EnclaveForum.net: Buick Enclave Online Community banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I'll find some agreement here.

I think it's about time that American car companies offered an alternative to dealerships and the hassle and pain of going through one. At the very least, for those of us who know exactly what we want and are willing to pay for it (let it be known, I'm NOT prepared to pay MSRP, I'm a completely hassle free sale and advertising is not bringing me to any particular lot), then the manufacturers should offer us a direct route. Offer a way for us to go directly to GM, or such, and say, I want X, Y and Z, I'll pay your price, now make it for me and send it here. They won't need to advertise, they won't have to pay a "holdback" to dealerships, and they'll extra profit for a manufacturer who is making a high demand car. Frankly, if I could cut out the chauvinistic, GENERALLY sleezy practices of car salesmen and dealerships, I'd be happy to go straight to the manufacturer for any car purchase, not just one that's in high demand.

Many on this forum have ordered their cars and are waiting, and have done so because it's a great car and has had NOTHING to do with anything a salesman or dealership has done. So cut us a break and make some extra money in the process, GM! :beer:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,065 Posts
.......so tell us, who will service these vehicles, when there are no dealers? Will you drive to Michigan when you need warranty repairs?
I am sorry that you have had poor dealership experiences, but many have not.

MRBUICK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
I don't think this will work, as who will then buy from a dealer?

Either the direct from GM price is cheaper than the dealer, or it's not.

If it's cheaper than a dealer, than even if I need the services of a dealer, I will go to one, test drive it for free, and then order it direct and save money.

If it's not cheaper than a dealer, than what's the point?


MRBUICK said:
.......so tell us, who will service these vehicles, when there are no dealers?
Dealers get out of the business of selling cars, and only service them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,065 Posts
If dealers get out of the business of selling, and service only, how many do you think will still be in business.

Come back to the real world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Come on now, read my suggestion. I never advocated getting rid of dealerships, I'm suggesting the manufacturers offer an alternative. The fact is, there are PLENTY of people who want to go see the vehicles, who want to test out the car in person before buying, and I mean testing out the precise vehicle they want to buy (not one of the same models). For that reason, and the quickness with which the typical american wants their new vehicle (as in their impatience) dealerships will get the vast vast majority of the business. But for those people who go into a car purchase knowing precisely what they want, who don't want a single mile on it to not be their's, then offer a direct route. The price could be a small amount cheaper, maybe split the holdback amount with the consumer (that's about 1.5% of the price for GM), but there's the long wait.

And of course dealerships would be the best place for service (which is debatable as well), and I never advocated getting rid of them.

The fact is GM makes a good product, I'm sold on it and want one, so why do I have to pay more money so a middle man can get in on this. Insurance companies offer direct rates to cut out the middle-man.

I'm highly surprised I'm seeing such staunch resistance from people on this. I'm far from the only person to have a less than happy experience with a dealer. Maybe it's because I'm not willing to pay top dollar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
MRBUICK said:
If dealers get out of the business of selling, and service only, how many do you think will still be in business.

Come back to the real world.
Although it's hard to imangine what the new "real world" will look like when we look through our filters of the current/past world, one thing's for sure, things will change.

What percentage of holiday gifts were purchased on-line this year, how did the retailers have to adjust? The auto industry HAS to change, I felt like I needed to shower after dealing with 2 of the 3 Buick dealers I went into. I have never felt that way at an Audi or Infiniti dealer....time will tell, tomorrows dealer or "service center" may be very different from today's.

As an aside, there is a blurb in our daily paper, "100 years ago in Bucks County" featuring an article from the paper 100 years ago...today the article was about having fifty cars in the county seat for some sort of a function and how rare it was to see so many in one place....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't had an out and out bad experience with a Buick dealer, but I've had a heck of a time getting some of them to bid for my business. If someone wants our business, they can sacrifice a couple hundred bucks profit for a no-hassle sale.

