Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Stop With the Teasing!

When I was on the salesfloor at my GM Dealer in 2008, I was furious when GM put a whopper incentive on the G8. That hunk of metal is worth it's weight in gold, seriously, why would they whore their product?? I know, I know, the gas prices had spiked and sales were excuse! Either way, I have always loved that car. My only pet peeve: that stryker blue colour? Only available on the V6 - WTF? Whoever was in marketing at GM, I hope they got canned in the shake-up. Only on the V6? We all know the owners of the V6's are panzies - what makes you think they'd go for that hot blue? Morons...
Well, all this teasing now at MotortrendGM Inside News, etc. it's all not fair. Bring it back or don't - stop the teasing!!
Also, I don't think it'll look as good with a Chevrolet logo :(
Check out my baby in blue
Now that's what I call a front grill!
Lame-o! Chev grill put on the G8

Monday, 28 March 2011

Calling Mr. Otis

So I'm reading Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. Awesome book with some great lessons of life and business. I just laughed when I read Lesson # 25 Calling Mr. Otis. Harvey B. Mackay mentions an ancient scam in the car business known as "Calling Mr. Otis". 

Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition (Collins Business Essentials)


The prospect comes in and to his great surprise is given a fabulous offer for his old beater trade-in and an even better deal on his new car purchase. He shops around, finds the deal is unbeatable, and comes back to the dealer with the terrific proposition.

The salesperson writes up the deal. He has the prospect initial it. Then he asks the prospect casually what the other dealers offered him. At this point, the prospect, flushed with victory, tosses away the most valuable asset he has in the negotiation: information - to wit, the other dealers' prices.

"Just one last step" says the salesperson. "The sales manager has to okay the deal. I'll call him right now.". The salesperson punches the intercom device on his phone and says, "Calling Mr. Otis"...Of course, there is no Mr. Otis. There's a sales manager, all right, but his name isn't Otis.

Otis is the name of the company that makes elevators - and the elevator is going up.


I don't think I need to tell you anymore. The customer takes the new higher deal because he has told every Tom, Dick, and Harry that he knows (and their kids!) that he is going home with that new car. What's $1590 more on a $34,000 vehicle right? Mackay says to walk away from the deal. For sure, I agree. What pisses me off is that the dealer with the "greatest deal" is normally throwing out a number, like throwing the bait off the side of the boat. You're walking out anyways right? This phony deal will reel you back in won't it? You bet it will.. and when you find out it was a lie, what would you do? WALK!!!!

So many real life instances of this, month after month. Wouldn't you like someone just to be straight with you the first time? I know I would. I despise sales people like this.

It's no wonder the following Lesson #26 is: The Most Important Term in any Contract Isn't in the Contract - It's dealing with honest people.

No wonder the public hates car salesmen...
Nice Jacket eh?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Understanding The Bank

You didn't get approved the last time, you say? Well, why the hell not? 

The credit crunch (in 2008) has really put the kibosh on "lose" lending practices. You think they are asking for an arm and a leg now? Well, they are probably just asking for a leg! This month alone I have gotten clients who have been "upside-down" approved for their car loans. Did I promise to sleep with the lending officers? No! I was just creative in my asking for the loans. If you don't know what up-side down means: it is when a customer wants to trade in/get out of a vehicle but he/she owes more than it's who comes up with the difference, you say? The customer! Well, unless you can get someone creative to flip the "negative equity" portion into your new car loan - then magic! you are upside down no more! It's a fine art I tell you. One, that I am mastering day by day.

One thing you have to remember though: the bank is there to sell money and you're the buyer, so if you can make a case that you are either:

  • worth the risk
  • can get someone to shoulder it with you 
  • will pay a higher rate
...or will sleep with the lending officer they will sell you their "paper"! So take it!! You deserve the credit :)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sexy Comes Standard & Imagine All the fun You Can Have in the Back

I was online reading and Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos had mentioned a Florida Ford Dealer giving away Free Fords if it rains on April 8th more than 1 inch. I had to check out the ad, so I did (only because I was hoping it would be "cheeky" and make me laugh). I think what I was hoping for was more shock-value. Being bored of the same old "come-on-down to XYZ dealer ----" I was anticipating an ad like Subaru's Sexy Comes Standard. This commercial is NOT appealing AT ALL but honestly, it is all I think about when someone mentions Subaru now - and I can't forget the slogan. Damn ad agency! Should be fired (or more like given a raise!)

The Subaru ad, though, does not compare (memorable-wise) to an old car commercial someone had sent me maybe 1-2 years ago where he mentions customers being "raped" over deals, the owner and what he'd do with their money, etc etc.  Honestly, this is the type of commercial, I think, the owner might as well have burned his money and not made the commercial. I wish there was some data that showed if this commercial actually aired, when, if it brought in business, and just how much. Seriously, did the owner/manager/someone think that people would come down and drop their hard-earned money to purchase with them???? Either way, it makes me laugh every time but it doesn't make me want to buy or spark an interest - and isn't that what commercials are supposed to do? What do I know, right?

I did find a website though that has videos of all makes and their commercials (like a data-bank). I think for the coming weeks I am going to have a field day just watching all of them...

Until next time....

