By on September 8, 2016

dealership

The r/askcarsales subreddit is a great source of information about car buying and the inner workings of dealerships. Flaired users are verified to be actual salespeople, which makes for highly qualified car buying advice. They’ve helped a great number of people save money and help calm the adversarial nature of the buyer-seller relationship.

Buying a car is a big decision. We all like to think that we are unique in the choices we make and how we go about negotiating a sale, but buyer stereotypes do exist. When one subreddit user posted a question about typical buyers for each brand, many of the salespeople jumped in to offer their opinion on the type of buyer that shops each brand. Some of the opinions might cross into racial profiling territory, but many are just hard truths about the customer base each brand has built up.

The first portion of the discussion focuses on cultural stereotypes and how each type of buyer negotiates. One verified salesperson mentions that Indian people like to negotiate, stating that “Indians will beat you to death.” He adds that he doesn’t take Indian customers, claiming that the negotiations take hours. This almost certainly constitutes racial profiling, and while it isn’t as brash as the incident where an Indian man was accused of trying to buy a vehicle for the Taliban, it could very easily get the salesperson and the dealer in trouble.

Cultural stereotypes and profiling continues throughout the thread. It is mentioned that Mexican buyers tend to skip over talking about the payment and negotiate instead on the total purchase price. (This method is actually the smartest way to go about purchasing a car, as it allows you to see the whole picture and not get caught up in four square type games.)

This second poster also mentions that Indian buyers tend to be hard negotiators but takes a lighter approach, mentioning they are likely to bring friends to spectate the negotiation. On the religious front, the poster states that some Muslim buyers are against paying interest but wants them to explain how they hold credit cards and home loans. Another user chimes in and states that some of his Muslim buyers do pay all of the interest up front in order to match their beliefs, but also states that many use their religion as a negotiation tool.

More salespeople then offer their own personal anecdotes, stating that certain cultures do negotiate harder than others and that their tactics are easy to identify. They mention the frequent statement of “What is the last price?”, which I have often heard from my own countrymen. (They may not be too far off on that front.)

New Suckers At The Stock Photo Dealership

The posts take on a less cultural note as they move on to SUV and minivan buyers, stating that many buyers are afraid to buy a minivan because they don’t want the “soccer mom” image. So, they end up in a less functional minivan that vaguely resembles an SUV. One poster states that men are often the ones who push for the minivan, since they can see the function and practicality of it.

When the thread dips into specific brands, Subaru buyers are at the top of the list. One of the first Subaru-friendly groups mentioned is engineers. A couple of the posters state that it isn’t hard to spot the engineers, as they often show up with a clipboard and tape measure to look at the vehicles on the lot. Environmentalists and astrologists are also big Subaru shoppers, as salespeople have experienced everything from do-it-yourself solar panels on Foresters to buyers who refuse to complete a purchase because Mercury was retrograde.

One user does mention that Subaru knows their buyers and has an official factory method with which to signal your sexual orientation (along with your occupation and favorite outdoor activities). A set of badges is available from their Badge of Ownership website.

The last part of the discussion centers on negotiation and states that potential Subaru buyers are likely to contact every dealer within 1,000 miles in order to save $500. As a Subaru owner, this is about the only stereotype that fits me — I contacted dealers as far as 1,500 miles away, which ultimately helped me save about $2,000 on the purchase of my WRX. The rest of the stereotypes fit somewhat with mainstream opinion — that teachers, engineers, and driving instructors who enjoy outdoor activities are also common Subaru buyers.

The Ford Mustang GT gets a mention as being a magnet for 18-year-olds with no credit and part time jobs (or carry provisional licenses). The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is mentioned in the same breath as being attractive to the teenage crowd. Mustangs are mentioned again further down the thread: many salespeople say they are aware of foreign students who come in with no social security number and are likely to pay full MSRP (as they plan to export them to China or other markets lacking that model or trim).

