know please? Thanks in advance.
  • Mark, my '02 2.7T has AVS db tires on it for 11.5k miles now. SERIOUS cupping of them with rather loud noise. Going in to have them shaved and changed to the other side of the car.

    Question is, what kind of tire pressure should I be using? Also, do you not think the alignment at the factory should be spot on (what with only 12k on the car and no serious bumps, curbs, or hits)? I've been carrying 37 psi all around and checking them fairly regularly.

    Obviously, they've changed from quiet db's to very loud ones! Any ideas??!!

    jk
  • this is exactly the point I was trying to make on another thread. I just don't understand why businesses balk on giving good service. Even if it means giving in to a customer's demand --whatever it may be-- as it could potentially have its rewards many times over. Not only will that person become a loyal customer but it has the potential to geometrically bring in more business as that person refers his friends and relatives --and people he meets on message boards *lol*-- and they in turn refer their friends and on and on and on and on...

    Sure, some people can and will take advantage of businesses who are liberal with, say, their return policies, etc. but those individuals are in the minority. Nordstrom, for example, proved that point for their business philosophy from the beginning --starting when they were just a relatively small business-- was based on good customer service and a liberal return policy. Yes, they get burned frequently but they also have acquired many loyal customers who wouldn't think of shopping anywhere else. Their philosophy is "so we have a few who take advantage of us" but what counts is the end result and their policies have definitely paid off.

    --'rocco
  • who for whatever reason try to get their Audis at prices that seem to have little regard for the profit of the dealer. The threads even on this board about how low the price can go are far too frequent. Now, don't get me wrong, I think we should negotiate a good price for the things we buy. But if you negotiate on the price of a car and don't negotiate on the price of a shirt at a department store it begs the question why?

    My relationship with the dealer is such that I apparently get to hear about the lengths some prospective customers will go to try to get a low price -- and of course what happens to the people who get the so-called low price? They get far fewer of the intangibles that can really make car ownership fun.

    I, for one, don't want to steal from the dealer nor have the dealer steal from me.
  • a car dealer isn't going to sell a car to any given party unless he makes a profit. My desire is to purchase that car for best price I can get, realizing that if the dealer is willing and agrees to sell it to me, he is making a profit and he accepts that amount of profit. Even if he is not making a huge profit, he's still adding to his sales numbers to meet quotas in order to get bigger allocations for future potential sales, etc. I don't feel it's my job to be concerned on how much profit a dealer makes selling a car to me ...that's his business. My job it to get that car for the best price the dealer will allow. As I said, he's not going to sell me the car unless it's beneficial to him and not as a favor to me.

    This is not to say that I want to necessarily shave the dealer down to his last bit of profit, I just want to purchase the car for, again, the best price I can. Actually, what I really want is not to pay any more than the last guy paid and I guess that's the reason I want to dicker and compare prices others are paying. As I've posted in other threads before, I resent a dealer telling me "this is the price everyone else is paying so if you don't like it, go somewhere else and buy the car." But this is the response many in my area receive from a particular Audi dealer here in town. I did just that and went elsewhere to purchase my car for a better price and better treatment during and after the sale. Sure, the majority might fall for that line but I considered it arrogance on their part and didn't appreciate it.

    Yes, I'd like to see the "Saturn approach" to pricing spread throughout the auto industry. I vehemently despise having to negotiate when purchasing a car ...although I realize many enjoy it. When you go into a grocery store to buy a quart of milk, you're right, you don't have to negotiate the price. The store makes its profit and you are happy you got a fresh quart of milk. All I ask is that when I go into the same grocery store a few minutes later, that I pay the same price for that quart of milk as you did.

    That's my concern when I go into the Audi store to purchase an A6. I want to make sure that I pay a price as close to what you paid for your A6. Since I don't know what price you paid, the only way I can assure myself that I'm getting close is to do my homework in advance and then to dicker, offer, counter-offer, etc. with the hope I will be able to buy my A6 for the same price you did. If the dealer doesn't accept my offers and let's me walk, then obviously he feels he can sell the car to someone else who will pay the price he demands.

