In a previous blog post, I was thinking about a convertible, after some research and test drives I found a convertible impractical. I also looked at a smart, until I test drove one. 😛 Also on the menu was a Hyundai, Kia, Fiat and others all ok. I looked very solidly at a Corolla. I thought I had settled on one. Partly I didn’t go with the Corolla cause of timing, what cars were available etc. In addition I spoke with a friend who had owned a Corolla for a number of years and had just recently traded in for a brand new Honda Civic. She stated that the Corolla was “pure crap” when compared to the Civic. I hesitated to point out to her that a 2013 Civic and a 2009 Corolla really was not a fair contest, with the advance in car design just in the past two years alone. However, I took the comment seriously and decided to take a look at the Civic. I have owned (or my family has owned) four civics. I loved my first Honda Civic CRX. I just have had some bad memories of when my older Hondas’ have gone to Fail! My father has a civic sedan that is still running quite splendidly; the odometer may very well have rolled over by this point.
Oh, the salesmen I encountered in my car hunt! I made the decision to seal the deal with Port Charlotte Honda partly based on Customer Service but mostly on the salesmens’ willingness to deal. He did not have a shifty – non committal approach to his salesmanship. Saying things like “come on down and we can talk about it”. Whenever I heard a dealer with this approach I thought to myself ” What are we in the 1950’s? I am not going to waste my time *and* my friends time talking to this A-hole who can’t give me a straight answer to simple questions.” Most of the salesmen were pushy; and all the dealers used the “Let me get my manager” approach which does not work on me, well it works… it causes me to leave post haste! 🙂 One or two dealers were entirely ignorant about the car they were selling. Some of the less adept sales persons actually had labels on their desks like “best salesman of the year ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12”. I could not believe this! I could not deal with a salesmen who had no idea about the vehicle or who had that pushy, jackass, car commercial tone. In these cases, I did my test drive and removed myself from the premises post haste. Notable was Dewitt motors featuring a salesmen that gave me a “let me give you some advice about used cars” pitch; informing me that their used cars go so fast that I need to make a decision quickly. Three weeks later the Solara *with broken windows and door locks* was still on the lot, no doubt several people had passed it up. Many dealerships lost my business for reasons to numerous to mention. If I went back to a previous dealership, I would ask for someone else. In every case the “someone else” was far more competent.
My first interest (after looking at a few old and busted convertibles mentioned above) was the Toyota Corolla. The car on the right had a missing rubber seal in one of the passenger door jams, also the salesmen tried to tell my friend (a car enthusiast/mechanic) that the car did not pull to the right, the road was er uh..sloped. I got in another car on the same lane of the road with no pull. This was from a dealer that prominently displays on their website “best auto service 2011” (The year is 2013) I went to several dealers within a 75 mile radius. After I discussed a possible deal with with one dealer, I went on to look at more models; Civics, Hyundai, Kia, and one or two other models. I also was not sure if I would buy a car that was used, certified pre-owned, or new.
Of course throughout the entire process I was doing a ton of research using consumer reports. I liked the Kia Optima and Hyundai Elantra but for only slightly more (or same) I could get the totally redesigned 2013 Civic so that ended up being my choice.
I also test drove a 2014 Corolla and was fairly unimpressed with the direction Toyota was going.
- First Drive Review: 2014 Toyota Corolla (With Video) (thetruthaboutcars.com)
I was surprised to learn that several of my friends went to dealerships without doing any research and purchased a vehicle that same day. The actions of these friends has lead me to realize why dealerships can get away with the stunts they pull. If one does not demand excellent service with a lower price, than the industry will not change. IMHO the dealer industry could use a real overhaul, cars are so technologically advanced, it is odd to see sales techniques from a bygone era being employed to sell them.
I would like to thank all of my friends who helped me by giving me rides and moral support, you guys and gals mean the world to me! A special props is owed to Sarasota Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers) who’s community and advice proved invaluable.
Last but not least; I would like to thank my father, without his assistance none of this would have been possible.