The board’s Porsche guru chimed in with a fairly detailed breakdown of the buyers he sees at his store. Surprisingly, he states that about 40 percent of Porsche buyers are enthusiasts who want one of the best-driving cars on the planet, and buy the car solely to enjoy it, be it on the occasional track day or a nice Sunday drive. Another 40 percent are there just for the status —their main concern is with the car’s badge and the prestige that comes with it. The remainder are on opposite ends of the spectrum, with 10 percent going to true motorsport drivers (who likely hold a racing license and strip out and cage the cars as soon as they leave the dealer) and the other 10 percent being investors who buy rare models to flip or export to other countries.

One Fiesta owner then chimes in and states that he owns a Lime Squeeze Fiesta sedan, asking the dealers to stereotype him. One of the dealers correctly guesses that he is fresh out of college and a first time buyer, while another takes a stab at his lifestyle and states that he probably owns a musical instrument, voted Obama, has a dog, and had probably smoked hookah in the last six months. TTAC’s own Fiesta owners fall into at least one of those categories, but I’ll leave you to guess who matches up where.

Another user pops into the thread with a seemingly random list of cars that includes a Focus wagon, Subaru Forester, Fiat 500, and a Honda Fit. One responder is able to correctly guess that she like small cars with good handling, a small turning radius, and fuel efficiency, that she lives in a big city with limited parking, has a small pet, and enjoys the outdoors and cycling. The only misses are the gender and the possibility of working in food service.

An owner of various Isuzu and Geo products, along with a few domestic trucks and a Fiesta ST, asks the salespeople to stereotype him as well. The responders guess that the inquirer likely owns a shirt with no sleeves and is a fireworks enthusiast who has at least one car on blocks in their driveway. The inquirer confirms that they do have a car on blocks, but it’s sitting in their garage, not the driveway.

Finally, the discussion turns to the Hyundai Veloster. While some may see it as an attempt to tap the youth market, many of the salespeople claim that it belongs to a weird niche that attracts buyers in their 40s that enjoy Hawaiian shirts and are looking spice up their commute. A couple of people chime in and state that they have seen such buyers — their workmates and family — stating that it helps them cling to their last ounce of youth.

Whether you see these statements as racial profiling or hard truths about how the car marketplace works, it appears that quite often we are not the unique snowflakes we believe ourselves to be when buying a car. Our cultures and communities often dictate how we approach a car-buying transaction, while marketing campaigns often push us to select vehicles that fit our lifestyle.

[Image: Faris/Flickr]

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130 Comments on “How Salespeople Stereotype New Car Buyers...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    If Bark wrote an article about this I could see how it would be interesting but as a recap of someone else’s web discussion…

    No.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I think it would be fun to have some readers describe themselves and their automotive needs, and have Bark guess what their most recent automotive purchase was.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I must be a closet Mexican. I tell them all upfront that the ONLY number that matters to me is out the door total price.

    • 0 avatar
      KevinB

      Me too. I’m also a closet Muslim because I hate paying interest as well.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Likewise. But that’s because I’m an educated buyer from hanging out on sites like this. I know what payment I can expect and afford because I did math beforehand. If it’s a used car, I got my own financing beforehand as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’ve found that getting financing beforehand works for new cars, too.

        It prevents being foursquared, and just generally increased our leverage in the negotiation by rescuing the number of dimensions and allowing us to focus entirely on the car.

        And it apparently makes me a secret Mexican, which is a surprise to me! I always thought my heritage was mostly German and British-Isles. But my son speaks Spanish, and we’re making a lot of Hispanic friends — so maybe I am a secret Mexican! I’ll have to ask.

        • 0 avatar
          wumpus

          My father had his genes tested by ancestry.com (not recommended, you don’t want to know who they will sell your data to): about 10% from the Iberian Peninsula (and almost entirely unaccounted for with a ton of Scots-Irish, Irish, German, and Saxon ancestors).

          Somehow they knew this was true!

          • 0 avatar

            There were two influxes of Iberians into Ireland–one BC, and one when as many as 24 ships from the Spanish armada were wrecked off the coast in the late 1500s. This is why there are “black Irish”.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Make that four Mexican Muslims. We’re all probably older, or won the lottery, because avoiding interest means paying cash. Oh, wait, we could be bank robbers or embezzlers. There goes the stereotype.

