I want you to meet Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, a huge chain of car dealerships in the United States. He's also a former head of Mercedes-Benz in the United States and long, long before that he turned wrenches as a mechanic in a Mercedes dealership. I'm telling you this because he has great credibility in the retail game.
So when Jackson says new car buyers are more price savvy than ever before, he knows of what he speaks.
"They've all done their homework," he recently told Bloomberg. "They don't want to step into a process designed for the village idiot."
And there's the nut of it all, the part of buying a new vehicle that can sometimes be difficult, even painful. Call it the "Let me run that by my manager" syndrome and it can still be found at some dealerships. If there is one thing I hear over and over, it is that most buyers hate the haggling. And because most have already done plenty of homework before setting foot in a showroom, they mostly want to head straight to the test drive and if that is successful, come to a fair price – quickly.
Odd, then, that in the age of the Internet, Bloomberg is reporting that it still takes two to three hours, on average, for a consumer to negotiate a new-car deal, hammer out financing and get enough training on a vehicle's technology to safely drive home. The report adds that the market research firm J.D. Power and Associates in the U.S. has found that new-car buyers spent 12.5 per cent more time negotiating at showrooms last year than in 2010. How is this possible? We are, after all, in an era when more than 80 per cent of buyers have already spent an average of 18 hours online researching models and prices, according to Google Inc.
The buyer who wants to pull the trigger quickly on a purchase can speed the process along with preparation and forethought. This starts, of course, with research, notes the online pricing service www.carcostcanada.com. There is plenty of information out there, including right here at Globe Drive, which is loaded with car reviews, manufacturer's pricing, specification, industry news and more. The savvy buyer can take that information to the next level by investing $39.95 for unlimited access to full wholesale pricing reports on 10 different models. And buyers can find other pricing services online, as well.
Carcostcanada also suggests that buyers should enter the negotiation knowing:
- Their credit score (the best deals go to those with the best credit scores)
- What they want in terms of features and options
- What they want to do about their trade-in, if there is one (Canadian Black Book has a free online residual value tool that will give shoppers an excellent idea of what their trade-in is worth.
Buyers armed with information, including a clear idea of the price they're willing to pay, have a much better chance of moving straight to a good deal in a short period of time. With that in mind, here are four excellent deals for this week. As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.
2013 Toyota Sienna V-6 7-passenger, FWD
- MSRP: $29,140
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,735
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,000
- Taxable subtotal: $29,875
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $33,758.75
- Factory rebate: $1,500 (Non-stackable Cash Discount factory-to-consumer rebate excluding S Package)
- Final price: $32,258.75
- Can be combined with special finance purchases and special rate leases
2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L GLS
- MSRP: $25,999
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,665
- Dealer discount (estimated): $900
- Factory discount: $2,500 (Non-stackable Cash Discount factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $24,264
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $27,418.32
2013 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 4WD HSE
- MSRP: $73,650
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax, Green Levy: $3,270
- Dealer discount (estimated): $3,250
- Factory discount: $3,000 (Purchase Cash factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $70,420
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $79,574.60
- Factory rebate: $1,000 (Green Levy rebate)
- Final price: $78,574.60
2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT w/1LT
- MSRP: $26,325
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,650
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,000
- Taxable subtotal: $26,975
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $30,481.75
- Factory discount: $3,000 (GM Malibu Madness Loyalty Program for Leases)
- Factory discount: $500 (GM Auto Show E-coupon Bonus factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final Price: $26,981.75
Pricing information source: www.carcostcanada.com . Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.