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Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Avoidable Contact #85: In which a customer turns down $26,000 in free money and Warren B. gobbles it


Do you like a good Thanksgiving story? I do. Let me share this one with you. It happened for real, earlier this week, at a Chevrolet dealership owned by the Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Group. You won't read this in the pages of the general-interest automotive press, but this has been the best year anybody can remember for car stores. It's true that this, ahem, novel coronavirus crisis is absolutely eviscerating America's small-business base in a manner that would seem deliberate to anyone who doesn't completely trust our, ahem, infallible world government. It's also true that the people who actually buy new cars—the managerial/professional/toady class of American corporations—are experiencing a nontrivial increase in disposable income right now. They can't travel or eat fancy meals, so they're buying new cars instead.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-85/

25 REPLIES 25
spoom
Technician

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the dealership was owned by Berkshire Hathaway? Regardless, good story and a shame that some people won't at least do a little research and some simple math, regardless who or what the information is coming from. I suppose it's understandable that someone would automatically and adamantly refuse to believe anything an F&I guy told them, since that behavior normally saves you tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime, minimum. 😉

spoom
Technician

I would gently add that while I agree that Kamala's America is a good place, filled with good people, she herself would not. Like President Obama, she thinks it needs radical change to BECOME is a good place, filled with people who either agree or are in need of re-education or punishment(s).

SJacobT
Detailer

You really burn up the search bar trying to be Dan Neil for Trump’s America, doncha’?

Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Good hard swing here, but you've committed the arriviste's mistake of mistaking the imitation for the real thing. I bet you're a reliable customer for movies based on books, as well. For what it's worth, I think "Trump's America" is a good place, filled with good people, the same as "Kamala's America" or any other America you'd like to carve out for rhetorical purposes.
JFD
Passenger

Great - I have to look up “arriviste” AND “book” now?  More importantly, will DN have to give back that Pulitzer when you reveal his work as a palimpsest‽

Earnestly, when one leads with a reference to the NWO and a dismissive Covid remark a DJT jab isn’t earned?  As a medic down here in SE MI it was the latter that inspired the snipe, mostly.  Subjective realities are to blame, I’m sure.   Love the site!

Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

The difference in our perspectives is easy to understand: you're trained as a medical professional, I'm trained as a data scientist. (We didn't call it "data science" when I earned a living at it, to be fair.) Your experience is people dying all around you. My experience is looking at survival rates between two and five nines for anyone who isn't already dying of something else. Both of these perspectives can be absolutely true. As far as the NWO, it's getting hard nowadays to be a conspiracy nut when they actually put the conspiracies on a website: https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/
TonyT
Technician

Your delivery of facts hits home with me with every column you write. If you decide to be foolish enough to run for national office, I'll vote for you!

Tim
Technician

Ah, to have so much wealth that I couldn't even be bothered to take 5 minutes to do an internet search for the value of my car. Or perhaps he did and determined that a couple of hours to buy and a few more to sell wasn't worth a Possible $26,000. I place said customer's earnings at $4,500 per hour. He was probably adding up the losses with how long it was taking just to turn the car in. 😁

greenhue
Pit Crew

All I got out of this story is the dealer stole the money from the guy trading in his car. We aren't talking chump change here. How hard is it to write the guy a check and say here you go , thank you. You said back in the old days it would be a party but today the money goes back to the corporation and you say it like you missed putting it to the guy. Shame on you because KARMA does work. Makes me want to check my statement for insurance from the big corporation.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Except he wasn't trading it in, the car was being returned at the end of the lease.  The lease terms are nothing like a trade in value, in this case and the customer walked away from big money. 

Velocetta
Intermediate Driver

Author/article lost all credibility in the first paragraph, and that's not a 'political' response, that's an objective read on what an 'automotive' based article should and should not be talking about.

Hagerty...you can do much better than this contributor.

bisconian_ent
New Driver

Couldn't agree more—I'd much rather read something one-dimensional and void of personality
bblhed
Instructor

You hit the nail on the head, people don't trust dealerships and dealerships have done nothing at all to make people trust them. This guy probably figured this was some no lube break it off job just like every other thing dealers do.

tahend
Detailer

Judging by the guys other cars he probably isn't going to miss the extra cash.  Me however, would have already known what I had a bought the thing outright and put it up for sale on the interweb.

topside
Advanced Driver

"A fool and his money are soon parted", as Dad would have quoted. Or to quote another great philosopher, Buggersworth Bunny, "Whatta maroon!"