    • 0 avatar
      Click REPLY to reload page

      Me, too. As far as financial negotiations, the final price is what’s important. But I only buy used, from private parties, so as to never have to deal with the dealership BS and manipulations, and the depreciation. A new car is a terrible investment, and a good used car can provide very good value for the money.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    man, reddit has the worst site design ever. what an ungodly mess.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      For sure, the Reddit Enhancement Suite is pretty much a required add-on to your browser if your really trying to use it.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Either I’ve gotten used to it, or I don’t know a good design from a bad one. Although yes, maybe it is the RES helping me out.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      For me personally, the amount of information and entertainment I pull out of Reddit is well worth dealing with it. At this point I’m not exactly sure they could even streamline or pretty up the design of the site, or if I’d even want them to, I’m used to it now.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Is it really that surprising? I think the Porsche dealer is the most interesting because it captures the best description I can think of when I read the comments here and other places. So many resentful types who hate the 40% who buy it for badge but assume EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT (instead of you know…40%).

    That being said, was anything all that surprising? It’s pretty easy to see market trends and if you watch an average suburban parking lot or keep your eyes peeled. I think Subaru is the most aggressive tender of their image though, they built their post-2000 image squarely on being the car of the Pacific Northwest. So if you cater to that image that group will start showing up at your door.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I don’t know what Porsche sales break down as, but it probably ends up that 911/Cayman/Boxster buyers make up 100% of the fun-to-drive 40%. 95% of the prestige 40% are Cayenne and Panamera buyers, with a handful of 911 or Boxster buyers filling out the last 5%. I doubt anybody buying a Cayman is doing it for the prestige when a Boxster is nearly identical, costs less, and has a drop-top.

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        This is sort of how I see the Porsche customer line up (at least with newer cars).

        911 – Old rich guy.

        911 vert – Old rich guy with baseball cap.

        Boxster – Old guy with baseball cap, often accompanied by wife. Also occasional driven by professional female lawyer type.

        Cayenne/Macan – Trophy Housefrau. Highest level of brand snobbery, lowest level of “enthusiast”.

        Cayman – Almost always a guy, under 40. I have nothing to back it up but the Cayman must be the youngest demographic for Porsche if my observations hold any value. Probably highest level of “enthusiast”.

        Panamera – The truly wealthy. I’ve never actually seen anyone drive or get out of one though, so they may also be a ghost.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Subaru is also the car of the Atlantic Northeast, and throw in the Great Lakes too. The Pacific Northwest can’t generate current Subaru sales by itself. Full time AWD is attractive in the snow belt, and that’s where the sales growth is.

    • 0 avatar
      bubbagump

      My mom’s 78 and lives in The County in Maine. Herds a Subaru OB when out and about.

  • avatar
    Hemi

    Come on TTAC, you could have just posted a link to reddit instead of trying to recap wtf.

    Bozi, you seem to have a lot you bring to the table. Im sure you could have written about anything more interesting.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…it isn’t hard to spot the engineers, as they often show up with a clipboard and tape measure”

    Speaking as an engineer, that’s ridiculous. But as someone who is 6’6″, I *do* take time beforehand to rule out cars with insufficient headroom. No Miatas for me.

    Like kvndoom, I must also be part Mexican. I once let a salesman repeatedly ply me with the four-square – even after repeatedly telling him not to – for two hours, just so my son could learn how their games are played. I bought elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, we bust out the tape measures and clipboards at NAIAS during the Industry Preview days ;)

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Don’t forget our slide rulers. I do bring a notepad with prices. Now days that notepad is on the phone.

        • 0 avatar
          Blackcloud_9

          Do you also have a pocket protector for all of your pens in one shirt pocket and the glasses case (with clip) in the other?

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Nope. We engineers put everything on the cell phone, so there’s no need for pens. If I have to sign something, I’ll borrow a pen and try to slip it in my pants pocket while distracting the lender with a question. A lot of engineers over 40 wear glasses full time anyway, and if I need to see some fine print, I take a photo with the cell phone and enlarge it. Trust engineers to use the latest tech.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatist

          I have a drawer full of slide rules dating back to my grade school days in the 60s. I do not believe any of the engineers I work with actually know how to use them.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Right, because who couldn’t look up the actual measurements ahead of time.

