View Full Version : New Car Buying, how I have changed

William C Rogers
07-08-2015, 2:18 PM
I just bought a new car (SUV) and I can say this process was different from my previous purchases. Actually this will be my wife's car. I generally have purchased GM vehicles although I have bought at least 1 new vehicle from all the U.S. Auto makers. Since 1989 I had worked for a division of GM, so I get the GM employee pricing. Not as good now as it was in 2009 when GM meant Generous Motors, but still something off the sticker. Since I have retired we decided we wanted to travel. We had always flown to destinations, but I'm tired of airports and rental cars. Time was the main reason we flew, and now that is less important. We had a 2004 Buick Lesabre with 86000 miles to trade in. Nothing wrong with it, just wanted something new with added safety features for long trips. We have always great luck with Buick, so we went see if the Enclave would fit our needs. Very nice vehicle, great ride, features, however for us it was much bigger than expected or needed. We then drove the Buick Encore. Not bad, but a little smaller then we wanted. End day 1. We went back the next day and told the salesman neither of the Buicks was the right choice. He then suggested the GMC Terrain. Somewhat between size compared to the Buicks. So we drive the Terrain and not bad, ride was good and the Denali had all the safety features we wanted. So we went home again, thinking we needed to decide between the Enclave and Terrain. Terrain seemed to be the winner. Being it was it was a Buick, Cadillac, GMC dealership, we thought what heck let's look at the Cadillac SRX. We drove the SRX, great comfort, good power and handling. Definitely more money. We had them put the Terrain and SRX side by side for a good comparison. Is it worth the price? I don't know, but I definitely like it and will feel good traveling in it on long trips. So we bought the Cadillac. Never thought I would buy a new Cadillac!
Unlike previous purchases where I felt pressured to make a decision and a sales manger asking what needs to be done to make this happen now, this dealership didn't ever pressure me to make a decision. I think the salesman would have showed me every car on the lot if I asked. The biggest surprise was I actually got a fair trade in price for my 2004. I knew the range for my car and they actually offered toward the higher side of the book value. That was definitely a first not having to argue what my trade in was worth. Kind of like buying a new tool, look at all the reviews, safety, and getting the best price for what you want.

Paul McGaha
07-08-2015, 2:44 PM
Congratulations on the new ride William. I hope the car does real well.


Ole Anderson
07-08-2015, 8:17 PM
Always glad to see someone sticking with an American automaker. Good for you. My FIL worked for GMC for 40 years. Have owned American Motors, Chrysler products and GMC, but not Ford. Closest we came to foreign was our two Vibes, a Toyota/Pontiac mashup.

julian abram
07-08-2015, 10:34 PM
The SRX has a high mark up so the dealer can pay high book on trades, makes the customer happy and the dealer. Never driven a SRX but read some great reviews on these newer model Cadillacs, everyone seems very impressed with their power and handling. Congratulations on a great vehicle!

Bruce Page
07-08-2015, 10:50 PM
Congrats! That's a sharp looking SUV. I hope you have the GPS, we've found it invaluable when driving cross country or in strange cities.

Dave Lehnert
07-08-2015, 10:54 PM
I think with the internet it is easy to go into a dealer and know ahead of time what you should pay. The last new car I purchased I walked into the dealer and said this is what I'll pay. Took them a few to accept. Could tell they were trying to figure out how to make a few more $$$$ but I done my homework. I told them " You know the deal I'm offering I can go anywhere and get"
I knew ahead of time the rebate on the car , plus the discount I expected the dealer to take off. The lowest interest rate I could get. And also what my trade was worth. I think the key is to be fair with your offer up front and not try to low ball.

I purchased two Fords from a local dealer and always had the same experience as you. No pressure at all. You could go in and test drive anything and just hand the keys back in and say thanks. They would bottom line first time what they wanted for the car.
Unfortunately, they closed when the car makers were having problems.

Jim Becker
07-09-2015, 11:51 AM
Congrats on the new ride. There are some dealers out there that "get it" when it comes to how much folks dislike the car buying process...especially the pressure...and they benefit as a result through greater customer loyalty. Unfortunately, they are few and far between. 'Glad you had a nice buying experience this time around! And safe travels!

Val Kosmider
07-09-2015, 3:03 PM
If you paid anything more than the dealer's invoice cost for the new vehicle, they would have spent all day...all week...showing you vehicles.

I agree with Dave above: here is the vehicle I want, with these exact accoutrements, in this color, etc., and I am prepared to pay "this" for it. No discussion. No sales pitch. Take it or leave it. Makes the whole process less frustrating.

In your case, you needed to explore which vehicle fit your interests. I suppose there is a "cost" associated with that. In my case, I incur the cost doing my homework away from the dealer. In your case, you incurred the cost based on what you paid for the car which you ultimately selected.

William C Rogers
07-10-2015, 11:17 AM
Since I am eligible for the GM employee discount, the price on the new vehicle is determined by GM. GM price for me is below invoice plus any cash back incentives offered. They give the dealer a fixed fee for the transaction. Although invoice price may not be what the dealer paid as true cost, the employee price is less than the true cost to the dealer. So no real haggling on the new car price. Then comes the "add" on expenses such as scotch guard, etc. dealer makes money on all of these. I wasn't pressured to buy any of these and didn't except my wife wanted the scotch guard. Finally there is the trade in value. This is usually where I have been given a low value, I think because the discount GM provided. Then would come "how can I make this happen today, etc". This dealer offered a fair value right from the start. I did tell them I wasn't paying the paper work fee and needed to add that amount to the trade in which they did. One of the things that came up was the salesman was on salary, not commission. I don't know if this is the trend now, but Jim has it right, some dealers get it.
Bruce, yes definitely navigation was wanted/included. I also wanted the blind spot warning, V6, and rear view camera which I got. Remember the Tucker 48, the headlights turn with the steering. And a bunch of other features.