    I don't want to go through this when buying a car; I don't enjoy this when buying a car; it's emotionally draining and frustrates me to no end to go through this when buying a car ...but I also don't particularly like Saturns. *laughs*

    --'rocco
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,235
    The place isn't in the city. It is actually located in New City (my home town). Wish I could be of more help!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • I, perhaps contrary to the impression and the argument [impression] I have been presenting, do not just blindly accept what the dealer offers -- but I have found that the dealer's first price for me has, since 1978 been a good deal. As I mentioned I have come to know the dealer principal over time -- he tells me that those repeat customers (and he sells Audis and Porches) virtually always get "the best deal" first -- why? The dealer tells me that it is way more expensive to get a new customer than keep an old (repeat) customer.

    His first offer to me is almost always the best -- what changes (and I always lease) is [sometimes] the leasing deal that he puts together. Audi financial is usually the best deal, but on the last Audi A6 (which I had on a 27 month lease) -- my dealer's floor plan banker had a better rate for this short lease than Audi Financial. I prompted my dealer to shop the payments for me -- and I ask the question "is this as low as you can go."

    I am not so altruistic that my concern for the dealer's profit transcends my personal desire for a good deal -- my point has and continues to be that what happens after the sale is at least as important as what happens during the sale.

    One last example that may or may not further explain what I am talking about. Car deal is done -- and I ask for my door locks to be set to auto mode, I ask for a new (wood) shift knob and other (in the scheme of things) relatively minor (but potential revenue services / products for the dealership) things.

    The dealer sets the locks, gives me the shift knob and also gives me a set of Audi coasters and an Audi coffee cup. At Christmas I got an Audi pen and pencil set. The dealer service manager came to our house on a Sunday afternoon when the power seat connection on my wife's Audi A4 became disconnected with the seat in the long leg position (and she is 5'4"). . .

    Other too numerous to mention "perks" and "gifts of appreciation" and other "customer retention" activities have ensued over the years. On our first trip to Europe, we went to Munich Germany -- we told our dealer about our trip and he arranged a tour of the Audi plant (in Ingolstadt), in English, for just my wife and me -- on a day that an English tour had not been scheduled.

    The customer who tries to shave the price so that the transaction is -- for the dealer -- down to the bone in profit, rarely gets these perks and amenities. Indeed, the dealer says that the customers who have the attitude that car dealers are crooks or think that they [dealers] gouge their customers generally receive the worst service. The dealer says that the customers who hammer them are rarely able to be satisfied and rarely are repeat customers.

    There are of course two sides to the story -- I am not that blind -- but those who seem to expend time and energy on the deal, often get what they pay for. The lowest bidder is not necessarily the one that is the most attractive to do biz with.
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    For me, lowest price is not the primary concern. That is, I do not require my price be no higher than anyone else's. I like getting a good deal, but as long as I am not in the +3 sigma end of the price distribution I will not get upset.

    I am used to seeing the price of gasoline be lower a day or two after I fill up, or at a different station down the street. So be it. It is extremely rare when I buy a stock that someone else cannot buy it for less a day or week later. If someone bought it at a lower price the week before I did or the week after I did, good for them. I am glad that automobile MSRP does not fluctuate like air travel prices.

    I value long-term relationships. I prefer doing business with trustworthy, competent people in a Cheers environment where everybody knows your name. It sounds like that is what Mark has with his car dealer. I don't buy cars frequently enough to have achieved that yet.

    If I had waited to buy my 2002 2.7t until now instead of getting it last April I would have gotten a much better price. At that time I sold my old car at a very attractive price. I'm sure I could have gotten more if I had put it on the open market, instead I sold it to someone I knew at a price they could not resist. At the same time they were selling a car. They received a low-ball offer and turned it down. They still have the car today and wished they had taken the low-ball.

    There are those who will spend time to save money and those who will spend money to save time. I am in the latter group.
  • that I'm one of those who try to shave the dealer down to the last once of profit.

    I fully understand what Mark is saying and have heard it elsewhere as well ...that those who do keep hammering to get the best deal will almost always be the first to complain, are nitpicky and never satisfied with their cars, and will give the worst CSIs.