      I had this guy in an older well used Jaguar come in and measure his cars wheel base (from the outside of the tire) and that of a new Lincoln LS, then he got confrontational saying there was no way the LS was related to Jaguar. No, not to your 1989 XJS, of course not! I began to calmly explain the relationship between the LS and the S-Type, but he got in his car and left. Probably not an engineer, just an idiot, lol.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I bring a tape measure to measure rear seat height, which makes a huge difference to my wife’s surgically-repaired back when loading kids. It’s not a dimension any manufacturer reports.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    When my I bought my last car, the salesman said something to the effect “that you’re the type of person who would buy this vehicle.”

    I’m not sure if I was supposed to be offended or not…

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Here’s me, “And you’re the type of person I won’t buy it from. Next salesman please.”

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      I’ve been test driving trucks this week and I realize that the salesmen are just trying to make conversation.. but sometimes I wish they just didn’t talk at all. I’m sure it’d probably help if I wasn’t hanging around sites like this so I didn’t already know all of the features, engine #’s, etc. so they actually had something to point out and talk about. I really don’t want to hear about how “cool” or “badass” I’ll look driving it around.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You should mention all the features of the vehicle to the salesman. Given the turnover at dealerships, more often than not it’s the first time he’s heard that informsation.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’m almost always the type of person who *wouldn’t* buy the vehicle, and more than one dealer has lost a sale by not taking me seriously because of it.

      I bought a new Acura TSX at age 27, which might have been a Honda Accord V6 if the Honda dealer guy hadn’t said without knowing my income “a guy like you can afford a Civic better.”

      I bought a new G8 GXP as an urban professional at age 33, when most of the guys buying them were 20 years older and quite a bit less urban. I did the deal over the internet and the salesman was quite surprised to see me when I went to pick the car up, but managed to put his game face back on quickly.

      When I bought a Forester not long after getting married, one Subaru saleswoman said “You don’t have kids — why so big? You should test drive an Impreza.” A different Subaru dealer got the purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        What do these dealers think they’ll gain by trying to construct boxes about who they think you are, and what you can afford/want?

        I don’t think I know a single person who would like being told “who they were” by a car dealer.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Beats me. I just ascribed it to “humans are clueless about how to interact with other humans,” which is often true in all settings (and of me too).

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          It’s the result of immersion in the job.

          They work long hours, and it’s human nature to stereotype. That’s WHAT they think of. They’re a pack, waiting to pounce on someone who walks in.

          But wise use of time is how to increase income. So…they’ll judge based on past behaviors of persons who “look like” the latest victim – who seem to be of that pigeonhole. Some are probably serious buyers. Two teenaged kids, probably not, unless a parent is co-signing – and then, not anything that’s overly profitable.

          They live with this, all day, all week, all the time…and it comes to be the way they think. They no longer realize how offensive it is to others to be bunged into various boxes and categorically dismissed.

          Basically, it’s because they don’t get out enough.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That makes sense, like the drug sniffing dogs which get too used to the smell. Got to go off the job once in a while and snap out of it.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The thing about books and covers, and all that!

            I think I’ve seen more than one anecdote on here about a young guy dressed in a tank top, shorts and flip flops who leaves the BMW dealership because the sales staff pays no attention to him..

            ..even though he’s there to buy with (legitimate, not drugs/other ill-gotten means) CASH.

