By on May 29, 2013


The last week or two, I’ve been getting the Toronto Sun free of charge. The Sun, as it’s known, could be compared to, say, the New York Post, but it’s really more in the vein of a British tabloid paper. Like the Post, the front page always has some sensationalized headline, and it’s often looked down upon as the newspaper of the uneducated middle class, but if you want to know what’s really going on in Toronto, especially our farcical municipal politics, The Sun cannot be beat.

While its competitors have ads for local Aston Martin, Bentley and Land Rover dealers, the Sun seems to have never-ending full-page ads for local domestic car dealerships, which seem to be perpetually wrapping up some kind of blowout sale that brings a whole new meaning to the term “dealer may sell for less”.

Having never picked up The Sun prior to getting it delivered, I was unaware that you could get such a good deal on a new car. But every day, there are 2013 Fusions, Escapes, Journeys, Grand Caravans and even full-size trucks going for utterly unbelievable prices. How about

In some cases, like the Journey and the 200, you are getting some old tech, like 2.4L engines and 4-speed automatics. I don’t think I’d really want to drive a minivan at this stage in my life, but the Caravan at 17,995 is an unbeatable value – and the step up to a model with Stow N Go seats (which I’d imagine are a must have when kids and all their associated cargo are part of the equation) only brings the price up to just under $22,000.

The fact that a Dart 2.0L costs more than a Fusion or an Escape strikes me as absurd. I don’t know how much of it is manufacturer cash on the hood or a price war among dealers. One dealer principal I spoke to told me that this is happening already. According to him, car dealerships are just convenient real estate plays for a number of wealthy Toronto residents, and they’re ok with selling cars at rock bottom prices. For consumers, there’s never been such an abundance of good deals out there.


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23 Comments on “Dealer May Sell For Less...”

  • avatar

    I buy the Saturday Star for the auto ads, as you state, it’s a great place to see the latest deals from the (mostly) domestic car dealers.

    When seriously shopping for car, I and my family have always taken Sun ads with us for leverage (local dealers never advertise deals like the Toronto area dealers).

    Chrsyler and Ford dealers are especially aggressive.

  • avatar

    Funny you are referencing print ads when we all now you can negotiate a better price depending on the dealership. Can you use TrueCar up north?

  • avatar

    Comparing selling prices and payments between car ads is completely useless. You may be comparing a price that bundles all the rebates (and NO ONE qualifies for ALL of them) with a legitimate price from another dealer. Lease payments can be made to be any number, you need to look at the fine print to see that its the stripped model (that doesn’t exist) and that the payment is + tax, registration, doc fees, banks fees, option packages etc. Car ads are designed to get you in the door, nothing more. No one walks out with a car bought at the ad numbers.

  • avatar

    For a short period (two months), I worked for one of the Chrysler dealers aggressively advertising CVP Grand Caravans and Journeys, making a piss-poor effort to sell them (I can talk about a car for hours, I can’t close to save my life). Those numbers are technically based in reality (because every dealer price matches, and pretty much every customer walks in knowing that, we sort of had to be flexible). But good luck finding a genuine zero options CVP. Out of 50+ vans in stock, we’d be lucky to have one that had nothing added. Of course, if anyone came in looking for that ridiculously cheap van, we were encouraged to steer them towards one with a handful of options, and get slightly creative with pricing (yes, we’ll sell it for invoice plus $500, but the UConnect? That’s a $500 option. That roof rack is worth $800 too!).

    I felt about as dirty as I do flipping through the Sun.

    • 0 avatar

      Good to hear ‘bait and switch’ is still alive at least in the ‘Great White North’. Its glorious history (in the new and used donkey market) goes back long before Moses led the chosen people out of captivity and toward the promised land.

  • avatar

    There’s a sales war going on between Ford and Chrysler for number one in Canada and they are pretty well neck in neck. I’m fairly sure the dealer’s respective sales reps are leaning on them pretty hard to move as many of the most popular models as they can.

    Although to get the prices advertised, you usually have to qualify as an employee or something of the sort.

    • 0 avatar

      1st Time buyer discount, military discount, OEM Friends & Family discount, OEM Bank with extended term discount, Take delivery from dealer stock by the end of the month discount, exactly 1 vehicle out of 300 buried out in no mans’s land meeting this configuration.