    I would love to have the kind of relationship with my dealer as Mark has with his ...and it might just happen if I continue to buy cars from my dealer in the future. I'm new to the "luxury" car experience and in the past have always just thought of the car buying experience as getting the car for the best price and getting out of there. I really didn't intend nor even want to establish any kind of relationship with the dealer. Now that I'm older with more disposable income (and possibly, eventually with even more time on my hands) and will be buying upscale vehicles from here on out, it becomes more apparent to me that I do in fact want to establish a relationship with a dealer.

    But no, Mark, I didn't mean to imply that you couldn't see both sides of the story. I apologize, if I did.

    --'rocco
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,569
    what you pay for.

    Sometimes you don't.

    When money is no object (or of little interest), those "intagibles" or perks matter a lot. Some people look at it differently, and I've heard that's why horse races exist. Some people own the horses and some bet on them.

    Long-term value is a concept lost on many. I've been pleased to see the recent posts relating to older Audis that are still in service.

    To each their own.
  • And, as the old adage goes "the customer is always right" -- well I also believe that being a good customer creates a better vendor (usually) and typically creates a better relationship.

    Money is both an object and of great interest to me -- but my time and convenience (aka opportunity costs) also have worth. The intagibles and perks are sometimes worth a tremendous amount -- if for no other reason than they create the lack of an additional cost (of both time and money).

    The Sunday service call -- how can you put a price on this? My wife literally could not drive the car, she couldn't reach the pedals -- the dealer is 20 miles away. It would have been dangerous for her to sit on the front edge of the driver's seat and drive a stick shift for 20 miles. Some dealers would say, "fine, we'll use the Audi advantage to have the car picked up (maybe on a Sunday) -- and we can even have a loaner dropped off Monday after 8:00 AM." Hassle factor and costs would have been high.

    Paying more for the car, which by the way we did not, IMO, would have been worth it -- after all no one seems to complain about the 50,000 bumber to bumper warraty and "free service" -- but we all know it is "in the price."

    I just keep hoping that car companies will do what the airlines do -- set up "Medallion" programs for their customers -- I am a Delta Gold Medallion Flyer, and I have virtually never flown coach to Europe and I have NEVER paid for the privilege. The Audi Loyalty Progam is very nice indeed and I expect it will be expanded.

    Here is my idea (not entirely well formed, I admit) -- sign up to be an Audi Frequent Fyler (or Frequent and/or Repeat Buyer) and establish a permanent step lease -- for the next 21 year you wil have 8 new Audis (one about every 33 months) and you will have no maintenance, ever, tires, liscense plates, perhaps even insurance all bundled in -- the car will be cleaned 52 times a year for you, and you will receive luggage tags denoting your status as an Audi Medallion Customer. Wait a minute, that is too much like the airlines -- but anyway, I'm sure you get my drift.

    Car "buying" will become much more like buying a high end service if my "scheme" is adopted by the car companies.

    This is kindof a hybrid between corporate computer buying and business air travellers in the major airlines Frequent Flyer prorams. Become loyal to one brand and there are benefits that will accrue to you. Realize that cars are technology acquisitions and have a relatively short shelf life and are to be expensed not capitalized.

    Our clients basically upgrade their computer hardware and software about every 3 - 5 years and recession notwithstanding appear to be shortening the mean time between refreshes. Car companies increasingly need to have repeat buyers -- especially for high end cars. Marry the two concepts together and create a situation where the customer always buys X cars and buys them on a virtually predictable time frame (an annuity). The customer and the manufacturer (and those in the middle) stand to benefit.

    And when Delta no longer pleases or somehow loses me as a customer, well then American (or whoever) will be the beneficiary of Delta's screw up. Car companies want and need repeat buyers -- I predict they will adopt models that are less price based than value based (which includes price, but so much more).

    The relationship I have with my Audi dealer has been -- so far -- value based. The relationship I have had with Audi the car company has been less so and IMHO will need to be altered to reflect the changing expectations of the customers.

    The new normal changes everything.