      • 0 avatar
        thirteen20wrx

        Definitely. I’m in my early thirties with long hair and a crazy beard. I generally buy CPO instead of new, and was recently looking to trade my truck for either an X3 or a Grand Cherokee (yeah, I know, but the wife narrowed it down to those two). Found a cherry CPO X3 with the Sport package (kinda looks like a baby X5M and moves out with the turbo 6) on the BMW dealer’s lot. After the somewhat bored salesman insulted me on my immaculate trade (“uhh, well I have to put it in rough condition, there’s a scratch on the headlight”), he refused to negotiate off the dealership’s quite high sticker in the most condescending way possible: “These are desirable vehicles. If you don’t buy it, someone else will. Anyway, if you can’t afford the 35 Sport, I have a couple regular 28’s you might be able to swing.” After letting him know it wasn’t a matter of “ability to afford” but rather “willingness to pay for that particular product”, I went across town and spent $10k more on a GC SRT8 because I liked it more and it was a better deal. Way to lose an easy cash deal by judging my appearance, buddy.

        Although, after a year of check engine lights, oil leaks, and barely sufficient air conditioning, I kind of question my overall decision to purchase an FCA product. But still, screw THAT guy!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Well, the people that work at car dealers are usually complete stereotypes too.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I gravitate toward the anti-stereotype, such as the long-retired fellow who is just selling cars for fun. That could be me some day.

      • 0 avatar
        3CatGo

        I hope it is me someday too. As a 41 year old engineer, I just hope I am retired in time for human-driving cars to still exist so there is something left to sell. I work for a very customer-focused firm, and I am just plain shocked by the apathy and lack of knowledge of the car salespeople I deal with; we own a TDI so we have been out lately looking at several cars. I know I would bring a ton of energy and knowledge to the job, but no way am I leaving the engineering world now for the life of a salesman.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      The thing about stereotypes that gets lost in the PC nonsense is that they exist because there is a kernel of truth to them. Different cultures and ethnicities have different approaches to things like buying and selling as well as other practices.

      However, due to the pernicious nature of political correctness we are supposed to pretend these differences do not exist and not act on them. (At least not when it comes to race or culture. The rules of political correctness are fluid and difficult to nail down, but it’s apparently OK to attack groups based on career, such as car salesman.)

      Could you even name a thrifty car model the “Scotsman” today? We’ve gone way down the rabbit hole on this nonsense.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      My BMW sales dudette is a smoking hot 27yo blond. Top seller at the dealership – go figure. Knows the cars inside and out, great to deal with. Of course, she has no say in the pricing.

      Evidently I shocked the Fiat guys when I bought my Abarth. Had a flight cancel, so I stopped at the dealer on the way home for lack of anything better to do. Drove the Abarth, loved it, bought it the next day. They were sure they would never see me again. Those guys are the more stereotypical middle-aged car salesmen.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I must be a Muslim Mexican cause I don’t buy based on monthly payments and hate paying interest.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Good luck with airport security.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Naw, it’s the little old ladies the TSA likes to profile. They’ll look even-handed, and nothing is found so it doesn’t slow the process any more than it was designed to. TSA agents have coffee and lunch breaks too. The only time they’ll take more time is after lunch in the early afternoon when people are trying to make a connecting flight.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    I would love to see the description of the average BMW buyer. They are probably the opposite of the Porsche buyer.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      What, 40% enthusiast and 40% badge snobs vs. 40% badge snobs and 40% enthusiasts?

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Try walking in to a BMW dealership and asking about a white, manual trans 320i with minimal options (I have my reasons!)…crickets in the wind. Long-term enthusiast, but was largely laughed out of the showroom. In the end, all for naught after the recent adoption of my niece and the much sooner than expected purchase of our Escape. But still, wonder where I would be seen when it comes to pegging me as a potential BMW buyer…

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Sounds like what happens when you walk into a Chevy dealer and ask about ordering a green, manual SS.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        I leased a silver 320i with minimal options from dealer stock, but you got me on the manual transmissions. They had a few manuals, but they were in models of a more enthusiast bent. Said they would order anything I wanted, however, and I saw a very sexy black 328d WAGON on the way home today and kinda loved it…

  • avatar
    ThirdOwner

    When I’m stuck waiting for a long red light at a major intersection I sometimes play this game with myself to pass the time: I pick an approaching vehicle, look at the driver, and then decide whether the driver matches what I see as my owner stereotype for that kind of vehicle.

    I’d say 8 out of 10 is my batting average. Stereotypes exist for a reason.

