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Discussion Starter #1
Doing a thorough search for the car before ordering.
I wanted an unusal build and assumed i would have to order: Yellow Blaze with Manual tranny, 17" wheels Sport package SE.. moonroof
I live in a BIG metro area, and not one dealer had a Yellow car, let alone a manual yellow (or any bright metallic color manual tranny)
Nor were the DOZEN nearby dealers very helpful.(( they are idiots and lost a sale.))
So I went into the next county and that dealer WAS more helpful and found the only one of the car I wanted in his 'trade area'.(but did not tell me where it was.) I grabbed the sheet he printed and after some dickering but no final "yeah we can get the car, and it will be here, and here is the financing.. i got burned out after two hours and left. He should have just first found out IF he could even get them to trade the car, and determine the financing,, but we just sat with no clear path to a completion, so i left. (perhaps he KNEW they would not trade the car? and was trying to get me to accept building one? do not know..)

That night I did some serious web searching in the Yahoo Autos for a Focus with keywords Manual, and Yellow.. and FOUND the car 60 miles away in some farm town.
I went on thier site the next day and the salesman was ON LINE.. ON LINE!
( (a farm town.. my local Metropolitan city guys would not even respond to a build, and 'I want to buy' online.!!))
So I chatted with the fella at the dealer, and got in my car and drove to that dealer .. took an hour plus or so to get there.
I decided the little town dealer deserved my money because they had the Car they ordered and all the dealers in my town were just not going to even talk to me about ordering a car, nor bother to even have the sort of car i wanted available! (You would think after I have four new Fords down, and going for number five they would bother?)
Bought it that afternoon. It had 5mi on the odometer. Ford financing zero down 3.9% with the $500 cash back.
Drove it home. [driving]
I lucked out and the car even has the Sport package WITH the touring shocks, later decontented (or so it seems) and the mysterious front opening cooling vent.

Ford selling cars online is NO HELP at all. They will only cyber-build and then direct you to the local dealer and tell you to take one of the cars 'in stock' or just go search the LOCAL cars in stock. And then you just have to slog through ALL the Focus to see which have what.
You can cheat by changing YOUR zip code and finding dealers in the zip code (or near it) you pick. cumbersome for certain.
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So.. How many tried to do searches within the maximum area they were willing to drive to find a car BEFORE ordering one?
(Yahoo Autos is OK for being able to add key words like 'yellow' and 'manual')
 

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That's a cool story. Really stupid how they would rather lose a sale than to help you out. My dealer had to trade to get mine in(funny he also avoided telling me where it was), I think it's cause I told him I will have my focus weather it's from you or another lot. I believe some members here ordered their focus with odd packages you wouldn't find on a lot
 

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Well I did a lot of looking and found nothing near me. Fortunately for me, my salesman Glenn was able to locate the car I wanted, right in front of me through the Ford computer system, he showed me the process. He found it, 3 states away, pending sale at the other dealership. The next thing I know he says the car is here and that once the sale fell through with the other dealership he JUMPED on it and got to to the dealership here. Granted, I'm not in a metro area, not even close, but the fact that the "trade area" is atleast 3 states says something. He said it was the ONLY one in my configuration in 3 states, so I lucked out big time.

My hat is off to my salesman... he made the process painless, but he's been selling Fords with that dealership for over 20 years, across 2 or 3 location changes... I guess he knows not to BS and that being an up front nice guy and working with the customer really goes a LONG way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, when i wanted a Mystique (14 years ago!!)
The salesman found one I like the content and all, but it was 'outside' the area he could trade. like FOUR states away.
The dealer salemen seem to be able to pull up specific content, but the cyber Ford does not allow it.
 

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Yeah, when i wanted a Mystique (14 years ago!!)
The salesman found one I like the content and all, but it was 'outside' the area he could trade. like FOUR states away.
The dealer salemen seem to be able to pull up specific content, but the cyber Ford does not allow it.
Correct. They can look in their system for models with the specific trim, color, and options you want to find. If there are cars that at minimum match your choices they are displayed... i.e. if they meet all your qualifications but also have MORE features, it will be listed as well.

Mine was the ONLY one on screen, I guess they display within that dealers' trade area or whatever. I got lucky!
 

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Some dealers don't advertise the cars they have and the only way to find out if they have what you are looking for is to visit them in person. I didn't want to do all the leg work and just ended up ordering simply because I wasn't in any hurry to get the car. I kind of wanted to do the deal though my dealership that was close by because they had a good reputation and I liked my salesman. He was not as informed about the focus as those on this forum but that didn't bother me much.

Each dealership has special perks to it too. Mine had a lifetime powertrain warranty that came with the purchase of new vehicles. They also offer $10 oil changes for any vehicle you own. So far they have been really helpful throughout the whole process and I expect the trend to continue. Getting quality after the sale service is a very important element to the car buying experience. Choose wisely.
 

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I knew exactly what options I wanted and I spent several days searching for one. It actually hadn't even arrived at the dealer yet and I had put a deposit on it. This was in Seattle, about a 3 hour drive. But I got the exact car I wanted.

Tony
 

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Back in '06 I wanted a ST Focus real bad. The larger engine and suspension were the biggies for me. I went to the Ford delaers in South Burlington and Middlebury to have them locate one for me and bring it in on a dealer swap. Niehter one wanted to help me on getting the ST. I wound up locating one myself at Herb Chambers in Braintree MA. I rode sdown on a Sunday with my 98 Contour SVT and got a trade figure. It worked for me and as they say the rest is history. I got a heck of a deal as it was a holdover and they even threw in a 6 yr/100K ESP.
 