    See if the above "predicition" comes true -- it will take at least until 2005 for this practice to become even remotely widespread. And BTW, Edmunds is part and parcel of this metamorphasis -- without the town hall and other similar "e" communication vehicles, the car companies could remain less responsive.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I appreciate your thoughts on your father's small business...about one mile apart we have a Home Depot and a locally owned Ace Hardware...whenever I need something, I always try the local guy first...his prices are within a few nickels of Home Depot, and within 20 seconds of entering the store, someone is approaching me to ask if they can direct me to any particular aisle...at Home Depot, one has to fall to the concrete floor in a seizure to receive any attention from the employees...yes, HD has a huge selection, but just how many brands of light bulbs do I need???...I will spend my money at the place where they seem to pay attention to me and appreciate my business, and look me in the eye when they try to help me...and yes, that is worth a few nickels or a few dollars more...also, the cash register line is always shorter, so my time is saved at the local store...lines go on for "miles" at HD, and the time I save is also worth the few extra coins I spend at Ace...
  • jaydolljaydoll Posts: 120
    Mark from Cincinnati,

    What data do you have to prove that the very same perks and service would not have been offered to you should have negotiated a better deal than the one that you settled for? Could it be possible that another customer who purchased a A6 from the same dealership for less than you payed, also received the same level of service?
  • I believe I received an excellent deal -- probably (and I have to, in the spirit of full disclosure, say that since my dealer has, over time, become both a vendor and a friend, I do lend credence to what he tells me) better even than some customers who beat the dealer down. This is not to say that the dealer probably did indeed sell cars to others a a lower price.

    But, the repeat, good customers do get a better after the sale experience than the "only go for the cheapest price" customer.

    The Home Depot versus little guy story above rings true and is represented by numerous examples -- and my dealer principal has not been the only one to extend such extra perks to my wife and me. As I mentioned, the service manager, sales manager, owner -- even the bookkeeper at the dealer have demonstrated many "customer retention" behaviors.

    The number of examples I can give you about how this dealer and even this Company Audi of America treat their good customers would fill many pages. But to further underscore my observations, I can tell you that the dealer specifically has shared how those who may get the best deal (initially) are so over the top demanding and provide so little benefit to the bottom line, that the dealer almost overtly only does what is required -- I believe it is this way in most human interactions and moreso in commercial transactions. The dealer in effect has to decide which customers should be fired -- they contribute so little to the financial bottom line and so little to the non-financial bottom line. I own my own business and even though it is a technical services business, I see the same patters that my dealer has described. And, granted much of my opinions as expressed here are due to my personal observation, too.

    But, here is one additional example. In early December 2000, I came home one evening to find a Federal Express package at my front door. Inside a small box was an evenlope and as I recall a pair of luggage tags.

    The envelope was a fine linen and I immediately recognized it as a [wedding] invitation. However, when I turned the envelope over I notice the familiar four rings embossed on the back. Inside the envelope was a letter from Mr. Hunt -- E VP of Audi of America. Hunt's letter, which appeared to be personal, said that some of the very pleasurable things he gets to do as AoA's top executive is to thank Audi's best customers for their business and support.

    Very nice, very nice -- but what about the luggage tags? The letter concluded by saying that two round trip tickets to San Moritz Switzerland, 3 nights in the Badrut (SP?) Palace, $150 spending money, Audi clothing, all meals and drinks, entertainment and front row seat passes to the Womens Down Hill Skiing even in San Moritz were my wife's and mine if we call this number. The purpose of the luggage tags was very clear.

    When we got to Zurich we were met by a representative (from the US) of AoA and taken by private car to San Moritz -- the next four days and three nights Audi entertained us (sleigh rides, fine dining and a stage show -- they called it a gala). Present at this event were Audi owners from all over the world -- as I recall there were about 2 dozen from the US (plus their guests, of course).

    The director of the Audi loyalty and retention program from the US was our personal host -- she was there when we needed her and stayed out the way most of the time. If such a thing exists, we had a 6 star experience.

    At no time were there any types of sales presentations -- although all the vehicles were, of course Audi quattros and the entire city seemed to be decorated in the four rings and had brand new Audi's strategically parked on every street corner.

    At the gala, a representative from Audi AG got up and spoke in several languages and basically talked about skiing and had a one paragraph speech saying "thank you for your support."

    Several of the people at our dinner table that nite were married to non-Audi owners, one man remarked, I've had 30 Mercedes and I've never even received a lousy bottle of beer" -- or words to that effect. Ditto sentiments from the man who had been loyal to Fords "forever."