Flashman
Technician

I doubt I'd want to talk politics with you but you have to love a guy who uses a descriptor like "managerial/professional/toady class".  Another coherent edifying melange of everything from Wagner to Orwell to Michael Mann.  The inability to grasp basic arithmetic enriches those who can.

 

"I'm grateful for what I am and have.  My thanksgiving is perpetual." - Thoreau.

40Ford
Detailer

Last new car I bought was in the late 80’s. Having just moved from Los Angeles to Colorado, with dirt roads to my house, I knew exactly what I wanted/needed, a Subaru Hatchback with 4-wheel drive. 

I called 3 local Subaru dealers, told them all the exact same think, “I want to buy a new a Subaru Hatchback with 4-wheel drive, no trade-in, I’ll pay cash.”  

Besides you I am calling 2 other dealers, telling them the same as I told you. Today is Monday, Wednesday I’ll call all 3 dealers and whoever has the best price I’ll go there and buy it. Easy sale if you have the best price! 

Wednesday I called all 3 dealers, the last one, the one closest to my house had the best price so I went there and bought it. 

When I got home there were messages from the other 2 dealers, they wanted to know why I hadn’t called them back. I called them back and said, “Dude, it was simple just give your best price and you would have the sale, but you didn’t have the best price so you lost out on a sale. Good bye and have a nice day!” 

DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

AFter my parents got taken for ~5,000 inflation adjusted dollars on the '57 Chevy--because my parents didn't know you had to bargain on new cars--my mother did exactly what you do. Except in the case of the '70 Valiant. I was 17 at the time, after reading Consumer Reports, I decided that the car should be a Valiant or a Dart. We went to the Ply dealer, who was in the process of dropping the Plymouths to become a Chevy dealer. They offered us a Valiant for $2,600 ($17270 inflation adjusted). We knew that was a good price, but my father wanted to see the other car. 

We went to the Dodge dealer. The guy wouldn't budge below $2,750. (18,267 inflation adjusted.) The guy said, "well, it's got power steering", "it's a heavier car", etc. My father hemmed and hawed. Finally, the guy says, "Well, ask the kid!" 

I said, well, they're basically the same car and we can get the Valiant for $150 cheaper. The guy threw in the towel, we went back to the Ply dealer and picked up the Valiant. 

My sister, then 7 1/2 told me years later she had two reactions. "Oh, no, another white car", and she could feel, just riding in the car, that it was going to last forever (I had the same reaction to driving it, and it did). 

Swamibob
Technician

Excellent Story Jack!  People are interesting.  I haven't been to a new car dealer in ages, but if I was to go to one, I wouldn't expect it to be any different than it was the last time.  🙂  I understand what the Corvette owner was feeling; and too many dealers have brought that on themselves.  From speaking with several people, who have been to new dealers recently, I'm told they felt better or less bad when they went to smaller used  car dealers.  Not great mind you, just less bad tan when they walked into the new car dealers.  Less sleazy was one adjective used.  I just don't need that.  🙂  Fortunately I drive old cars.

Andy7777
Passenger

Went to my local Porsche dealer to see about a new 992. I know these guys reasonably well, bought a new Porsche from them in 2015, but I'm not a guy who reliably buys whatever is new just because. Anyways, was told that no way no how would there be an allocation before April, no car before June and would I like to buy a 2018 911 GTS on the floor foe $125K large? And, by the way, it has 12,000 miles and came direct from the Porsche Experience Center where some Porsche wannabes whaled on it for the past year or two. But it had a warranty, yessir.

 

Bought myself a nice 2019 Carrera T instead, not from a Porsche dealer. As Jack said, nothing much to spend money on this year.

CFH
Intermediate Driver

I thought your comment on Thanksgiving at the end was profound and timely.  I hope that you won't mind if I post it on my Facebook page for my non-enthusiast friends to appreciate.

danio3834
Intermediate Driver

The car market, which as been full of disruption in the past few years, has many gems to uncover like this customer's favorable residual. For example, the very loaded pickup truck I bought new 2.5 years ago is still worth what I paid for it. I could sell it today having driven it for free.

ShortestCircuit
Intermediate Driver

Was this *thud* I've heard Bark's forehead hitting something solid?

DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

Those crazy H. sapiens. Big brains. Don't know how to use 'em!

driverdude98
Intermediate Driver

Interesting article and great comment on thankfulness. A little gratitude goes a long way, both for others and one’s own attitude.