Friday, October 03, 2008
A breath of fresh air
Am I imagining things? Or have new car salesmen changed in the fifteen-or-so years since I last encountered them. They used to be aggressive, whiny, and nauseating. I felt dirty after dealing with one.
But now... the Volkswagon salesman just hovered in the background, answered every question, and gave us his card when we left. The Pontiac saleswoman was the same. Only the Toyota salesman asked, and only once, "What if I could get you a really good price on this car if you buy today?" When I said no, he took me at my word.
After leaving the dealers, I admit the Toyota salesman hounded me on the phone, but nary a peep from Mr. Volkswagon and Ms. Pontiac.
I liked it. Except for Mr. Toyota.
Oh... and another little Toyota thing I found hard to swallow: They had a single hybrid Camry on the lot, for about $35,000. Looking over the price sticker, I saw that Toyota's MSRP for the car was $30,000, and that $4,999 had been added on as "Dealer's Discretion," or something like that. I asked Mr. Toyota about that: "You guys just add an extra $5,000 because it's a hybrid and so you can?"
He answered by trying to explain that it was so the car would "stay on the lot for a few days, so more people have a chance to buy it."
Anyway, you may be wondering why I was making this round of car dealerships. My Chevy Sebring convertible, eleven years old and 170,000 miles on the odometer, has been costing me tons of money in repairs lately, so I finally decided to do what, if I had had any sense, I would have done a long time ago, and dump it.
So I did.
And what did I buy to replace it?
Click here to see
I had the top down on the convertible less and less as time went on. Partly it was because Judi's allergies made it impossible to do when she was in the car. Partly it was things like having to keep the car cleaned out of all small, light items in order to put the top down. I still intended to buy a convertible this time, but the convertible versions of all the cars I looked at were about $5,000 more than the hardtop, and it just wasn't worth it to me.