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Old 03-17-2004, 04:14 AM   #1
tarball
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What's the deal with dealerships?

These guys are clowns and most know JACK about the car they are selling. My very short-but-rigorous period of research into the ZX3 (2.3 Duratec PZEV MTX) taught me more than the suited clowns they have working there. "We just want to work the best deal for you sir, we just want to make you happy." Wanna make me happy? Stop talking that dopey shit and give me some STRAIGHT INFO on my car!!!!

My last Ford (a 1995 Ranger) had a few relatively minor problems, so I am hoping that the focus (esp. now with the 2004 models) was teethed in like the ranger has been. However, these sales clowns could not explain even the simplest of things about the ZX3 I've purchased. I plainly and simply wanted to know why, on the night of my "gratis" take-it-home-and-test-it-out overnight "test drive" the engine light came on and they said "check gas cap." That was fair, but not very instructive over the phone (why in the hell is the engine light so sensitive anyhow?).

[Side note: I am AMAZED that they let people borrow cars overnight to "test drive" them. If my car had any more than the 40 miles it did on it when I took the first test drive, I'd not have even considered it. However, I took mine out later that same night and put 100 miles on it just tooling around; NO WAY would I buy that car if I were someone else. Sounds kinda sketchy and makes me even more leery of cars off of a lot.]

Now, I find that the "check gas cap" message is common , but they sounded non-chalant as if the engine light coming on was no biggie. How is a new driver, trying to build up esteem and trust in the manufacturer, model and dealer, supposed to react to that: oh, that warning light is "not a big deal, it'll go away." Say WHAT?

Anyway, the 2004 ZX3 2.3 is awesome, but I just can't believe how LAME dealerships and the salesmen that work at them are. Serioulsy, the only guy I felt was on the level was an elderly gentleman in service who explained to me exactly why the engine light tripped off by explaining the codes to me:

-Attempt to start without clutch engaged
-Gas cap

Wanna know who I think caused this crap???? THE DAMNED SALESMAN -- IDIOT!!! I drove that damned car better than he did. He talked about "gassing it up" when I take delivery tomorrow - I said "that's alright man." Please Mr. Salesman, stay AWAY from my car - get the shop guys to touch it. I mean, I ended up paying a little under invoice, but damn, these guys should be paying ME!

Anyhow... I am just venting on how extremely lame the whole dealership thing is and how, with the Internet and even awesome services like FordDirect, why we even need to screw with this outmoded model that dealerships run on. What do the dealships exist to do? build relationships? Well, a relationship with the service department I wouldn't mind that, but with the sales people? PUHHHLLLLEEEEEZZE!

My dealer for my new ZX3 is Universal Ford in Richmond, VA - not the worst, but this place has a fairly full tank of SHARKS! These guys don't even have a decent office to take the customer to, just lame high-school lunchroom-style seats out in the open - not comfortable at all. In fact, the only time things were comfy was in the office where my money was extracted from me and back in the service department (where more money may be extracted at a future date - hopefully none other than regular maintenance).

Any thoughts on the LAMENESS of dealerships?


J-


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Old 03-17-2004, 05:20 AM   #2
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I know a thing or two about dealerships. The salesman may have been a new guy and not had an office. It may have been his last day. Who knows? Every dealership is different. Some have great management and some have poor management. Some have great salesman and some have few. There are plenty of great salesman that know little to nothing about the Ford cars because Ford is all about trucks. How often do you think people come into a dealership and want to know the torque numbers for a Focus? I bet a lot of salesman could tell you what the towing capacity is for an F150 extended cab Lariat.
Selling cars doesn't take too much actual knowledge. Selling is a skill that can be used in any market. Its about reading people and knowing what to say and when to say it. The lack of knowledge about cars has nothing to do with the professional relationships salesmen build with their clientel. Yes, salesmen do build relationships. Repeat customers are a huge percentage of any dealership's sales. Some or most of the best customers are repeat customers. Salesmen do have the ability to get you a loaner if your car is in the shop. Salesman do have the ability to get you a new car if something isn't right, no questions asked. A great salesman can move to another dealership and still keep his clientel.
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Old 03-17-2004, 06:43 AM   #3
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Congrats.

If you have time Sunday, why not drive down to the Virginia Motorspots Park in Dinwiddie and lets meet up. We are having an autocross down there, so I'll be in the area. Always fun meeting new people.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:24 AM   #4
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The guys that know about the cars make terrible salespeople, trust me.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:48 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear you had a bad experience.

Did your CEL(Check Engine Light) go off ?

Also, I beleive the Focus has a Check Gas Cap light too.


As far as miles on new cars, I see dealers taking new cars to lunch, home and what not like it's their personal car. When I bought my Focus, there were 3 I was looking at. 2 had over 100 miles and one had 4 miles. I bought the one with the 4 miles on it.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:59 AM   #6
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i had the worst experience buying my foci a few weeks ago. New salesman, he didnt even know the different models of the focus.
I feel that if you are going to sell the cars then you need to be knowledgeable about them. I sold focuses before , the year they came out actually, and they made us know everything about them at the time.
If i am looking for a new car and the salesman doesnt know anything about the product he is selling then he shouldnt be selling them.
Ford sells alot of trucks but they sell alot of cars as well and good product knowledge of what your selling is a must
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:16 PM   #7
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Sounds like you should go to a different dealership next time.
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:04 PM   #8
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I found I had a similar problem when I bought my Focus. This is probably my 8th new car, and every time I go to a dealer, I know more about the product than he does. I guess I don't mind having a retarded salesman, as long as he gives me the deal I want.. I normally know exactly what I want when I go in there..

One thing that bugs me though is how they try and mess with you on the trade in value. I know how much my car is worth, so why even bother trying to go low on me? Here is what I need for my car to make this happen...if you can't give it to me, i'm leaving. It took me over an hour to get the value I needed for my car, but I got it eventually. Why can't they just give it to me to begin with? Do I look like a sucker? lol
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:17 PM   #9
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I have had alot of the same problems. I went to try and trade in the sport track on an SVT. BUt for some reason they don't carry them in North Dakota, which isn't that big of a problem but the manager of the dealer ship got involved and had the balls to tell me that the 2.0 with a chip would be the same amount of power. I was like WTF, your the manager? So instead of just blowing it off I decided to be a smart ass and started throwing out numbers for both cars and explaining the differances. You should have seen the looks one their faces it was great. I knew at this point I wasn't going to get my SVT so I just went off on them. It was fun. They would say but... Then I would say no that's not true. Oh well I agree they should know some things about the cars. Not right down to the details but at least something. Yes Ford is mostily about trucks but the Focus is right up there with there best selling stuff so they should know just as much about it.
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:34 PM   #10
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haha.. Smoknzx3, I like your signature.. That's very true..

Salesmen are idiots.. Maybe we need to start some kind of training manual for all car salesmen? At least make them a bit more knowledgeable before they take commissions on a sale from my new car...
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