By on November 11, 2012

The Mitsubishi dealership in Easley, South Carolina is aiming for new business by offering a free gun with the purchase of any new or used vehicle, according to Columbia’s Channel 10.

Having firearms on hand during the negotiation process is probably not a good idea, so buyers at Mitsubishi of Easley are given a $250 gift certificate redeemable at Sharp Shooters Gun Club and Range in Greenville.

This is the second South Carolina Mitsu dealer in the news recently for a dubious sales scheme. Indicted Spartanburg Suzuki dealer Paul Gibson also lost his Mitsubishi franchise when he filed for bankruptcy as he faced having to reimburse hundreds of car buyers that his stores had defrauded.

Many of you told us that the brand will be the next to exit America. Mitsubishi’s sales are down 28.7% this year through October versus 2011. Their 400 U.S. dealers sell an average of 13 cars a month apiece. The Lancer and Galant drive off into the sunset in 2013 and their replacements have yet to be announced. Only the Outlander is keeping Mitsubishi outlets alive. Their products are ranked 32nd out of 36 brands in Initial Quality per J. D. Power.

The end result is a desperate dealer body that resorts to cheesy giveaways to move the units to their low FICO score customers. It is no surprise that Mitsubishi is consistently at the bottom of Power’s Sales Satisfaction surveys.

So would a free firearm incentive entice you to buy a car? Or is it simply Robert Farago’s wet dream?




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29 Comments on “Tales From The Cooler: Throw In That Used Caliber And You’ve Got Yourself A Deal...”

  • avatar

    Wow. Nice insult to some of your readers Virgil. I bought a new Ralliart 7 months ago…not because of a low FICO, but because it is a fun, affordable car. BTW: I know of M/B dealers with financing for “difficult” situations.

  • avatar

    It is one thing to insult a car brand or a car model, but to call its customers/ owners low FICO scum, youve just insulted the person who drives it.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree: That was my point.

    • 0 avatar
      pecos bill

      I did not see the word “scum” in the story. Certain brands do draw people with challenging credit more than others, just a fact.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      Mr. Hilts said “a desperate dealer body that resorts to cheesy giveaways to move the units to their low FICO score customers.” He’s saying that the gimmicks are targeted to the customers who have low FICO score; he didn’t say that ALL Mitsu buyers have low FICO score. (If I were a gun enthusiast, though, then I would be insulted by the stereotyping.)

      All poets are fools, but not all fools are poets.

  • avatar

    Seems to work well in Idaho. South of Boise is the Mountain Home Auto Ranch, buy a truck get a gun. It is hunting season after all.

  • avatar
    pecos bill

    In the UK that would be: Buy a Shogun, get a Shotgun!

    • 0 avatar

      I’m still waiting for an Urban Toyota Dealer to give away a MP5-SD with the purchase of a Prius. Of course they would also have to relabel “Eco” mode “Drive By”.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I find absolutely nothing “dubious” about this. I’m assuming hunting and fishing are popular around Easley, SC. I think the TV channel was having a slow news day. Now will the vehicle have a big-ass bumper for an NRA sticker?

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed… the state I live in ranks hunting ahead of football for quasi-religious social bonding. It’s commonplace to see gun/hunting related incentives for everything from air conditioners to washer/dryers.

      And many of the faithful are far above me on the food-chain. Nothing trashy about them.

    • 0 avatar

      A publicity stunt like this that gets into the news is much cheaper than actually buying advertising.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll have to agree the wording in the story seems a bit loaded and equating a perfectly legal promotion with fraud seems to be a logical misfire. I think this dealer might have caused me to pull the trigger on a deal if I had my sights set on buying a car. ;)

  • avatar

    Fargo’s dream is likely “buy a gun, get a car free.” LOL

    I’d rather have ’em throw in a used Saturn, Pontiac, or Oldsmobile with the purchase and then I could start working on a dead brand collection.

  • avatar

    Mitsu’s low FICO typical customer base would probably prefer a $250 gift certificate to Eddie’s Tyre and Wheel Emporium to get some 22’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Volts On Fire

      Nah, they’re chill as long as Eddie continues offering layaway.

      It is rather humorous watching the likes of LALoser grow indignant over the dominant – and entirely justified – stereotype about Mitsubishi owners.

