Nearly four of 10 Canadians (39 per cent) are likely to buy a car in the next two years, says a new RBC Auto Poll, and when they do, here are six words none of them wants to hear: "Let me check with my manager."
"That kind of volleying drives people nuts," Chris Travell, vice-president of strategic consulting at Maritz recently told Automotive News.
Well, of course it does. No one has ever enjoyed that sort of runaround. And in this age of instant information at the fingertips of iPad-equipped consumers, new car buyers come to the showroom armed with facts and figures – in particular an excellent idea of pricing. Every one of them wants the purchase to move along quickly. Travell says that 89 per cent are completely satisfied or very satisfied with a purchase when just one salesperson handles the deal – including having what he calls "pricing authority."
So the happiest car buyers shop at dealers where the salespeople are in control and empowered, Travell told the industry publication, adding that consumers call the back-and-forth charade a waste of time.
Deals of the Week wonders why this sort of thing needs to be studied at all. Empowered, impatient buyers in 2013 have no interest in doing the showroom shuffle and that's a lesson all dealers should take to heart – especially at a time when the RBC poll "shows that car purchasing and leasing intentions have stalled this year, as Canadians think prudently about how it may affect their personal financial situation," said Richard Goyder, vice-president of Personal Lending, RBC.
In a market where every buyer counts, why risk alienating a single one with outdated sales tactics that only irritate consumers? Deals of the Week would suggest that a good response to any salesperson who says, "I'll check with my manager," is to reply, "I'll check out another dealer."
In the meantime, check out these deals, including offers that could be worth more than $5,000 on a 2013 Ford Fusion. The biggest piece is a $3,000 factory-to-dealer incentive on buyers who opt to finance for 73 months or longer using a financial institution other than Ford Credit – and only in cases where the dealer facilitates the financing. Add to that a $1,000 Costco rebate, a $500 Auto Show Bonus and perhaps some form of dealer discount, as well. Fusion sales were up 26 per cent in March and now we now at least part of the reason why.
Meanwhile, the Mazda3 had a monster month in March, with sales up nearly 25 per cent. The story here is all about flexibility, although the critical piece is to emphasize that no matter what, consumers are looking at incentives worth at least $2,000, regardless of whether they are paying cash, financing or leasing. The simple option is a straight $2,000 incentive for cash buyers. Those looking to lease can take advantage of a $1,500 rebate, a 1.99 per cent rate for three years and an Owner Renewal Program worth $500, according to www.carcostcanada.com.
Deals of the Week is slightly intrigued by a combination of offers that could slice $3,000 or more off the price of a GMC compact SUV. A $1,000 loyalty incentive could be combined with a $500 gas card and another $500 auto show bonus, plus a dealer discount – and 0.0 per cent financing for up to 84 months.
And then there's the very fat $5,000 discount on the all-wheel drive version of the 2013 Lexus IS 250 sedan. Lexus is anxious to clear out remaining IS models given there's a reinvented 2014 IS in the wings. Thus, the deal.
As usual, pricing information here was supplied by www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2013 Ford Fusion SE
- MSRP: $24,499
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,650
- Dealer discount (estimated): $750
- Factory discount: $3,000 (73-Month or Greater Term finance allowance factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Factory discount: $500 (Ford/Lincoln Auto Show $500 factory-to-customer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $21,999
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $24,745.87
- Factory discount: $1,000 (Stackable Consumer Cash Incentive factory-to-consumer rebate for Plus Package only)
- Final price: $23,745.87
2013 Mazda3 Sport GT
- MSRP: $26,995
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,795
- Dealer discount (estimated): $800
- Factory discount: $2,000 (Mazda Retail Cash factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $25,990
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $29,368.70
- 3.99 per cent finance rate for five years
2013 GMC Terrain SLE-1 AWD
- MSRP: $30,645
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,650
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,250
- Taxable subtotal: $31,045
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $35,080.45
- Factory discount: $1,000 (GM $500 All Fueled UP Petro-Canada Gas Card Program factory-to-dealer program)
- Factory discount: $500 (GM $500 All Fueled UP Petro-Canada Gas Card Program factory-to-dealer program)
- Factory discount: $500 (GM Auto Show E-coupon Bonus factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final price: $33,080.45
- 0.0 per cent financing for up to 84 months
2013 Lexus IS 250 AWD
- MSRP: $38,050
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,095
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,700
- Factory discount: $5,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate on cash purchases)
- Taxable subtotal: $33,445
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $37,792.85
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.