$5k Camaro Surcharge? A Domestic Dealer Fires Back

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
5k camaro surcharge a domestic dealer fires back

TTAC commentator Xander Crews responded to this morning’s post about a $5k surcharge added to the sale of a new Camaro (at least in theory), and the negative remarks about car dealers made by some of our Best and Brightest.

A few things, but first a disclaimer I’m a manager at a domestic dealership.

1. Just as it is considered okay and “fair” for a customer to shop 50 quotes and “beat up” a dealer until they sell a car at or below not only sticker but in alot of cases invoice it should be okay to charge over MSRP on any vehicle. Hell if a dealer wants to charge $5000 over sticker for a F150 XLT he can, just remember as the consumer you have the right to say “no I’m not going to pay that”. So long as it legally and properly displayed, there’s no problem with doing it. It is up to the individual store to weigh the consequences of their actions vs the potential benefits. If they piss off enough people with stuff like that they will lose customers.

2. I know there are a few “nasty” dealers out there. Hell there may even be a ton, but for every “nasty/mean” car salesman or dealer story anyone here can tell I can give you 3 about a customer.

3. As far as I know not a penny of this “bailout” money has gone to any Chrysler, Ford, or GM dealerships. So please don’t pull this “I already bailed you guys out with my tax money” crap. That really sets my blood boiling. I hung up on a customer yesterday after he started cussing and yelling that he should basically be able to buy a truck from us at a $4,300 loss because we already got some of “his” money.

4. I always hear people talking about wanting “fair” and “customer friendly” way of buying cars. Guess what? It will NEVER happen, because there’s no way to satisfy everyone, or even a majority. Lets say all the manufacturers go to a Saturn “one price” style. Then tons of people will whine and complain about price fixing and it’s not “fair” to pay sticker for a car.

5. I really don’t get all the dealer hate. Maybe it’s because I’ve never worked for a “bad” dealer. My store is a major part of the community. We donate both time and money to local charities, youth teams, and many other such things. We have a loyal and happy customer base because we take care of them. Guess what? There’s unscrupulous and bad people in every town and in every line of work, get used to it.

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on May 06, 2009
    I would go as far as to say the buyer also has an uper hand, or at least and even hand, in terms of knowledge these days I can't agree, in that the seller is the only party who knows what his absolute rock bottom price is. The buyer may try to discover that price, but he'll never know for sure whether it was the very lowest price possible. The seller should also have a better sense of real-world sales prices and volumes than would the buyer. The seller also knows about every incentive, not just the published ones. That being said, that may not matter all that much. A good buyer should be able to figure out most of that stuff through creative maneuvering. And I would support the idea that it is a game. It's more fun for a buyer to approach it that way. Someone who walks in determined to be a victim is going to get his wish. At the same time, someone who thinks that becoming the salesman's best friend is going to help is kidding themselves. Both of these will types will get taken to the cleaners, but the "best friend" type is too dumb to even know it.

  • Robert-Kidd Robert-Kidd on May 20, 2009

    alot of the people don't seem to relize that if gm would increase production the dealers wouldn't markup on msrp , and the cost to produce would go down which would bring the msrp down. The ultimate catch 22 , make more to make less money , or make less and kill the car again. I want one but will never pay a dime over sticker. way to go gm your first chance scince the bailout to really make money,bring back the customers you've lost, and you blew it!!! life is not a game and what you spend money on these days sure isn't . so approaching me with a game isn't what I want when looking to spend my money ,especialy when I don't have a copy of the rules. To all you people that think that dealerships buy cars from gm or chrysler or ford are stupuid . Dealerships should be called consignment shops so you really know how they work, that is why the practice of msrp markups hurt the building companies markups make the cars less desired and then the car dies. If GM wants to sell 30k a year then make 35k so people have a choice and the extra 5k will sell to. just this past saturday my wife and I stopped in a gm dealership and they had one 1lt with the rs package on it that was used in a promotional drive around Minute Maid Park so it is not even new and they want $37600 for it looking online at chevy.com this car should sell for $28995 with the options then take off about a $1000 for the miles that I didn't put on it $27995 that would still give the dealer an upfront profit of $1800 and then they get some $ off the back end of financing. ALL DEALERSHIPS GET THE BACK END UNLESS THE CAR IS BOUGHT WITH CASH.so the salesman said I am making 10% of $1800 for 30 minutes of work and this is not enough. The Dealership said $1620 + the back end which is 10 to 15% of the finance charge and 3% of the interest. sounds like alot to me considering a good dealer sells 58 cars a month. It just seems funny that if you have a popular car that people actually want to buy from you that you would potentially turn off buyers with price gouging. Doesn’t it make more sense to try to move as many of them as possible?

  • Arthur Dailey I grew up in an era when a teenager could work pumping gas or bussing tables and be able to purchase a vehicle for a couple of thousand dollars and drive it with 'uninsured' status.If a parent advised on the purchase of the vehicle, they would most often point us to a large, stripped/base version, domestic sedan with the smallest possible engine.These cars generally had terrible driving dynamics and little to no safety features, but were easy to work, had large bench seats/interiors and not enough power to get out of their own way.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'll guess: 3rd owner, never did even basic maintenance, major component failed, car got towed from the apartment complex parking lot, no one bought it at auction because the repair bill exceeded the value.The chrome pillar appliques support this hypothesis.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'm generally in the "I want them to have all the new safety stuff" camp, but new cars are both too fast and too isolating these days. They mask speed enough that a new driver can get way in over his head without really realizing he's even going that fast. This is especially a concern with my youngest, who wants to do everything he does faster. (He has zero fear tearing down hills at 25 mph on his little 20" wheel bike.) I'm hoping for something that is slow and communicates speed well, although I'm not quite sure there is any such thing in today's market.
  • KOKing I test-drove a used Equus Ultimate (the one with all the back seat doodads) that was a trade-in at a Ford dealer, and although it was VERY nice to be in as a Lexus LS with Ultra Luxury, it was supposedly in a minor fender-bender that probably wasn't repaired correctly (like a pinched bus cable or something?), and random features didn't work at all.I think this car suffered the same problem in the US that the VW Phaeton did, and probably would've done better if it was badged a Genesis from the get-go.
  • Analoggrotto Tesla owners are still smarter than anyone else, regardless.