New Car Advertising....

Kirk Gunn

Screenwriter
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Aug 16, 1999
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{Vent On}
I'm browsing through the new car ads and notice a new, fully loaded VW Passatt for 17k !!!! Then I notice all their other models are "insanely" low. Then I read the fine print: "Price assumes cash or trade of 6000.00"
Duh... Why don't they just say "Price assumes cash or trade of 23k" and advertise the car is "FREE" !!!!
Does anyone else find this incredibly inscrupulous ? And they wonder why the auto sales industry is so scummy.
"Dealer invoice does not represent final cost to dealer"....
That's because you need to be a CPA to determine daily holdback/incentive plans that are applied by the manufacturers. What an industry !
Thanks to the internet and sites such as Edmunds.Com. But does it really need to be this way ? I thought Saturn's "1 Price fits all" model would work it's way through the industry. Maybe not.
 

James RD

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Car companies are basically scum. Right after 9-11 GM bagan running ads for 0% interest with the slogan "Keep America Rolling". Like they were being generous and patriotic. My ass!
 

Kevin P

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What I wonder is how much more affordable cars would be if they didn't spend jillions on advertisement. Do we really need to see 2-3 car ads every commercial break?? Cars are advertised more than any other consumer product, it seems.
Not only that, I doubt many people's decisions to buy a particular car are based at ALL on TV commercials.
KJP
 

Jay H

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Hey Kirk, you're still venting!
Makes you wonder how many people are going to pay them $6000 in cash to get a $23k car for $17k. What a bargain!!!

It's like trying to sell fundraising candy to little kids...
Here's some KitKats, 50cents each but for you, 2 for a $1. What a bargain!
Jay
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Ryan Wright

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Not only that, I doubt many people's decisions to buy a particular car are based at ALL on TV commercials.
Oh come on. Admit it. Your family members have to hold you down every time that "Zoom zoom" commercial comes on to keep you from rushing out and buying "the SUV with the soul of a sports car."
Every time I see those SUVs racing down a dirt road next to a cliff at 80mph while bullshit incentives flash by my face, I keep waiting for the inevitable fish-tail, overcorrect, fish-tail, roll, and fly off the cliff action. What are they trying to do - encourage the idiots of the world?
Wife: "Honey, slow down! This gravel road is only 10 feet wide with no guard rail and there's a 300 foot drop on our right!"
Husband: "What? We're only doing 50. Our Explorer can do at least twice that on this road - haven't you seen the commercials? Let's kick it up to 80, we're going to be late..."
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MickeS

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Yes, that is a rather odd marketing ploy.
As for other car ads, who gets this 0% financing? Seems like you have to have REALLY good credit to get it, so good I've never heard of anyone getting it.
Another annoying thing about the car ads is the overuse of "extremely quick zoom in, turn camera, zoom out, white flash, switch scene" that every manufacturer seems to use.
/Mike
 

MikeF

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As for other car ads, who gets this 0% financing? Seems like you have to have REALLY good credit to get it, so good I've never heard of anyone getting it.
Do you actually believe in 0% financing? (Or 1% financing, for that matter?) Do you believe in the tooth fairy, as well?
If the going interest rate is, say, 2.3%, and someone offers to advance funds to you at 0%, do you think they're just being generous? The cost to them is concrete and quantifiable. The price increases proportionally.
Try this sometime: negotiate a cash price, and I mean a real cash price, like you're about to close the deal. Then, ask them for the 0% (or 2.3%, or whatever) financing they've been advertising -- AT THE CASH PRICE. Good luck!
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Scott Merryfield

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If you have the advantage of using an employee discount when purchasing from GM or Ford, the price of the vehicle is fixed. You are still eligible for any financing or rebate offers available. In the Detroit area, it seems like almost everyone has some relative working for one of the auto companies. I read somewhere that over 80% of all sales in southeastern Michigan fall under some sort of employee discount plan. It's no wonder the used car market is so bad in this area.
We purchased our last Mercury Villager under Ford's "X Plan", received a $1,000 cash rebate and 0.9% financing for three years. This was in August, 2000.
Keep in mind that the financing comes from the finance arm of GM or Ford (they have their own finance divisions). However, the price of the vehicle is negotiated between you and the dealer -- not the auto company.
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[Edited last by Scott Merryfield on October 17, 2001 at 09:39 PM]
 

Jeff Kleist

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I say ban all car advertising. Not only will the price go down, but we won't be annoyed by the constant repetative ads
Oh, especially ban the "zoom zoom" commercial, my family more has to hold me down to save the TV from death
Jeff Kleist
 

Kirk Gunn

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Scott - thanks for that tidbit (and I am still venting...)
I have an old classmate who works for Ford... How much of a discount, and is it based on any "published price" ? i.e. - MSRP, Invoice, etc. Say a car lists for 20k, what would the X-Plan price be ? If you could then get 0.0% on top that would be a great deal.
I may have to start hounding my old friend.....
 

Scott Merryfield

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Ford's different employee/retiree discount plans are based on a percentage over dealer cost. I do not remember what the percentage is for each plan, but the "X" Plan (anyone eligible) is a little less discount than the "A" (employee or immediate relative) or "Z" (retiree or immediate relative) plans. I think the "X" Plan was 4% higher cost than the "A" or "Z" plans, but don't hold me to that.
In any case, unless you know someone at the dealership, the discount plan price will be better than anything you can negotiate. It's just a matter of knowing which plan you can qualify for. Also, you avoid going through all the crap involved in negotiating -- "I'll have to talk with my sales manager".
I do not believe that GM offers a plan similar to Ford's "X" Plan -- where any friend or relative of an employee or retiree is eligible. All of GM's plans require that you be a close relation to a GM employee or retiree.
[Edited last by Scott Merryfield on October 18, 2001 at 07:44 AM]
 

Charles J P

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Yeah, my fave is "dealer invoice does not reflect actual dealer cost"
Damn, I work for a public accounting firm... guess I'll have to get one of my colleagues to explain what in invoice is.
"dealer invoice reflects absolutely nothing except a number we pull from our greedy asses so that that we can still f*#K you even when we offer deals like new cars for $300 over invoice"
Speaking of which, has anyone here ever tried to show a dealer a printout from edmunds or a similar resource that shows what they call "fair market value" that takes dealer holdback into consideration? I wonder what they would say. I have never tried this.
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Kirk Gunn

Screenwriter
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Thanks again, Scott !
My favorite tag line was an add for a Honda Civic:
"Price does not include tax, title, tags or required equipment".
Required Equipment ? Perhaps a WINDSHIELD ? TIRES ? ENGINE ? What the f--- ?
I'm sorry, but I would have a hard time even considering a purchase from a company with such blatant disregard for basic human intelligence.
 

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