Interesting how everything changes and often not much changes at all.
In an age of instant information, social media, smart devices, perhaps the most important and perplexing variable is still the human factor.
Here is the deal:
An individual that we know has been due for a new vehicle for some time. As usual there are a couple of alternatives, but one has a higher priority than the other.
Last week the individual visits the showroom of a dealer looking at priority one. This individual is offered a vehicle with some kilometers under the guise that its a good deal, and good value with substantial savings.
The sales person in the showroom, and the management team behind the sales person, know the competitive landscape, know the current prices, and should know that the "good deal" that is offered is actually a fishing expedition to see if someone bites. Some things never change!
The sales person disseminates all the parameters on the vehicle, and the financial transaction, obvious takes a name and contact information to show that they are doing their job.
At that point we are contacted: "My current car requires ABC, and I went to look at a new XYZ this is what I was offered".
Our response: "That does not seem to be a good enough deal for the vehicle you were offered, and the mileage on the vehicle". (a few minutes of due diligence quickly reinforced that it was not a good enough deal).
Then the discussion gravitates around the limited color choices remaining towards the end of the model year, and most colors are not suitable. Obvious that the manufacturer and dealers try to limit their colors to uphold a lower price, and suddenly white or black become very popular colors that in reality are not so popular.
In the interim the sales person doing their follow up (probably following a process) contacts the individual, and after consulting with management lowers the price (substantially)...to try and do a deal. In 2012 substantially lowering the price after the facts on a follow up call...this is scary.
We advise the individual, to visit another dealer of the same make, to ensure that a specific option package is on the vehicle, while reviewing the MSRP and financial parameters. Easy to do with configurators, and all manufacturers mention their "monthly dynamic pricing". Its easy, this is the MSRP, this is the "monthly deal" on the vehicle, this is the "monthly deal" on the financial offers.
At the second dealer the color choices are similar to the first, as the individual goes outside to look at various vehicles to decide on a barely acceptable color, with black clouds rolling in. The sales person tells the individual that they are going inside in case it starts to rain. The individual uncovers an appealing color that was not offered and is presumably not available through all the technology that tracks inventories.
The individual returns in the showroom, advising the sales person that such a color is outside, does not seem to be a sold vehicle. You can imagine the conversation of not possible, and so on. The sales person finally goes outside again (still not raining), and confirms that the vehicle exists.
Now the sales person contacts management to ensure that the vehicle is available for sale, and how come it does not appear anywhere. Its a cancelled sale, the vehicle has been reported sold to the manufacturer, and it fell through the cracks. The month end "delivery pressure"...some things never change.
Our individual is given a "fair price" and concludes a transaction with the second dealer that sells a vehicle that did not exist in their inventory. Obvious goes through the routine of business office to finalise the paperwork, and follow the showroom process.
Dynamic monthly pricing, and financial incentives, no down payment, where is the intellectual challenge to actually make an effort to sell such a vehicle...think about this for a moment!
We will continue once the vehicle is delivered.