By on May 17, 2009

Folsom, CA (Yuppie-burb of Sacramento) is in my neck of the woods. I was browsing the online car ads of my local struggling newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, and was struck by the number of trucks for sale.

We’ve got more trucks than ever before . . . ” Yes, over 1,000 is quite a lot. (Get it?)

Backed by the Federal Government! Now that’s peace of mind!” Now that’s funny!

This dealership is not on the hit list, but its neighbor, Folsom Lake Chrysler Jeep, is. Drove by the automall yesterday and it was a ghost town.

To illustrate the dire situation, take a look at this part of the ad:

$9175 off a stripper model and must finance thru [Aargh! Thru is not a word!] a credit union. No ChryFi or GMAC here . . .  The saddest part of this ad is the 2008 T&C LX prior rental listed at $15,995 (good luck with that, FLD).

What’s it like in your neck of the woods?

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19 Comments on “Sign of the Times: Understated Edition...”

  • avatar

    I went to test drive a 370z in New Jersey yesterday. We were just about the only people in the dealership. Guy on the ride said that they were selling about five a month (had at least 6 on the lot I saw).

    Sales manager started negotiation at invoice + 500. Didn’t even show me MSRP.

  • avatar

    Still waiting for the crazy-ass deals to materialize in my area. Unfortunately none of the dealers in my area got the ax. There is a perfect candidate about two miles from my house. They still have 08′s on the lot but they were probably spared because they don’t sell used.

  • avatar

    I already posted this but…

    Tate’s Auto in Holbrook, AZ not too far from Gallup, NM where I live.

    2008 PT Cruiser with AC, brand new


    2008 Ram ST 1500 Reg cab, 4X2 (no other details in ad but claim they have 20 left “IN EVERY COLOR!”)


  • avatar
    George B


  • avatar

    That newspaper ad is loud (in typical Dodge dealer fashion), but it isn’t anything new. Crazy deals on base models are par for the course. You’d have to actually go down there and try to buy a Charger R/T, Caravan SXT, or Ram Crew Cab to know how truly desperate the dealer has become.

    For me, ChryslerCo. and GM dealers offered better deals last August than they do right now. Depending on the vehicle, prices seem to be up between $500 to $4000 compared to last summer.

    It seems that, around here anyway, high gas prices cause more worry for dealers than Chapter 11.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    I want to know if it’s legal for them to use the government seal on their ad? Can’t tell which seal it is, but think it may be the Great Seal, which, according to Wikipedia, “is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the United States federal government.”

  • avatar

    Seems as if my local dealers were very smart. They went into the 2009 model year with just a handfull of leftovers. Plus, they kept their ’09 inventory super lean. No deals down here.

  • avatar

    “Thru” is a word (my Websters Collegate sez “var. of through”). In adition to being shorter than “through”, it is never confused with thorough.

  • avatar

    THe largest Chrysler dealer here is advertising up to $20K off sticker on Dodge Rams, with prices starting at about $11K. And in spite of the Mexican- and Canadian-built Chryslers, Jeeps and Dodges he’s peddling and the pending deal with Fiat, he’s proclaiming “backed by the U.S. Government” and still shouting “Be American! Buy American!”

  • avatar

    When somebody shows me a base Wrangler new for under $15k, then “maybe” I’ll wander down to the lot to check them out. But i don’t see the huge firesale happening on models other than perhaps things like the Ram and PT…

  • avatar

    ajla: “For me, ChryslerCo. and GM dealers offered better deals last August than they do right now. Depending on the vehicle, prices seem to be up between $500 to $4000 compared to last summer.

    It seems that, around here anyway, high gas prices cause more worry for dealers than Chapter 11.”I was thinking the same thing. When gas was at its highest, Tahoes and Suburbans were regularly listed at discounts of between $10-15k. Now, you’d be lucky to see one at $5k off.

    Likewise, I no longer see the half-price Crew-Cab Rams or Crossfires. Even if there is a decent discount, they’re now tying them in with a lease requirement (as the above ad shows).

