An efficiency study by the Rikess Group goes right to the heart of something that drives new car buyers nuts: wasted time.
Mark Rikess, in fact, tells Automotive News that after studying more than 100 dealerships, he found that two of the usual four hours needed to complete a new car sale add up to nothing more than wasted time.
Anyone who's ever bought a car or light truck knows the drill outlined by Rikess in the report: the salesperson spends time photocopying a driver's licence, then more time finding a key for the test drive and more time still looking for a temporary licence plate.
Then there's the time spent waiting for the sales manager to approve the deal. That can take a while because that one sales manager is juggling three or four deals. And on and on it goes. Wasted time.
This is how it has been for decades, and it's how things remain at many retailers today. And in a world where customers are strapped for time, the whole sales process needs streamlining, he says.
One quick solution is for dealers to schedule plenty of staff during periods when customers are most likely to be shopping and buying. Another is for dealers to dig into the sales bottlenecks and unplug them. Yet a third, he adds, is for dealers to empower staff to make more decisions, thus limiting the number of people involved in any one transaction. Imagine this: no more waiting for the sales manager to approve a deal. How much time would that save?
Seems simple and straightforward enough, adds Rikess in the Automotive News report. Yet not enough dealers have streamlined the showroom process. Those who do, discover a win-win: customers are happier with the speed of the deal and salespeople make more money because they're moving more metal.
So what keeps so many dealers from changing with the times?
"Because that's the way it's always been done," he tells the industry publication. "Change is frightening."
If nothing else, shoppers armed with information will be empowered to push the deal along at an efficient and satisfying pace. Those who know about the $12,000 offer on a Nissan Titan pickup, for instance, are empowered to forge ahead more quickly. Those that know how to stack various offers on the GMC Acadia, offers than can mean thousands in discounts, can cut through the chatter and get right to the point.
Ditto for the deals in play on the Chrysler 300 sedan and Jeep Compass, both outlined below. Each one is unique and up for discussion and negotiation. Getting to the point of all this is what really matters to most buyers. Time, as the oh-too-true cliché goes, is money.
Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for all the details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2014 GMC Acadia SLE1 AWD
- MSRP: $39,495
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,700
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,250
- Factory discount: $250 (GM Fuel Savings Card factory-to-consumer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $39,695
- Total price with 13% HST: $44,855.35
- Factory incentive: $500 (GM Auto Show E-coupon Bonus factory-to-customer rebate)
- Factory incentive: $1,000 (GM Targeted Owner Loyalty/Conquest Program factory-to-consumer rebate)
- Factory incentive: $750 (GM Student Bonus or Military Program factory-to-consumer rebate)
- Total price with 13% HST: $42,605.35
- 0.00% financing for 36, 48 or 60 months available with factory incentives
2014 Jeep Compass North FWD
- MSRP: $23,295
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,795
- Dealer discount (estimated): $650
- Factory discount: $2,750 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $21,690
- Total price with 13% HST: $24,509.70
- 2.99% financing for 36 months available with factory incentive
2014 Chrysler 300 Touring RWD
- MSRP: $34,595
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,795
- Dealer discount (estimated): $900
- Factory discount: $2,500 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $32,990
- Total price with 13% HST: $37,278.70
- Manufacturer incentive available to customers that only lease an eligible model
2014 Nissan Titan Crew Cab S SWB
- MSRP: $39,898
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,710
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,600
- Factory discount: $12,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $28,008
- Total price with 13% HST: $31,649.04
- 4.99% financing available for up to 84 months or 5.59% lease rate for 24-48 months can be combined with factory incentive
Pricing information source: unhaggle.com and 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. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.
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