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Posts Tagged ‘car dealers’

When Car Dealers Make Mistakes, Who Should Pay?

October 5th, 2012

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

I’m going to spill a secret here.

Once, when I went to the grocery store, I asked the checker for a book of stamps. I got the book of stamps. But the stamps were never rung up, and I never paid for them.

I did what any good American would do. I didn’t say a word and kept the secret until blabbing it to the world on a blog. I hope I won’t get arrested now, because apparently, if it were a car I had underpaid for, that’s a real possibility.

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European Dealers Selling New Cars As Used – Could It Happen Here?

October 2nd, 2012

car lot

Auto sales in the United States have picked up after a few of years of dreadful numbers.

The situation in Europe, though, remains in the toilet, and a new report makes the case that numbers are even far worse than believed.

Bloomberg has reported that a Ford executive said that dealers for brands across the European Union are buying their own inventory, thus providing a boost to new-car sales figures by as much as 30 percent.

Roelant de Waard, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford of Europe, told Bloomberg,

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What’s Your Best-Ever Car Dealer Experience?

August 29th, 2012

Suzuki dealer

If I asked you to rank car dealers on a list of trustworthy and respectable businesses, where would you place them?

The truth is, dealerships deserve a higher ranking than many of us would grant them. In this era of online dealer reviews, fierce competition and online research by customers, car dealers know they have to provide superior customer service, because with today’s customer they get only one chance.

Like anyone else, I’ve had excellent and disgusting experiences with car dealers. I’ll share an excellent one here, mention a disturbing Google trend and, of course, ask for your story of the best dealer experiences you’ve ever had.

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Coffee, Food, Weddings: Car Dealers Offering More Services to Lure Buyers

July 3rd, 2012

Galpin Ford's Horseless Carriage

A flickering TV showing a rerun of Judge Judy. A coffee pot caked with burned-out coffee grounds and filled with lukewarm liquid that may have once actually been coffee. A gated-off “kids area” that is nothing more than a set of wooden blocks stained with oil from the hands of countless dirty children.

This describes the general ambiance of the waiting area in any car dealership I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit.

These places are an adequate form of shelter while negotiating the purchase of a new or used vehicle, but they are hardly welcoming and comfortable places to spend a few hours of your time. That, however, could change, as dealerships are beginning to add services that not only make them more comfortable, but could turn them into genuine destinations.

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Selling Cars from Front Office to Back Lot

February 3rd, 2012

Naeem Khan SLS

You’ve probably heard the big news that Ford is changing its slogan from “Drive One” to “Go Further.” It’s another move in the constant shuffle of ad agencies and irrelevant marketing that car companies engage in.

This slogan is almost as dumb as Hewlett-Packard’s “Everybody On.” Does Ford really think people will make the distinction between farther (that is, distance) and further (more advanced) or realize that most people use them as synonyms?

I like the old slogans much better: Saturn’s “A Different Kind of Car Company”; BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Mercedes is honoring dress designer Naeem Khan (above) with its “Mercedes-Benz Presents” award for designing dresses for some of the world’s most stylish women. How about “Benz Bends Fashion to Its Ends” for a motto?

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Crazy or Brilliant? Scion Hopes to Sell New Cars Online

July 27th, 2011

2011 Scion xB

Automotive News reports that 65 to 70 percent of car shoppers never contact the dealer they purchase from before walking through its doors.

That, in my opinion, is a mistake that could cost a car buyer thousands of dollars. I’m not going to get into the importance of online research and dealer comparison shopping again, but instead use that stat to illustrate that cars, for many reasons, have yet to succumb to the online purchase phenomenon that has gripped every other product on Earth.

Some automakers have tried to push an online buying experience (remember the GM eBay experiment?), but for now buyers prefer to buy their cars within the confines of dealership walls.

Scion, the “Gen Y” marketing arm of Toyota, wants to start pushing dealers into selling vehicles online. Could it work?

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