Dealership Woes – Another reason to cheer Elon Musk on

Elon Musk is in a pitch battle against the car dealerships countrywide, and I hope he prevails and I can buy his LEAF Killer’ come 2015. Like many Americans, I hate buying  a car, not because I don’t like cars, I do, but because of the buying ‘experience’ we are subjected to. This week reminded me why I hate car dealers as much as I do.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

I got a mailer from the dealership I bought my LEAF from explaining how they are simply desperate to get their hands on my LEAF for their second hand lot. They provided an estimate of $17,100 for my old LEAF which is actually very good. There was  handwritten note emphasizing the $17,100 bait. They also offer ‘up to’ $10,000 off the price of ‘select vehicles’. The only catch? You have to visit the dealership, they won’t do this deal over the phone or the internet.

I went in. I knew I shouldn’t but I did it anyway, just for the hell of it. And it was hell.

I plugged up my LEAF at their level 2 charger and was greeted by a young  and enthusiastic salesperson, who is actually quite a cool dude in my opinion. I showed him my mailer saying that the dealership wanted to buy my old car and sell me a new one. I said I was interested in a 2013 LEAF SL they had on their lot. He got the keys and let me look over the vehicle and drive it. The 2013 LEAF is a great vehicle, with many improvements over their Gen I LEAF. OK I said, let’s see if we can make the numbers work.

As it turns out they could only offer $15,000 for my old LEAF, which is actually a fair price according the Kelly Blue Book. So far so good. So what discount will you offer me off MSRP for the new vehicle I asked. The mailer suggested up to $10,000, how close can you get to that?

The answer was $500.

I really didn’t expect to get $10,000 off a new LEAF. He pointed to the small print on the mailer that indicate the offer was for a 2013 Titan, stock number 9010. Only. Typical trick. I agreed that I wasn’t really expecting $10,000 but $500? Really? Is that the best you can do?

After being at the dealership for one and and a half hours, apparently that was indeed the best they could do. The sales manager came to visit the salespersons office and shared that he and I were on ‘different wavelengths’. I promptly left after retrieving my car keys.

Click to enlarge email

Click to enlarge email

I went home and found a website http://www.truecar.com that promised no haggle pricing at 3 local dealerships. Hey presto, guaranteed $3,500 off MSRP for a new 2013 SL LEAF. Within minutes I had three dealerships calling my cell phone and emailing me saying, sure we will honor the discount of $3,500 off MSRP. Guess what? One of those dealers happy to give me $3,500 off was the dealer I just left.

Why do the dealers play these mind games?

Elon Musk, Hurry up with your LEAF Killer’ and simple no haggle internet ordering.

I’m ready. Really really ready.

I talked with another LEAF owner who recently purchased a 2013 LEAF, he asked if I had checked out the VPP program, it offers between $3,000 and $4,000 off MSRP, no haggle. As it turns out my employer is part of the program. I can get a VPP ‘number’ which I can take to any Nissan dealer and get 3-4K off a new LEAF, no haggle. The dealer I visited never established where I worked, or what incentives that employment might provide. Another lost sale and frustrated customer. Pathetic.

I’m waiting Elon…….

This entry was posted in Customer Service, Newton Nissan, Nissan LEAF, Test Drive and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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