New Car Buying

Wirth son unit now in pocession of the second car we have, bought expressly for him to eventually drive, we are again down to one vehicle, one with 164k miles on the odo as well, a car we expect at anytime to expire.

So yesterday, car shopping we went, which is a novel experience for me as while in Japan, my first car was purchased directly through Large Automobile Manufacturer #1 and there was no haggling/negotiation. The price was what it was and you plunked your yen down and got the car.

The second car also bought in Japan,  bought after son unit came along and was bought through a dealer with some haggling, but being employed at the time by Large Automobile Manufacturer #1, my selection was limited.

Coming back, and working for Large Automobile Manufacturers #2 & 1, I did not have to worry myself with haggling with a dealer as all leased vehicles and the only things to be concerned about were colors, options and turning the vehicles back in.

That all ended abruptly in 2005.  We did through a niche dealer in Northern VA, by the one vehicle for son unit and as said, now really need to get another one.

Used cars we have looked at, but after years of trying to keep the car we have roadworthy through the many repair bills, we believe going with a new car is better.

The experience at 3 dealerships was about as different as the dealers were. Went to a dealer who sells vehicles designed and made by Large Automobile Manufacturer #1, and the to 2 dealers selling vehicles designed and made by I guess one could call the Large Up and Coming Automobile Manufacturer from Europe.  The salesman @ the Large Automobile Manufacturer #1 dealership treated us well and was personaly intersting: a Mongolian who immgranted here, started washing dishes and realzied that unless he wanted to stay in washing dishes, he needd to learn English, which he did.  He knew his stuff fairly well: it was his white manager who botched things.

Realized I have been away longer than I thought for auto technology and could see what unintended consequences a recent government-mandated technology has on overall car design and increased costs for you the vehicle owner.

Would like to go with a vehicle, a MY ’12 model offered by Large Up and Coming Automobile Manufacturer from Europe, but after we expressed our strong interest in the vehicle and returned home, I got a call from the salesperson telling me he had made a small mistake in financing; that 0% interest was only available only MY’13 models and if we wanted 0% interest on this vehicle, we’d have to pony up and extra 1k over the agreed upon total sales price, which was the original price offered by the dealer for this vehicle.

Low-balling?  Can’t say as I am not a mind reader.  Did go on-line to do some brief research on complaints about this dealer and found very few complaints over sales issues.  I’d like to point out too one common misunderstanding over the relationship between a dealer and the car manufacturer(aka OEM).  As far as I know, car dealers are independent franchises who buy vehicles from the vehicle manufacturer, therefore the manufacturer does provide guidance, but does not/cannot exercise direct control over dealers, even if there is a ‘bad actor’ in the bunch. Yes, there are customer care centers set up by the manufacturer, but still….. OEMs have at times tried of exercise control over dealers in a territory and the response from the dealers has usually been to go running to their respective state legislatures to wail about how the big, bad OEM is treating them.

Still I am not happy about this and am going to let the dealer salesman stew on this for a couple of days.


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