The changing face of the car dealer


When you next visit your local dealer, from whatever manufacturer you may be interested in, be prepared for some changes. The chances are if you are already on their database you will have had maybe 2 letters and several phone calls about special offers on new cars, great deals on used cars, a winter check offer and the opportunity to trade your current car in at a fantastic cost to change.

The result of this motor trade enthusiasm is utter confusion, and customers end up asking themselves all sorts of questions;

Is it the right time to buy?

Will the car be cheaper in the New Year?

Should I just stick with my existing car?

Once you have deciphered all these messages, understood your options and made the decision to go you may find that due to recent major job losses that the person who used to be the business manager or sales manager or indeed general manager may well now be all three!

The upside of this is that you should be assured of some expertise and good advice.
The downside is that you may very well meet someone who is very adept at removing you of your hard earned money.

So how do you negotiate this new order, remember you are now as precious as a beautiful rare orchid to your local car dealer, do not expect him to give up on you easily. If you are in the market and show even a remote interest in changing your car prepare to be shown some major love. This may seem intimidating but, if you think about it we all need to be wanted so why not just enjoy the attention and of course the free coffee and biscuits – although as we all know there is no such thing as “free”!

If a salesperson decides in this climate not to take you seriously or answer your questions honestly he may risk losing you forever to someone who will. The problem facing the trade at the moment (apart from the obvious) is that because there has been nothing but bad news, closures, redundancies and factory shutdowns customers take this to mean that even though a car is maybe the cheapest one advertised they are going to ask for further money off. This is despite the dealers cutting their margins to the bone.

The effect of all this is that if customers can’t tell a good deal when it is offered and dealers can’t convince them that they are getting a bargain then nobody does anything and we get stalemate. This is beneficial to no one.

The advice should be, if you get well looked after and think the car is better than what you have now and of course it feels like you are getting value for money, then buy it!

You can’t affect what may happen in 2 months time so live for today, you never know cars may go up next year!


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One Response to The changing face of the car dealer

  1. mARK rOBBINS December 2, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more, this scenario exactly mirrors what is happening customer wise in our showroom, we have 55 and 06reg cars as cheap as the internet with next to nothing in them, and still the customer wants to bid you down another £500! I have just sold a late Ford with £105 profit in it and this month in total (after all costs VAT etc) the company didn’t make £800 profit ! might as well get a job in Mac Donald’s the way things are at present.

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