Recently, we bought a car for our son. We looked on the internet, visited private car lots and one dealership. He found a suitable vehicle after days of searching. The dealership was a nightmare of lying, sleezy sales staff/managers and bait-and-switch tactics. We found what we wanted on the internet through an independent dealer who doesn’t sell in the conventional way. It was a great experience to buy from this place. It was different.
The automobile business has changed forever.
Recent events in the economy and the world of manufacturing have changed the car buying experience for customers, dealers and automakers. It isn’t going back to the way it was just two years ago.
More consumers are trying to keep their cars going longer, creating more demand for after-market parts (if you are smart enough to advertise your parts store to those who want to maintain their present cars). If they choose to trade in, they have more options than ever before, locally and globally on the internet. They aren’t satisfied with failing automakers who thought they could dictate what people wanted (Pontiac, Saturn, Mercury, Hummer, etc.).
The public is demanding more fuel effieciency, but not willing to pay too much more for it. They have no interest in car companies who claim to be safe, but constantly lie about (and recall) their faulty products. They won’t tolerate tactics that put them at odds with the sales person. They have no patience for unethical, sleezy practices. In short, what worked in the past to the dealer’s advantage isn’t working any more.
The auto industry isn’t down; it’s different. Everything has changed…forever. The customer is smarter, more savvy and more aware of Blue Book values, CarFax reports and OTHER choices on the internet.
We won’t be buying a car the same way ever again.