Friday, July 14, 2017

My Walkabout: A Search For The Perfect Truck, Part 2

Here's part 2.  It will make more sense if you read part 1 before reading this.

My Walkabout: A Search For The Perfect Truck

So visiting six dealerships in one week just wasn't enough.  I had to visit more.  Let's be honest, I had the time, and I wanted to do some "research."

Dealer #7.  Courtesy Toyota of Brandon. 

I loved driving my Ford Ranger for the three years I had it.  Since Ford doesn't make the Ranger (in the USA) anymore, the Toyota Tacoma was the closest thing to it on the market.  So I gave Toyota a call, and set up a time to visit. 

I have to say, I really liked the Tacoma.  Even though the one I drove was close to a base model (V-4, single cab, no high end electronics) I really liked the ride and the way it handled.  The one thing I liked was that they were saying it was on sale for $18,000 new.

However, once all the tax, tags, title, and whatevers were added to it, the cost of the Tacoma ballooned to over $25,500.  I flat out told the salesman that I could buy three different Ford F-150's for less than that.  (Individually, not all three together.)  Heck, even the Chevy Silverado 1500 came in under that. 

I asked why a smaller truck with not as much on it cost more than a full sized truck.  The salesman said that Toyota doesn't have the rebates like Ford and Chevrolet.  But I had a co-student bring up a good point to me.  He said that Toyota is always running it's "Toyota-days sales events."  His family bought a Toyota van, and they had all sorts of sales rebates that drastically lowered the price.

I was nice to the salesman, but I didn't even take the offer sheet with me.  Namely, since he said that the price was more or less going to stay the same.  They may have a few hundred dollars wiggle room, but they weren't going to match the Ford or Chevrolet offers.  So onto the next one. 

Dealership #8.  Jim Browne Chevrolet. 

I actually found a Silverado 1500 with everything that I wanted (minus Sirius,) on the lot.  The good news was, it was a 2016 model.  It had been sitting on the lot for a while.  Usually they will make a good deal just to move it off the lot.  Especially when the 2018 models are going to be coming in within the next two months. 

So I looked over the Chevy, and gave it a test drive.  I have to say I really liked this one.  However, when we went to talk numbers I couldn't believe what I saw.  The final price was $29,000.  I flat out told the salesman, "Bryan," that I had better offers from three Fords dealers with a price of $5000 less, and two Chevy dealers at $4000 less. 

He didn't even do the, "I'll take it to my manager" thing.  He just said the numbers were the numbers, and that was it.  I asked him if they liked looking at it?  I explained that it's 2016, and the sticker probably said it was built in 2015.  It had 2,5000 miles on it, and he (Bryan) called it a demo vehicle.  I then asked if they were really wanting to sell it, or did they like taking turns driving it around for themselves?

Again, he wouldn't even budge on price.  So I left without even taking the offer sheet.  I then received an e-mail from the internet salesperson Melissa asking me how things went, and if I was still interested in the truck?  I wrote her back, and told her if they ever wanted to get serious about selling it to let me know.  Otherwise that thing was going to sit there and rust on the lot.

An hour later I received a call from a manager at Jim Browne Chevy.  He then tried to blow smoke up my ass by saying that just because a car sat on the lot a long time didn't mean they were going to discount it.  (Bullshit.)  He said they were a big dealer, and didn't have to do that.  (Note: They are not that big.  Brandon Ford has four to five times as many vehicles on their lots.) 

I told him that the truck was priced $4000-$5000 more than anyone else.  He said that it was more equipped.  I said that it wasn't, and that it was also a 2016, not a 2017 model.  He asked me what I thought it should be priced at?  I said, start at $20,000 plus tax, tags, and title, and we might be able to come to something.  He then went on to tell me, "How it was going to be."  I just hung on up him.

I have to say Jim Browne was the worst car shopping experience I have had so far.  I couldn't believe the arrogance and sales tactics.  If that's the way they act, I'm surprised they sell anything off that lot.  It really left a bad taste in my mouth for car shopping.

Dealership #9.  Rivard Buick and GMC.

I hadn't really thought about looking at the GMC line of Sierra 1500's.  I thought they were just a more expensive version of the Chevy Silverado 1500.  But I gave them a call, and the salesman Francisco was a pretty nice guy.  Basically, the Sierra is a heavier duty truck than the Silverado.  It also came with a V-8 engine.  I have to say it really had some power. 

Due to all the extras, (namely the tow package with brake controls for the trailer, a big V-8 engine) the GMC Sierra cost a bit more.  Once all the numbers were crunched, it came in at $31,000.  I let Francisco know that it was more than I could actually spend.  He was really cool about it, and said he understood.

I have to give Rivard Buick and GMC credit.  They acted the most "human" of any of the dealers I had gone to.  I really appreciated that.   

Dealership #10.  Arrigo of Fort Pierce (Florida.)

Since I was a feeling a little disheartened with my ongoing search I decided to expand my search on Autotrader.  I put in a very specific search on trucks, but I expanded the mileage out to 200 miles from me. 

162 miles away in Ft. Pierce they had a Ford F-150 STX in blue.  So I contacted them via e-mail, and received a call from Lisa about an hour later.  She was pretty straight forward when I told her what I was looking for in a truck.  She got right down to talking turkey.  I said the truck was actually perfect for me, but they were $1,800 over KBB price. 

Lisa said she wasn't sure why they were that much over, but the mechanics had replaced the brakes and rotated the tires, as well as conducted a 100-some point inspection.  She said when I had my finances ready, let her know and she would she what she could do.  I thought that was fair enough.  When everything gets straightened out I'll definitely give her a call. 

At this point I think I've visited enough dealers.  It's been weird to see just how different all the dealers were.  Although, they did have some similarities.  But it won't be long before I finally make a decision.  Well, hopefully it won't be long.  I'll continue the tale in Part 3. 

No comments:

Post a Comment