How To Spot a Bad Salesperson

As an automotive buyer's consultant I have dealt with a lot of salespeople. Most of them are good, some of them not so good. In my last installment, I told you how to spot the good ones. Sometimes we are not so lucky. The absolute worst sales experience I ever had didn't happen at a car dealership; it happened when I… » 3/06/14 9:50am 3/06/14 9:50am

Well Oppo it might be time for Automatch to retire...

After weather and scheduling delays my client finally took delivery of her E91. BMW of the Main Line was nice enough to drive it all the way to Baltimore. The car only has 423 miles...yes, you read that correctly. Apparently the story with this particular BMW is the dealership purchased it as a "mechanic training" car.… » 2/07/14 12:57pm 2/07/14 12:57pm

Back Room Deals: Extended Warranties, Service Plans, and Other Extras

Most car buyers focus all of their defensive negotiating strategies with the salesperson. Once a price has been decided on they think, "Whew, the hard part is over, now I just have to sign the papers." If a buyer lets their guard down at this point, they can really get taken for a ride. » 2/05/14 9:50am 2/05/14 9:50am

Can the K900 Compete with the Ghibli in the Lease Market?

Last night's big game ads highlighted two brand new players to the hyper-competitive mid-size luxury sedan market, the Kia K900 and the Maserati Ghibli. This is going to be an interesting showdown in the marketplace. Of course the K900 is aiming more against the established players like the E-class, 5-series and A6,… » 2/03/14 9:59am 2/03/14 9:59am

As Car Buyers Get Smarter Some Dealerships Are Getting Dumber

Lease a brand new Civic for only 99/mo!....Guaranteed minimum 6 grand for your trade, no matter what condition it is in!.....No credit, no problem we will get you approved today! What do all these phrases have in common? One thing, to get you into the dealership so they can tell you something along the lines of, "Well… » 1/28/14 10:00am 1/28/14 10:00am

When Buying New is Smarter Than Buying Used

Last week I made the assertion that "Buying New is for Suckers," of course I was only half-serious about that title. Most of you agreed, and reiterated that you can get more car for your money if you are willing to roll the dice. However, some of you rightly pointed out that buying a new car might be the better option. » 1/21/14 9:35am 1/21/14 9:35am

Buying New is for Suckers

Gearheads sometimes catch a lot of heat for not buying new cars. Hey, it's not our fault we are savvy shoppers…. (or broke). The reality is we know that buying used is just a much better value. For example, once I convinced a client to get a CPO C-class for the same money he was going to spend on a loaded Camry. Like… » 1/15/14 10:09am 1/15/14 10:09am

How "True" Is True Car's Transparency Approach?

TTAC republished an excellent piece by David Ruggles on True Car's transparency game. Full disclosure, True Car is a competitor of mine and while I respect their business model, we differ greatly in our approach. True Car is essentially a "broker" they charge the dealerships a "fee" for participating in their website in… » 1/10/14 9:50am 1/10/14 9:50am

Your Gearhead Guide to Vehicle Financing

Once you have regained your sanity, decided upon what vehicle to buy, and you have worked out a fair deal (or not in case of an E30 M3), it is time to secure the funds for purchase. Financing isn't rocket science, but it is nice to have a handy guide to your options. I realize most of you know these tips but this post… » 1/09/14 9:46am 1/09/14 9:46am

Might Have Lost a Potential Customer...

...but I definitely increased my Jalop score. Here is how it went down. A friend of mine contacts me and says- "You know my Charger R/T... I got tired of it, so I sold it to my girlfriend who needed a car. The other week she spins out and gets stuck snow. She really likes the car but wants an SUV now because the RWD got … » 1/05/14 8:39pm 1/05/14 8:39pm

A Tale of Two Tune Shops

I've been wanting to get a remote starter on my car for some time. I thought about getting one when I first got the Mazda but at the time it was a lease, and I didn't want to make that investment on a car that I wasn't going to keep. Well, I bought the lease out a year ago and it was time. Because the car has a manual… » 12/11/13 10:30am 12/11/13 10:30am

Hyundai/Kia's Luxury Problem

Hyundai/Kia has made it no secret that they want to play in the US luxury market. The Genesis, Equus, and now K900 sedans may not be stealing BMW and Benz buyers, but those vehicles show that the focus and resources are present to make an impact on this segment in the near future. However, product alone is not going to … » 11/25/13 10:01am 11/25/13 10:01am

Dealerships Have a Problem with Gen Y Workers

According to a recent Ward's Auto report, many dealerships are having difficulty adjusting to a Gen Y workforce (Gen Y will be operationally defined as workers in their 20's). The report makes a few interesting points namely- » 11/14/13 2:04am 11/14/13 2:04am