    Audi is perhaps unique in terms of the way it treats its customers -- in spite of the fact that I think Audi needs to do more and do it better, they are I am convinced a rare company in general and a very rare car company indeed.

    Too long people have thought of [used] car salesmen and car dealers and insurance salesmen [men and women] as the scum or at best necessary evil of the world of commerce. Well, my wife is a lawyer so I guess perhaps I am more tolerant -- but I have found that in the world of autombile companies, Audi is in the top class insofar as being customer centric. The dealers, I know, are spotty -- all over the board from what I have read here on this and other forums.

    But what comes from the top will eventually trickle to the dealers -- but to be treated the way you want to be treated, you must treat your vendor likewise.

    I know we, me especially, have beaten this price versus value thing way beyond death -- but I am obviously passionate about this issue -- those that dwell on beating the dealer down usually pay more in the long run.
  • that said it all and definitely put some of us in our place. I feel like an imbecile now ...guess I'll go back and delete my post.

    My feelings towards this subject, as I've stated, have been changing through the years but after reading that, I'm even more so convinced.

    --'rocco
  • No you need not feel like an imbecile -- and there is/was no intention on my part to put anyone in there place. It is just that this forum should be more about the "joy of driving" and the "joy of Audi driving" or even the "issues" we have had with our Audi's -- not with the "I can get such and such for $X over invoice or under MSRP.

    The price I pay in Cincinnati may for whatever reason not be able to duplicated in Dallas or Cheyenne or Mobile.

    It is my intention of leasing my new allroad (which by the way I got in yesterday, even before all the paper, plastic, tape and cardboard were removed) for 36 months. I do not believe any information I can get here will change my deal. I have expectations for the experience of "ownership" -- I will gladly share them with this forum. Who cares what the price is -- as long as I am happy, that is what counts.

    I want to know from you about your experience with the car and the dealer -- not how much you paid -- unless for some reason it in some way could effect my dealer and my transaction with that dealer.

    My dealer also owns a VW store -- and he says that the difference in the customer base is 180 degrees apart. The VW customers are only concerned with the price, not about the service, the warranty or very much even about the product itself (the exceptions he says are those who want the special VW's -- the top Jettas, Passats, etc -- or those that he specifically dresses up for the showroom with custom wheels, spoilers, recaro seats, sound systems, etc). The Porsche and Audi customers conversely challenge the sales staff's product knowlege and often order their cars rather than buy off the lot (my car was ordered in early 2002, and it came in on Friday October 18). My wife ordered her new TT almost a year ago and it will be in next week.

    We are "typical" Audi (and Porsche) buyers -- although Audi (and Porsche, too) are attempting to change this somewhat and I have noticed that the inventory of new cars has, in the past two years, increased somewhat. Half or more of the Audi's sold -- according to my guy -- are custom ordered and the time frame is generally 3 - 8 months in advance. Porsches are sometimes over a year in advance, especially for cars that are "On Allocation." I can only assume that the RS6 cars are 100% pre ordered as are the S8's and S6 avants. My dealer has already taken deposits for the new S4.

    Yesterday the dealer was discussing the TT's upcoming new engine choices which he claims even include the possibility of an 8 cylinder model or a larger 6 than is currently offered in the Audi line. The show room was buzzing with customers and tire kickers and the discussions were about the cars, driving and future stuff --

    Walking into the Audi dealership reminds me of the TV show "Cheers" -- when Norm comes in -- the customers are greeted warmly and "everybody knows your name." I watched the interaction yesterday while I waited for my new allroad's key -- since it had just literally come off the truck.

    My dealer has -- about 7 months of the year -- a Saturday "grill out" -- it is not advertised, but if you go in you'll get a hamburger or hot dog and a soda-pop. Saturday mornings its coffee and donuts -- cause on Saturday's it free car wash days for all customers (of course we always tip the guy).

    Sometimes it almost seems corny like those Wal-Mart commercials where the lady says I might as well work at Wal-Mart, cause I go there to drink coffee and socialize. Maybe in my next life -- retirement -- I'll work as a salesperson at my Audi dealership. But, heck the turnover is so low there and there is probably a line ahead of me. I mean most of the same service and sales people have been at this dealership for decades.

