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An open letter to the auto industry

The entire auto industry follows a sales model that is as unpleasant as possible, and is exceeded in discomfort only by root canals and colonoscopy. You take what should be fun, buying a car, and make it into a high pressure pin in the ass.

I have been thinking about getting a new truck since December. I began my search by going to the websites of Toyota and Nissan. In order to search for the vehicle you want, you must enter your contact information. I give them an email address reserved for businesses, and my google voice number. Since that time, several dealers will not leave me alone. One of them has called my voice number over 50 times and sent me 35 emails. This dealer doesn’t even have the vehicle I want, and are trying to sell me one that I don’t want. 
I searched for a particular vehicle because that is the one I want. Trying to pressure me into buying something I don’t want doesn’t make me want to buy from you, it just pisses me off. I came looking for a particular vehicle. I came to you. You don’t have to pressure me to buy, but if you don’t have what I want, I am not buying from you. I know what I want. You either have it, or you don’t.

2 replies on “An open letter to the auto industry”

A self-inflicted wound; never give them your real contact info. You discovered what happens then.
Car salesmen are in the same social strata as islamic terrorists and child molesters.

It's not their business model, but the outfit that is completely honest about pricing, availability, options, financing, etc. and sells what you want at a reasonable price would have more customers than they knew what to do with. It'll never happen because there's so much skulduggery in the auto biz around money flows and actual pricing, and all that must stay hidden or the game's up.

A neighbor recently bought a car and not only got hosed on pricing – they offered a too-high trade-in value which suckered him in and very predictably, made up that deficit on the multiple layers of pricing legerdemain on thd new car. He discovered a couple days later not only did they lie about aspects of the financing to get that part of the deal – he was unaware the dealership gets kickbacks on the financing, and in this case the "finance company" is owned by the parent company of the dealership – they forged his signature on a loan document.

When you walk into a car dealership you're playing their game, by their rules, on their home field. Customers buy a car every 5-8 years; car dealerships sell a car every 5-8 hours. Who's going to be better at their job?

Note for the future: use the Edmunds website to look at cars, they'll tell you what the local dealers have in stock and you don't have to give up contact information.

The dealers might say there's a "special price" and ask for contact info, with a handy check box that says "don't contact me". Don't be fooled, they'll contact you.

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