One dealer gave my wife an ENTIRELY different, and higher, quote after she contacted them AND told them she was my wife, gave my name and everything. And he comes back and offers her over 1k higher than he offered me. On top of that, NOBODY wanted to negotiate with a woman. Very chauvinistic. I don't have patience for somebody stuck that far back in the 20th century.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,130 Posts
My $0.02:

If you want a test drive I think dealers will continue to be necessary. Why would manufacturers want to fund test drive facilities? If you buy vehicles without driving them, then wow, good for you.

I always would rather take a beating on my trade than deal with a-holes that don't show up for test drives or want to negotiate before even seeing my vehicle. I would be surprised if I ever sold a vehicle again on my own. Someone will need to take my trade, I can't see GM doing it.

I'm not certain that service only facilites for manufacturers is feasible. Someone will need to perform warranty work.

Actually I tend to be more pleased with my buying experiences than I do my service experiences. Walk in, buy a vehicle for invoice plus available incentives, drive away. I don't care if someone makes a buck off me. My company makes money on the products it sells, I expect others to as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,065 Posts
There is a bit of difference with "holiday gifts online" (I do it myself), and an automotive purchase. Until cars require no service, dealers will be with us for a while.
I agree that there are sleazy dealers around. I have been in some, both American and foreign, but have walked out quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, test drives are IMPERATIVE! I would NEVER buy a vehicle without seeing one and driving one first. So yes, dealers are necessary.

But frankly, with the state that Enclaves are at right now, with most people having to order there's, I'd rather just go straight to the manufacturer. I feel offended when a dealership wants to charge me as much for a factory order as they do the car that they've had to market and let sit on the lot for 30+ days. I feel that an invoice price is fine for someone wanting an Enclave their way and willing to wait. There's no hassle to be done by the dealer, they're just making 3% (holdback), plus possibly some fees, to do the paperwork and setup the car. PLUS, that dealership is the likely recipient of repair work for that vehicle since the consumer has been there and is familiar with the place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,130 Posts
I'm not saying you're wrong in your views, but what dealer in their right mind would agree to allow people to buy direct from manufacturers but still be expected to supply cars for test drives? I just don't see it happening. I know if I invested millions of dollars I would fight like crazy to prevent that from happening.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Jimbobwae said:
I'm highly surprised I'm seeing such staunch resistance from people on this. I'm far from the only person to have a less than happy experience with a dealer. Maybe it's because I'm not willing to pay top dollar.
Wow, great thread. I understand the desire to eliminate the middle man, but I don’t think it is feasible with a car purchase. And there are some hassle free ways to purchase a car already. You could use the Costco program that many have used to purchase their Enclaves. You could use the dealership’s internet sales division to complete your purchase. I tried this – but without much success. Or you could buy a Saturn.

As you suggested, I think your frustration is probably based on the fact that you want an excellent deal on an Enclave and the dealers aren’t willing to oblige. They know that they have one of the hottest cars on the market and let’s face it, that hasn’t happened to Buick in what, 40 years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, dealers would end up obliging test drives because the portion of sales going directly to the manufacturer would be low, in general. It's the same as the local dealership going out of their way to give my wife and I a test drive on a couple of vehicles, and now we're negotiating with many other dealerships. It's a free market economy and they have to compete for our dollars. Granted, you wouldn't tell them up front you're planning to go elsewhere when purchasing, before the test drive.

Maybe GM could still cut the dealership in on the deal. Say, the order is done through the factory and all the numbers are agreed upon there. Then when delivery comes, it goes to your local dealership who execute the paperwork, they have a shot at your trade in if you have one and want to do that, the do the prep work, and GM pays out a holdback amount to the dealer (or just a set fee). In that case, everyone wins (which is precisely why it would never happen). The dealer would then act like a title company does when purchasing a house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Well, It seems your shopping in the wrong places. I just received my car a few days ago and their process was fantastic. I had my guard up most of the time because I always feared there was something lurking in the bushes, but there wasn't. No tricks, no running back and fourth to some manager, no unexpected price increases, and no pressure to buy a bunch of other crap I don't need. The only offer I had was for the interior and exterior protection. I had planned to say no to that right away, but their price was actually better than I could have gotten it on my own. I was also able to get the interior protection only. Since it was the same lifetime stain protection application as with a couch I had done in my house, $100 was well spent. $500 is retail for the interior/exterior. A good deal even after the sale.
The Sales guy told me that they had made an internal decision that they would not sell any Enclaves at MSRP to keep their reputation honest. I was immensely impressed with them. Enough so, that I would recommend them to anyone.
The paperwork process was a breeze. I literally only signed 4 items, filled in nothing else. They did the rest. A lot of dealers seem to keep you there for hrs during delivery doing surveys and paperwork, but I was there 1.5hrs total including the 45min demonstration drive.