    There are places like this all over, I am convinced. Perhaps there are more than we realize -- but perhaps many of us don't bother to get to know our dealership principals. Yet, we often consider cars our second most important purchase (in dollar terms) and think of cars like we think of indoor plumbing -- until they break.

    It is my hope that we all try to become better customers -- which I am convinced, too will create better dealers (and not just limited to Automobile dealers, either).
  • First, let me congratulate you on the new allroad! It will be exciting to hear your impressions and I look forward to it. I've been following somewhat the AudiWorld allroad board and I'm sure you'll be posting your observations there too. As you might know, I've been trying to convince myself to buy one but I'm very intrigued with the up-coming Touareg and am waiting to get absolute confirmation that it will not be available here with a 6-speed manual ...it doesn't look good so in all probability, I'll more than likely be going the allroad route eventually.

    Pertaining to dealer experiences, yes, I am beginning to understand what you are describing. I admit, I've always been one of those VW type customers you described. As my "life philosophy" is now shifting --a subject not to be discussed here-- towards a different approach on how I spend my money and my time, I now see the importance of establishing a relationship with my car dealer. When I was younger, yes, initial price was my main criteria when choosing a dealer. Although I have always been able to choose an upscale brand car, I never considered it because of wanting to save as much money as possible for a "rainy day" or retirement. Now that I'm on the "downside" (if you will) of life, --I'm in the same age range as you-- I'm beginning to understand the importance of, and have to concentrate on, spending money rather than saving it. Not a bad position to be in, I suppose.

    My Audi dealer is also a VW and Porsche dealership too. I've noticed the same observations as you described when talking to my salesperson. It doesn't seem to quite have the "Cheers" atmosphere but I do observe a different "feeling" when I'm there that I haven't ever experienced at other car dealers I've dealt with in the past. I just assumed it was because this dealership is small and also located in a smaller town, not in a big metropolitan area, and not because I possibly could be subconsciously longing for a special reationship with a car dealer ...in reality, probably a little of both. Because of the way I've been treated there, I always bring Krispe Kremes for both the service and sales employees. This dealership is almost 100 miles away from my residence and also is that far away from the nearest KK so I think they really appreciate the treat.

    So yes, maybe I'm starting to establish a relationship with my dealer and in all likelihood won't try to get the lowest price possible on my next purchase there. Since I continually refer people to that dealership, I hope they will give me a good price on the allroad or Touareg without my having to really negotiate too much. On a social plane, I can't really visit there to have coffee, etc. on a weekly basis because of the distance but I do exchange e-mail (jokes, etc. included) and phone calls with my salesman ...we are also share the same age so we tend to have more in common than just talking about Audis.

    Bottom line: as you reference, I'm becoming a better customer ...I appreciate the way they treat me and hopefully they appreciate my business and the referrals I give them.

    Funny thing, I too have considered selling Audis after I retire ...just as something to do which I think I'd enjoy piddling around with and not focusing on necessarily making huge commissions. I could never think of it as a "job" for I'd really enjoy talking about cars and in turn, I'd have to suspect that sales would naturally evolve since my focus wouldn't be to desperately make a sale.

    --'rocco
  • Haven't even taken possession of the 03 allroad yet and pow my wife's 03 TT comes in on a truck today -- then to make the day, when I came home there was a certificate from Audi that doubles the Audi Loyalty program -- $800 credit toward the new TT!

    Dealer prep, phone prep, sat nav disc acquisition and new tires for the TT -- we should have it by Saturday! The allroad a few days later since we are painting it "full paint" and getting new rubber to replace the OEM tires (Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 245 x 50 x 17's) -- also have to activate the phone, sign up for the OnStar and wait for the sat nav disc. Patience is a virtue?

    The TT has 18" wheels with summer only tires -- we bought 4 Ultra High Performance all season tires 225 x 40 x 18 from the TireRack for our Cincinnati winter, in case you wondered.

    Some day in my ideal car ordereing world you will be able to order your new car anyway you want and pay the manufacturer for doing so -- instead of the body shop and the tirerack (no offense). Mass customization is possible and would be no more difficult to implement than "option packages."