  • avatar
    operagost

    The fact is that the Qur’an forbids usury, so saying that Muslims avoid paying interest (or collecting it) simply isn’t a stereotype.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    having just completed the buying process last month, I have to say that, for once, it was a very stress-free, almost pleasurable experience. No four-square… no handoff… I dealt exclusively with the internet manager. Their advertised price was good, but we went $1600 better… several thousand better than the TrueCar “exceptional price”. I was satisfied with that. Paperwork took maybe 30 minutes. Finance & insurance took less than 20 minutes. I spent most of my time waiting for the detail department to prep the truck.

    I’d be VERY surprised if someone could stereotype me from my vehicle purchases… but it would be a hoot to try.

  • avatar
    brettc

    So this is just someone reading and summarizing the reddit thread I read last night. Um, okay then.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Reddit has sites other than porn? Who knew

  • avatar
    whitworth

    “One poster states that men are often the ones who push for the minivan, since they can see the function and practicality of it.”

    This is true in my household at least. I get that a minivan isn’t sexy, but neither is carrying two kids in strollers.
    A complete non-starter for my wife, despite it making life so much easier.

    It’s just like the old saying, men dress for women, and women dress for other women. Or is that another bad stereotype?

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I’ll join those who observe that women are more resistant to minivans than men. Although I come across a fair number of men who are against them, women in my demographic (in their 30s) almost universally reject the idea of a vehicle that makes them look like a parent, as they wait with the other parents in the carpool line to pick up their offspring.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Maybe if you cover up the side windows and put in shag carpeting, and get a sticker that reads,”If this van is rockin’ don’t bother knockin’ “, women will accept minivans.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        What they really mean is “a vehicle that makes them look like THEIR parent.”

        My wife is also completely minivan-resistant; the word she uses is “dowdy.” I ask her whether a large CUV isn’t just as dowdy and she looks at me like I grew another head.

        She doesn’t want a third kid, but if she did I could probably change her mind by telling her that three kids = minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Nostrathomas

      At least my wife is into wagons, but this is pretty much the case in our house too. I suggested getting a Transit Connect wagon as a family car, and I was laughed out of the room.

      I guess I understand not wanting the van because they signify a certain loss of youth…what I dont understand is why crossovers are any better considering that’s all you ever see in a school parking lot. Because driving a Hyundai Tuscon or Sante Fe is totally sexy youth on wheels!

      Also, what’s wrong with being a mom?

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        A woman driving a giant SUV also screams “mom”, so to me the distinction seems silly.

        I can understand a single person avoiding a minivan, but the idea it’s too much of a “mommy mobile” as you’re unloading your infant with their stroller makes no sense to me (or most men)

        We’re past the age of infant children now, but the constant getting in and out with them would have been SO much easier with sliding doors and a lower step height.

        But to my wife, it’s the equivalent of her wearing sweat pants every day. I guess every gender has their hang ups.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      When we were van shopping in 2010 my wife didn’t want a van because of the mom image. Sales manager told her “an ugly woman getting out of a Corvette is still ugly”. We drove home in the van.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    10-15 year old windowless vans = cooking meth (and other nefarious activities)

  • avatar
    MeJ

    See if you guess this:

    I’m white, married, Canadian (Vancouver), 48, blue collar.
    My next vehicle is going to be a Subaru Crosstrek.

    Guess what I drive now…

    *I’ll answer later today.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Basically, what I see is that you can profile people up to a point but that at least for some, such profiling is next to impossible. How many people here can predict exactly what I WILL buy when I trade in my Jeep Wrangler?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Hyundai Santa Cruz (if they ever build it.)

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I’ll give that guess an A+, since I am a strong proponent of the type. However, there’s still the Jeep Wrangler pickup and the Fiat Toro/Ram 700 (maybe Ram 1000 considering the 700 is based on the Strada?) to consider. It looks like they’ll hit the market at just about the same time as the Santa Cruz.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      A minivan!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Lorenzo: Fifteen years ago I might have considered it as I was actively looking at the Chevy Astro at the time (three-piece tailgate/split-door design.) I ended up buying a Saturn Vue for price, performance, handling and brand reputation (thing was surprisingly reliable and I was EXTREMELY upset with GM for ruining the brand before they killed it!)