      Face it, Loser – stereotypes persist because they’re often true. You bought a shit car. Almost every single person you encounter in your day-to-day existence recognizes that you bought a shit car. Those people also rightfully question your FICO score, as well as your intelligence – and while the answers they arrive at aren’t flattering, they are likely closer to the truth than you would care to admit.

      That said, I do give you some “credit” for avoiding that other bastion of low credit scores and even lower IQ… the Chevy dealership.

      • 0 avatar

        Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’….This loser loves trollin’! We don’t know what the FICO average is for mitsu buyers. It really can’t be much lower than the average because they’re still financing amounts similar to the big guys. This is just colorful language thrown around by the author to make a classist attack on mitsubishi because it’s convenient to his agenda.

  • avatar
    The Dark One

    This is nothing new. Dealers here in Louisiana give away BBQ grills in the Summer, guns in the Fall, and televisions near Christmas. Heck, for buyers that opt for Super Duty Fords, they can get a Honda 250
    4 wheeler during hunting season!

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t take advantage of a deal like this, for the same reason I wouldn’t buy a car because it came with a TV or a tablet or a hawaiian vacation or a toaster or whatever other random item that Joe Isuzu is offering if I buy his car.

    In the words of the Wu-Tang clan, Cash Rules Everything Around Me. I’d rather have $250 off than a $250 gift certificate. My guess is that if I was in the market for a gun, i could probably find a better deal than those offered by the store that the gift certificate is for. Buying a car based on a free item, like buying a car by looking at the monthly payment, is a sucker’s game. All you should be looking at is the bottom-line price.

    • 0 avatar


      Everything you say is correct but, you know what? Not everyone in the world is intent on screwing every last cent out of every deal. If the price is fair and we can afford it, for some of us, that is good enough.

      So, if a REASONABLE deal also comes with something free that I would also be buying soon ANYWAY then that would be killing two birds with one stone, right?

  • avatar

    Unless they have the exact car I want, I won’t pull on to the lot of any dealer with an inflatable gorilla, wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man or still uses “Cash for Clunkers or Cash for Cars” in their ads.

    Also obnoxious ads that have tons of fine print or guys in loud coats or big hats. Sadly, all these things are much more common than I expected them to be in this informed age.

  • avatar

    To be fair, the current Lancer will live on until 2014 when the next gen will be launched:

    Dunno if that’s a good or bad thing, it needs replaced sooner than that IMO

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    God,Mitsubishi is doomed if this is all their dealer network can come up with for sales incentives in South Carolina.A free rifle,or shotgun? Big deal.This is like some car dealer in France offering a couple of cartons of smokes, or a case of wine with every Peugeot or Citroen purchase.

  • avatar

    This is old hat. I know of a dealership in Jacksonville, Florida that was doing this same thing back in 1990. Only difference is that they actually gave you the gun and not a certificate; it was offered on the purchase of a pick-up truck.

    It probably wouldn’t fly today (but it might); it’s just target marketing to a demographic that likes that sort of thing. And no, those kinds of incentives don’t interest me.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    This sort of thing could end badly if the dealership if one of those bait-and-switch finance places.

    “Your 1.9% loan didn’t go through, but we can still get you that new car for 9.8%. You can just come back and sign the new paperwork. Otherwise, we’ll have to repossess the vehicle… You already have the shotgun, and a case of shells? Um, tell you what, we’ll make good on the original loan.”

  • avatar

    Having firearms on hand during the negotiation process is probably not a good idea, so buyers at Mitsubishi of Easley are given a $250 gift certificate redeemable at Sharp Shooters Gun Club and Range in Greenville.

    It’s a perfectly good idea (if either side is “gonna shoot someone” because of the negotiation, A) you’re doing it wrong and B) they’ll bring their own), but you can’t be in the business of selling people guns (which is what this counts as) without a Federal Firearms License.

    That’s why gun giveaways are universally done with the help of a local FFL holder, like in this case, the gun club.

    That way nobody gets sent to Federal prison (or given a $10,000 fine if they get lucky).

    • 0 avatar

      “I hereby sentence you, Michael Bolton… And Samir naan– Nanadajibad… To a term of no less than 4 years in a federal “pound me in the a**” prison.”

      Always nice to avoid it.

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