    Part of the problem, as pointed out, is that the manufacturers ‘cleverly’(?) jacked the prices up by a substantial margin across the board on MY09 vehicles.

  • avatar

    @ ajila:

    +1 on the deals. When I bought my Trailblazer last summer the deals were ridiculous! Employee pricing PLUS $6,000 rebates PLUS 2.9% APR through GMAC (and I got way more than my trade was worth). Now I just don’t see that kind of deal. Glad I bought then, although it remains to be seen how smart it was to buy a GM.

  • avatar

    Frank Williams:

    ‘And in spite of the Mexican- and Canadian-built Chryslers, Jeeps and Dodges he’s peddling and the pending deal with Fiat, he’s proclaiming “backed by the U.S. Government” and still shouting “Be American! Buy American!” ‘

    Sounds good to me, because the anything built by the UAW = bad, right?

  • avatar

    The Toyota dealer by my place is using the parking lot of a vacant bowling alley as overflow parking for unsold metal. They still act like their sh__ don’t stink and want MSRP on most everything. No good offers down the road at the Honda store either. Ford has deals but not on the new Fusion, especially the hybrid, their only vehicle I’m interested in. Only Dodge dealer around me that I know of closed years ago and is now the site of a gym. Seen a lot of used car lots closing.

  • avatar

    it’s only 387 units. the various categories listed are not mutually exclusive. I got 387 by adding cab types, you get the same number by adding engine types. still a lot of inventory tho.

  • avatar

    Oh just to add a few things. The local Buick, Pontiac, GMC Truck dealer (Rico Automotive) in the area sent me a nice letter a few weeks ago to ask me if I would consider buying a car from them again. I bought a USED F150 there three years ago. No special incentives or offers in the letter just asking politely if I’d like to come down and look at their inventory.

    I actually have a Buick, GMC, Pontiac dealer in my town and a separate Chevy, Cadillac dealer in my town. Why wouldn’t GM force them to consolidate into one dealer carrying all four brands? Neither one was on GMs dealer kill list. Take the one with the best customer service and sales metrics and keep it. I suspect Rico’s would beat Amigo Chevrolet. Rico’s has been around since 1915 and people seem very happy with them, Amigo has only been around 25 years and the owner has managed to make some enemies in this town.

    Not financially looking for a car payment right now but I was downtown early Sat morning getting my dog groomed. Had an hour to kill and I walked Rico’s used car lot. The only thing I was interested in was a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoner, 165,000 miles, select-trac 4×4, V8, 3 speed auto, perfect caramel leather interior (didn’t even look like it had been sat in), beautiful maroon paint (just a few chips on the hood), and the fake wood was still perfect except 1 minor spot on the tailgate. Price $6,498! Seemed a little steep for the mileage. I know it’s been sitting there over a month.

    Wonder what they’ll be selling the infamous G3 and G5 for when Pontiac goes belly up?

  • avatar

    Our local Poncho/Caddy/Jimmy dealer and the Chevy/Lincoln/Merc (yep, they have GM and Ford on the lot!) dealer both escaped the ax, so far, in a town of about 38,000 souls and close to a 1.8 M population Columbus metro area. They would be good candidates to merge too, they are located only about 2 miles apart on the main drag thru town. Both look like ghost towns, especially the Pontiac/Caddy/Jimmy guy who is just outside of town.

    I suggested to the wife that we might be able to steal a Vibe from them she absolutely refused to condsider it. After explaining they rolled off the same line in CA, she said the only problem was that little emblem on the hood, that’s how much she hates GM vehicles, even when they aren’t GM except in name!

  • avatar


    Hey check out what a matrix front clip would cost. It might still be a deal, lol…..

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    @ Robert.Walter

    R u sure u want to start this deb8? “R” and “u” are in the dictionary, too, but if our newspapers were written like kids IM, then all hope is lost. I should have clarified: “Thru” should not be used in the context it was used in the ad.

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