Now, I work for an aircraft manufacturer that does a similar process to what you explained and it does work quite well. To offer a choice to go through the manufacturer or dealer isn't a good idea though since the pricing would have to be firm to make that work. In the end, all you would have is a more expensive car as the number of GM employees just went up 20%. In the Aircraft industry, our prices are pretty firm, but what you end up with are private brokers that work the customer through the sale to delivery. The brokers are supposed to be beneficial for having knowledge and helping the customer to make a choice that fits the customers needs as well as a fair price. They, in essence, are hired by the customer as someone to trust in the deal and watch out for them. Seems like that would be a better solution in this scenario too. For example; your ready to purchase a new enclave. You hire a broker who will work on a commission. You tell him what you want, you go back to work, and he starts calling various dealers and works with them until he is able to present to you a few offers. Then he sticks by you until the sale is final keeping you out of trouble and from buying something you don't want. You've invested very little time in the process, feel comfortable with the purchase you made, and it only cost you a few hundred more to get it done that easily.

FWIW; the dealer I used and was so happy with was Midway Motors in McPherson, KS. Ask for Wade.
And, No, they don't have any enclaves in stock right now.

Tyson.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Great well thought out post Jetguy. Congrats on your new purchase. Does the inside of the Enclave remind you (of all people) of a private jet cabin as they say inspired the design?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, the price would have to be firm to go a direct route to the manufacturer. That's fine by me. You wouldn't have to have a large increase in employees, because there wouldn't be a large demand for these types of sales as the common consumer wants to get into a new car TODAY. That wouldn't work for a direct factory order. And it's not a hassle, you just contact them, maybe even do it on a website exactly like the "Build it now" on most american manufacturers websites, and they just go over with you, explaining what all the costs and vehicle details would be. Then they just follow up from time to time, keep you informed of where the order is at, and line up the delivery of vehicle and paperwork to your local dealer. Then they just cut the dealer a check for some set amount for finishing up the deal for them on delivery day.

Cars aren't as complicated as aircraft and most people, ESPECIALLY those who would place a factory order, know what they want and know what their deciding upon. So a broker isn't necessary. I understand this is somewhat the premise of many dealership's Internet Sales Departments, but that's just not how they've been executed. I've dealt with a few who realized that if you came in the internet way, you've probably done your homework and there's no pressure or haggling to be done on the prospect. Most of them, however, didn't make that realization. In fact, a number of them couldn't even use email correctly! :banghead:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Very much so. That's probably one of the reasons I fell in love with it so fast. There is one thing that a jet has, that the Enclave could benifit from. I'll have to leave you in suspense though because I think it's good enough to bank on it. Look for a new product soon :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,130 Posts
Jetguy said:
Very much so. That's probably one of the reasons I fell in love with it so fast. There is one thing that a jet has, that the Enclave could benifit from. I'll have to leave you in suspense though because I think it's good enough to bank on it. Look for a new product soon :)
Flight attendant? Drop down oxygen mask? Contaminated pillows?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Jetguy said:
Very much so. That's probably one of the reasons I fell in love with it so fast. There is one thing that a jet has, that the Enclave could benifit from. I'll have to leave you in suspense though because I think it's good enough to bank on it. Look for a new product soon :)
Turbo charging and a wet bar?
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top