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In the 30ish years I have been buying new cars I go to the dealer I want to do business with with the expectation I will be ordering a car. What i want is not what the typical car buyer wants so I don't expect it to be on a lot.

I will allow the dealer to look around for a car with the understanding that I won't except anything that is not exactly what I want. I won 't pay for something I don't want nor accept less. There has been occasions when what I want is on the lot or at a dealer close by but that is the exception.

I find it amusing the frustration folks on this forum have not being able to find what the want on the lot when they want something unusual. It's so easy to order exactly what you want and considering you will have the car for several years the wait for an ordered car is trivial. I ordered our SEL and took delivery 5 weeks and 1 day latter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ordering is fine too.
I went looking for a specific car, did a little online searching, some local putzing, went for a 60 mile drive, and drove My exact Focus want list home on the third day.
So my wait was about 48 hours.[thankyou]
 

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The only issue with purchasing a car from a dealer 60 miles from where you live is the local dealers aren't going to feel any obligation to go the extra mile when you need service and having to drive 60 miles for service will be a real drag.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nope.
The service department is going to give you the same service.
The ONLY added benefit i ever saw was a free loaner during warranty work from a dealer as part of the sale.
Oh free car washes is a biggie too.
Beyond those there is NOTHING a dealer is gonna do for you unless you have a really special dealer.
Anything else, like dropping you aff back home etc any dealer is gonna do.
I bought my last car at a dealer in another county, and then after the free loaner disappeared, i wnt to a closer dealer, and they were ALWAYS nice to me.
Maybe the one you tried was just stupid.
The dealer will Still be nice. They get the warranty work, and they MIGHT get your next car sale.
The guys atthe place i took my car for service certainly would have gotten my business, but the did not even make the tiniest effort to get it.
i certainly can hold that up to thier faces if they say even a single word about it!
(PS they are a family owned place, and not corporate owned, so they care about and LIKE thier customers, even ones who buy a car someplace else.. they are a COP SHOP, all they do, mostly, is the cop cars from all the suburban cops. very straight and by the book. Then the other side is they also sell Saleen and Roush and SVT. Funny combo.
The runners AND the chasers.. [race]
 

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Nope.
The service department is going to give you the same service.
Agreed. I've never seen any difference between dealerships when it comes to whether or not I bought the car there. Quality of service seems to be entirely dependent on the quality of the service department itself.

Tony
 

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When I say go the extra mile I do not mean anything to do with the quality of work. I mean things like loaner cars, pick the car up at your home/work then drop it off, finding a way to fit you into tight schedule or take part off new car in the lot to fix yours so you don't have to wait for a part to be shipped in.

My son was the service manager for the local Dodge dealer and he was given discretionary authority to do extra things like I noted for their new car customers that they didn't on warranty work for car not purchased at the dealership.
 

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So.. How many tried to do searches within the maximum area they were willing to drive to find a car BEFORE ordering one?
(Yahoo Autos is OK for being able to add key words like 'yellow' and 'manual')
I was looking for an SE with sports package and looked at 3 dealerships in mke. Braeger Ford had a black SE sedan sport but they were displaying it at the Polish Fest for the weekend and I didn't wanna wait long for the car. I found a Kona Blue SE hatch sport Ewalds Ford and finalized the deal the next day. This dealer gave me 500$ dealer discount which Braeger didn't so it covered the extra cost of the hatch.


I would've loved to order a customized one online but that meant it would've come months later and I couldn't wait that long. :)
 

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Your son works for an idiot. it is those extra things that bring customers back, it is the lack of those extra things that customers bitch about and write long stories on the internet about and then they lose business. For every unhappy customer a dealer can almost guarentee themselves 3 or 4 lost sales and probably twice that in potential customers that wont go because they heard the story from a friend of a friend.

I will not deal with anyone who treats me any different because I failed to get my car from them. and I will let other people know about the crappy attitude. Once I even got a column in the Washington Post to cover a situation that came up in a dept store. Owners do NOT like to see that kind of crap in the paper LOL!


When I say go the extra mile I do not mean anything to do with the quality of work. I mean things like loaner cars, pick the car up at your home/work then drop it off, finding a way to fit you into tight schedule or take part off new car in the lot to fix yours so you don't have to wait for a part to be shipped in.

My son was the service manager for the local Dodge dealer and he was given discretionary authority to do extra things like I noted for their new car customers that they didn't on warranty work for car not purchased at the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One other issue on the difference between an order and a car you can see is the order usually needs a down payment.
One issue for me ordering was i really wanted a zero down car.
I actually do not have the money floating around to hand them a 10% down.
With a car i can pick up, i can just have 100% financing.
(I do not know of any financing palce which will do the preorder downpayment. If some exist, then Let me know...)
The other issue is errors, or damga to the orders car.
The one you can see is as it is. The one you order is hoping it turns out ok.
The wrong transmission.. the wrong wheels.. stuff like this occurs...
 

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I didn't have to put anything down at order time or after signing for the car. I guess it depends on your credit history and the dealership you work with. If I had to put 10% down I probably would have done it but that's just because I can.
 
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