      Granted I won this game once by getting the early morning paper, seeing the loss leader priced car in print, stalking the dealer’s lot before opening, and finding the car (a ’99 Cirrus buried back behind a bunch of used Fords at South Shore Ford/Chrylser/Volvo). The sales snake swore up and down the car wasn’t there. I took him to it. Then he said that wasn’t the price. Showed him the paper. Then he said he couldn’t sell it to me. Then I credibly threatened to report him (individually) and his manager to the state consumer protection board. Drove away 2 hours later with that Cirrus.

  • avatar

    What the hell is a “24 month prepaid lease”???

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly what it sounds like. Pay upfront with cash for a lease. It is usually at a discount over leasing with monthly payments.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s not how it’s presented in this article. So it’s $18,888 for the EcoBoost Escape….for 2 years and then you return the vehicle or buy out the lease?

        • 0 avatar

          You are right. This Canadian ad confuses me. The total payments on the 3 year Escape lease total less than $10000, so a 24 month prepaid lease can’t possibly be $18888. Maybe a prepaid lease is different in Canada….

      • 0 avatar

        The fine print (from another dealer’s web site): “Customer has option to purchase after 24-month pre-paid lease $4000+HST for Fusion, $4300+HST for Escape and $6000+HST for Edge.”

        So really consider it a purchase of a Fusion SE for $21,388 + HST, and a $4000 interest-free loan due in two years (or $23,188 + HST for Escape, of which $4300 due in two years). Of course the dealer will do a hard sell on you at that time to get you into another new Ford …

  • avatar

    Typically the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Escape, and sometimes Edge lease out within $40/month of each other in Metro Detroit. The Focus tends to be the cheapest lease. Leasing is all about funny math. Residuals and incentive cash are very important. A good example is the Explorer. Ford will give you more money towards a lease than a purchase, provided you aren’t a lease conquest. $2000 is huge on a 24 month lease when compared to a 72 month note.

    • 0 avatar

      The lease schemes here drive me insane. That and my 30k miles/year drive me to buy used.

    • 0 avatar

      You have to keep in mind that a lease represents 2 chances to profit on the same vehicle. They make money selling it to a dealer twice. Of course it does represent a risk if the market substantially changes, though that too is a double edge sword. Back when gas prices made their first march to $4/gal automakers got burned big time on the SUV’s that were being returned since their value dropped ~$2K almost over night. On the other hand those compact and midsize cars gained ~$2K and ~$1K overnight. Of course the bulk of the lease returns were SUVs so there was a net loss.

  • avatar

    Every one of those cars shown in those type ads are nearly impossible to get in as much the price shown has so much fine print attached to it that maybe 1 person out of a thousand that wants that car at that price actually get it.

    It is nice to carry with you though when you do go shopping….

    And yes, I have gotten one of those bait and switch cars but I had to walk out the door three times before they caved….

  • avatar

    When I was just out of college I cashed in on one of these too good to be true specials.

    I bought a brand new 2005 F150 XL with V6, 5 speed, rubber floor covering, bench seat, and an AM/FM radio for just under $15000. I can’t imagine the dealer (or Ford) made a cent on that sale but I was very pleased and it turned out to be an excellent truck. The pest control white color and steel wheels didn’t make it much of a chic magnet however.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford, Dodge, and especially Chevy tend to have really cheap versions of their full size trucks available. There are boat loads of $15000 Silverados around here. Maybe less if you qualify for the right incentives. I can’t find a Dodge or Ford under $18000 though.

  • avatar

    I found and bought a brand new 1990 Eagle Vista in the Sun – for $6500. Even then a new car in Canada was hard to find below $10,000. (It was a left over still on the dealer lot in the summer of 1991.)

    Never had a problem with the car until the day the engine caught fire, about 9 years later! Oddly enough, my mother had a similar experience with a mitsubishi product 5 years later – the car burst into flames while sitting on the driveway, not running! (I’m convinced there must have been some sort of short in the block heater – it happened in the winter when the block heater was plugged in.)

  • avatar

    Recently drove the family down to St. Petersburg FLA. A kia dealer was advertizing new Soul’s at $7,500. Very seriously considered putting one on the Mastercard to get the points.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Chrysler dealerships in particular always seem to discount their cars for no good reason. One of the large dealerships here in Oklahoma declares a “Hail Sale” practically every time it rains…and many of the cars have no noticeable damage. With the crop of recent tornados, there might be some merit to that this time around, but still…

  • avatar

    They couldn’t print it if it weren’t true…

  • avatar

    How the Toronto Sun survives is beyond me, given that it has to compete with 2 free newspapers for transit rider readership.

    What is more amazing is that they’ve put up a pay wall on their interet site. I can’t imagine their regular uneducated male working class readers (which is their core demographic market) paying to read this POS on the web.

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