    I know, complain complain complain. . .wah!
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,019
    Mark -

    I thought I read quite a while back that you had discovered that you could order your Allroad with 'full paint'. I read that to mean fully painted at the factory. Am I mis-remembering?

    Best of luck with both the new Audis (plural = Audi? Audii??)

    Cheers,
    - Ray
    Who walked all over the VW Audi dealer's lot during the last oil change looking for (among other things) a 'full paint' Allroad . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • For 2003 AoA made it official -- full paint option is available -- according to the order guide for the 4.2 allroad only.

    Previously (2002) there were "a few" fully painted allroads -- in fact my dealer located a 2002 Ming Blue (not a standard allroad color in 2002) allroad. Initially, which I dutifully reported, the dealer said you can have any color you want except Pearl White Metallic and you can have the fully painted version -- if you are willing to pay the up charge (about $1,500 estimated) for the paint option.

    We ordered the car, months BEFORE the 2003 order guides were "official" -- and the dealer, in good faith, believed that full paint would not be a problem. I believe his Audi coordinator even said "shouldn't be a problem."

    You see the 2.7T and the 4.2's (allroads) "don't know" what they will end up being when they are first "born" -- so why should it matter what paint is applied just so long as it is an available paint at the factory and has been used before?

    Bzzzz! Wrongo Chuck-o.

    Full paint option cannot be officially sold for a 2.7T allroad. I wrote three letters to Audi of America saying in effect "take my money, please."

    I received a very nice letter back saying sorry, if you want full paint get a 4.2 -- which will be delayed.

    OK, I'll take a 4.2 with a 6spd manual.

    Bzzzzz! Would you like to try again?

    Net net -- full paint option applied here in Cincinnati -- $1620.40 (+$250 for the rocker panels, which after careful scruntity, I decided I would NOT do even if the price was onluy $25.00).

    So all the stories I have relayed were AT THE POINT IN TIME I relayed them accurate insofar as I knew.

    Since that time (when I was given the sorry you lose thanks for playing letter), I have seen the 2.7T in full paint as it has been shown at the European auto shows (pictures on audiworld.com).

    Color (or paint) me confused: I have owned my own business for almost 20 years. As a business person I have discovered that saying "no" to a paying customer wins no friends and makes no money.

    If Audi charges $1,600 for the full paint option -- well, one would imagine there is profit in doing so correct?

    I am paying someone else $1,600 INSTEAD of Audi.

    What am I missing? To paraphrase that famous (?) comedian, Henny Youngman, "take my money, please!"

    Now, get this -- we are acquiring not one but two new Audis within the next two weeks at a combined MSRP of $90,000+ -- these Audis will mark #26 and #27 I believe (since 1978) -- it is still not possible to order wheels and tires (from the factory) that are appropriate to our geography and sense of style.

    My wife wanted a TT with 18" wheels -- OK that, this year, can finally be done. But wait, the fine print for the 18" wheel option reads (summer tires only -- blah blah blah. . .) Now, this year, too, 17" wheels with All Season tires ARE available. OK methinks, there ARE NO all season tires available in the 18" fittment that are also ultra high performance -- it could be true.

    Na baby na. . .

    Go to tirerack and key UHP all season size 225 x 40 x 18 -- as I recall there are at least three offerings, no make it four. And, one of these is the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S -- surely a tire worthy of being placed on a $42,000 Audi TT?!? Don't you think?

    My clients since the late 1980's have been largely manufacturers and many of them tier one automotive suppliers -- the computer systems could easily handle another data field marked "tire characteristic" -- now I might understand that it would be possible to specify the type of tire (UHP All Season, for example) but NOT the specific brand name (just like they do with the 17" all season option for this particular Audi). And, that would be OK!

    They could offer such options either as a competitive differentiator or for a slight charge or both -- I mean here we are with a brand new car with 7 miles on the odometer and we are replacing the summer tires with UHP A/S because here in southern Ohio we actually do not have perpetual summer and for whatever reason my wife prefers all season tires year round. And it is her money and it is her choice. Audi makes it somewhat more difficult to do business with them a a bit more expensive -- why not make the customer even happier and collect some money in the process?

    Audi -- take my money, please.
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