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      As much as I hate bringing you the bad news, the Santa Cruz program was killed off, not happening. Hyundai was just teasing the vulpii all along. The thing makes no sense, not from the buyers perspective or the car maker’s.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Having been around many-many Russian immigrants in the US, specifically folks of the blue-collar class rather than the Soviet brain-drain caste such as myself, I can unequivocally say DO NOT buy a used car from a Russian guy (or any Eastern European, frankly). There’s a reason the term “Russian rebuild” exists. Now, there’s plenty of people of different ethnicities buying and fixing up and flipping wrecked and flooded cars, but no single group seems to gravitate towards it quite so much as Russian/Ukrainian/Armenian/etc. I was having tea with some emigres from Kazakhstan (ethnic Russians/Tatars), all these guys talked about was buying stuff at auction, shipping and selling it somewhere. It was surreal to sit there and learn the finer points about inboard vs outboard motors and what would sell for more in the motherland, and what port is best to ship out of. All the guys drive rebuilt BMW/Merc/Lexus with a ton of miles so it’s a sweet little income stream for my diagnostician brother. Except these people are very difficult to deal with and always want some kind of discount or “can you just look at this real quick and tell me what you think it is?” That’s how we ended up drinking tea with these folks anyways, we were there diagnosing a stalling problem on an ’09 X5 that one of the guys’ sons had. Overall fun people to hang out with (they were butchering a goat in the backyard on a birch stump while we were diagnosing), but you just always end up a bit leery of what all they’re up to or if they’re working some kind of angle on you.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The one thing that strikes me as weird is that where I live (in flyover country), Subarus, especially Outbacks, are very popular with middle-aged and older women. Not the pseudo-hip Chico’s women and not lesbians, either, but kind of frumpy ones who look more like church ladies. I can only guess that maybe it is because there aren’t that many other lower-priced station wagons on the market and maybe they like the all-wheel-drive?

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Government employees.

      Subarus offer several advantages, social and otherwise. They’re a Tree-Hugger badge. And yes, AWD offers some traction advantages in snow…meaning, of course, they don’t need to focus on their driving in bad road conditions.

      And most of these women have dogs. A lot of them around here have stickers on them: “WAG MORE – Bark Less”. Right next to the GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and other obligatory shibboleths that must be displayed in government-employee parking lots.

      Let them. It is their money. Tire chains and sandbags in my Toyota pickup will get me around faster; and with a portable jack and wheels with the tires and chains already mounted, I can put those snow-busters on and take them off, faster than any University or Forest Service desk-jockey with her eyeglasses on a gold neck chain, can earn the premium and repair costs on a Subaru.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “On the religious front, the poster states that some Muslim buyers are against paying interest but wants them to explain how they hold credit cards and home loans. Another user chimes in and states that some of his Muslim buyers do pay all of the interest up front in order to match their beliefs, but also states that many use their religion as a negotiation tool.”

    I suppose I, as a Jew, could complain about not being able to shop at Target on Christmas Day, and I suppose Jews could complain that my family keeps their restaurant open during the Sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, when you’re not supposed to be doing any kind of work or exchanging money). I suppose Catholics could go car shopping during Lent and complain that the complimentary barbecue doesn’t include fish, and Hindus could complain that there’s burgers on the grill. And on and on.

    Some folks will complain about anything, I guess.

  • avatar
    CriticalMass

    In the mid-90’s I was briefly a Lexus rep. and I mined a rich vein of Indian doctors. They were not hard to deal with in general but their wives! If m’lady showed up with the children and or a friend, usually both, you could be certain you were in for the Seige of Leningrad. Hours, and they WOULD NOT LEAVE! You didn’t want to offend (just normal courtesy plus the vein was not played out) and I was invariably as polite as I could be but on a couple of occasions I simply stated that we were not going to be able to agree, excused myself and did not return. They were still sitting in my office over an hour later. That’s persistence!

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