Let me start by saying that this is a RANT thread and if you don't want to hear it, stop reading NOW.
I have owned 3 Ford Focus' a 2000 Kona ZX3, a 2001 ZX3, and a 2004 SVT. My Fiance bought her 2004 Escape new and regretfully traded it in on a 2007 Nissan Frontier last fall. Needless to say we were excited with the new 2012 Focus and with gas at $4 a gallon we realized the 15-16 MPG Frontier needed to go.
We had shopped around for used cars but she really wanted to look at new compacts (this was going to be for her). We looked at the Mazda3, 2011 Elantra, the Civic, and the 2012 Focus. She really liked the Elantra and all that it offered for a lesser price, but we have owned many Fords and we really liked the hatchback cargo space.
We started price shopping at our local Ford dealer (were she bought her Escape years ago). They dicked us around on both the trade in price and the Focus price. We ended up going to another dealer in a small town about 25 minutes away. They were AWESOME! Gave us the fair price we wanted on the trade in and a price I could live with on the new Focus (about $350 over invoice but due to the trade in value and ease of the sale we felt it was fair).
Our dealer had located two of the exact model we were looking at and said they should be able to get it traded with in a week. So I thought we were done and we would only have a short wait. I WAS WRONG
After waiting almost two weeks with only minimal information were were told that they were not able to trade for either car and that we would have to order the car and wait another 6-10 weeks. They also said that they would not be able to honor the trade price then because of the time difference and mileage we would put on. (I was also concerned about the incentives expiring)
So I decided to just contact the dealers directly that had the Focus we wanted on their lots. The first dealer was 4 hours away but we had friends in the area so we decided to talk to them first. I sent him a copy of the purchase contract we had made with the first dealer and said "Match it and we will be there in 4 hours!" They would not. Understandably the trade in complicated matters so I sent 38 high quality photos along with detailed description of the 1 lone door ding. I also sent a copy of the NADA trade in value, Auto-trader trade in offer, and even a copy of recent Manheim auction results with similar trucks. We were not asking for top dollar trade value, in fact we wanted lower than NADA or recent auction closings. I understood that we would not be able to close a deal over the phone before they had seen/driven the truck, but I asked then to make a deal pending the trade evaluation so that as long as the truck was as I said it was, they would be willing to make a deal. I did not want to drive across the state just to waste my time/gas. They proceeded to tell me that based on the pictures I sent the "door ding" would cost $400 to fix and that silver was a very difficult paint color to blend.
So the deal they wanted would have cost me $500-$600 more then my first deal, plus I would have to drive almost 8 hours round trip with me footing the gas bill. Not worth it and now I could see why my first dealer could not get them to trade. Keep that in mind, my local dealer had no problem what-so-ever with the deal or trade that we had worked out. He just couldn't get the car.
On to car 2. I called the dealer and communicated in pretty much the same way. Up front and as honest and detailed as I could be. He said they could not quote the trade in without seeing it but $16,000-$17,000 was the range they were thinking for our trade. (We wanted $17,000 which is what the first dealer gave us.) He said that if we made the 2 hour trip he was sure we could work something out. On good faith I believed him. We jumped in the truck and drove two hours to make it there last night. When we arrived the salesman I spoke to was friendly and remarked that the truck was in excellent shape just as I had described (and our photos depicted). We then sat down with him and I gave him the purchase contract from the first dealer and said "Match it". He then went into his managers office and did not return for 25 minutes! (it wasn't even busy) When he returned he gave us a # that was $1000 higher then the first dealer/purchase contract!!! As I stood with my jaw on the ground and blood boiling I asked him why they were so far off. He said it was because THEY have the car that everyone wants and have no reason to sell it below MSRP.
I wasn't even able to speak at this point for fear of of ripping off his head and going to jail. My fiance could tell and kindly said, "Well thank you for making our decision easy, we are headed to the Hyundai dealer." They still had our keys so he went to the mangers office to get them and took 10 minutes to come back with them. He then said that we would not be able to get a better trade offer because Nissan just yesterday started a $3000 rebate on new Frontiers. This was his attempt at a follow up offer?!? To insult me and make me wait to be insulted again!
After leaving the Ford dealership I called the salesman I had talked to weeks earlier when we test drove an Elantra. I asked him if they had one in stock and if they were willing to work out a deal with them closing in minutes. He said they would wait and he was sure we would be able to work out a deal.
He was right! We ended up getting MORE for our trade in ($17200) and we got more options for less money. Plus a better warranty and most importantly NO GAMES! We didn't get out of the dealership until and hour and half after they closed (10:30 PM) yet they were still all very friendly.
We would have happy with the Focus as well so I am not trying to say one car is better then the other. Please don't take this as a Ford/Focus bashing thread. This is more of a "dealership" bashing thread. We would have loved to have "swapped our ride" for a new Focus. However crappy dealers who are unwilling to work with customers or even work other DEALERS for that matter are what pushed us away from Ford.