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Tsunami vs the Auto Industry. Winner: Tsunami

My cousin asked me the other day if everything is okay with Toyota because of the Tsunami. I said "good question!". Most of the line-up is built all or in part in North America and I would think the Lexus line-up would be an issue in a couple of months time when inventory (in Canada) dries up. (Supposedly 75% of the Lexus line-up is built in Japan - with the RX Ultra Premium model built here).

According to Honda has been hit with fires and Toyota already broke the rhythm of four plants. The tsunami struck Nissan's factory in Tochigi, where the famous GT-R is made.  And unconfirmed reports that they lost 5,000 Infiniti's (which on the scale of world-wide production goes is small). Sad. Very. 

I was talking with one of my colleagues if he knew if the nuclear facilities were close to any of the car plants. He jokingly said that we'd be delivering Japanese cars with "premium" paint that glowed! And that the Japanese would throw in a free Geiger Counter! Honestly, I had to look up the term (wiki-defin: Yes, the joke was very wrong.

CNBC Correspondent, Phil LeBeau, seems to think that this will effect domestic brands also because of car component suppliers not being able to deliver and hinder production here (in North America). All joking aside, seems like we are going to have to wait and see what all this will do to the industry and hopefully it will just be a little bump in the road.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Seriously: Am I the only one?

Ok, so I watched a re-watched some of Transformers: The Movie because it was on TV. Am I the only one who watches car chases/highway scenes and tries to identify everything (make-wise) that's on the road? Or am I the only one who complains when they use older year models in a movie that is supposed to be present-day, come on!! Stop being cheap! I'm sure GM wanted to give up some cars so you could destroy them! Maybe Toyota? They had a lot of cars sitting on the lots last year (tongue in cheek!). Let's destroy a Highlander, no? Or please, destroy the Prius - I'd pay the see that!

“So it’s not beautiful, it’s not fast, it’s not particularly economical, not desperately safe, and now it turns out it isn’t even bulletproof.”
taken from:

Waiting to see that redesigned Camaro on a huge theatre screen - worth every penny. But say, a movie like, From Paris with Love? You put old Escalades, old Euro trash on the road, come on. It detroyed the highway scene if you ask me. You think that's why it tanked at the box-office? Hmmm, maybe! (Or so, I'd like to think it's the reason).

From Paris with Love
Not a bad movie but they could've spent more money to make it better

Come to think of it: I may be the only one. Sad.

(P.S Check the "what is a prius good for?" Video -->

Friday, 11 March 2011

Uptight much? Chrysler tweet containing the F-word

The official Chrysler Twitter account made a mistake of haste by accidentally tweeting that people in the Motor City (Detroit) don't know how to drive with the F-word stuck in for emphasis.

The tweet was deleted and an apology was posted. Chrysler did say that an employee of their NMS (New Media Strategies) team accidentally tweeted from the wrong account on their way into work and has now been fired. Bummer. I guess I better watch what I write and tweet about!

You know what I think though? If stuff like this didn't happen, it would be one boring business. So, I say: thanks for the laughs and have a great f*****g day!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Gotta Love the Car Biz

So this week would be one I would consider the reason I got into the car business: Strong-arming banks to finance a customer who may be slightly over-extended get into that car he so deserves because he works so hard or getting a recently landed Permanent Resident to Canada - with no credit - get approved and buy a brand new Toyota, or maybe the couple who have not bought a new car for 11 years get into that new Kia for the family. I don't know which story is better or which I would consider a bigger success than the others but they were all fulfilling for me - very selfish - yes! To see the smile on their faces is actually worth more than money to me (did I say that?!).  When I think about, it seems crazy. Maybe I'm just wired wrong? No, I definitely found getting the customer what they wanted, being that facilitator, was something I enjoyed. I remember getting those extra units of Nintendo64 or the PS3 when they were the hottest gift at Christmas and I got those favourite customers of mine a system so their kids would be the happiest on the planet - ALL WORTH IT! 

Years later, different business, still crazy. Ok, crazy about making things happen for my clients :)

Gotta love the car biz.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Autos in Movies - Just Genius

So, I was just reading Premiere Magazine that I get (Cadillac Magazine for everything Cadi). So, they mentioned that they were at TIFF last fall giving the Cadillac People's Choice award out and they mentioned some of the movies that Cadi was graced to be in:

  • The Big Sleep
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Goodfellas
  • Fast & the Furious
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith
  • It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
  • The Year of Living Dangerously
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Matrix Reloaded (entire highways scene was GM vehicles)
  • The Hangover
  • The Proposal
  • Zombieland
  • The Other Guys
  • Get Carter 
  • Cadillac Man
I just recently watched Zombieland again and Woody Harrelson is very passionate about his Escalade. Once he says "Do what you want to the man, just don't f**k with his Cadi!". What's funny is how much does GM/Cadillac or any other manufacturer for that matter pay for this kind of advertising, or product placement? I have always wanted to know. I wonder if it's actually "researchable". Having an actor say something, or having a car "plug" written into the script, it's just genius!

I also recently watched The Killers, Ashton Kutcher & Katherine Heigl are being chased by the Volvo XC60 and when it crashes she marvels how well it took the hit. You just can't pay enough for that plug! But how much did they pay?

Volvo used in The Killers chase

Food for thought or fuel for knowledge? :)