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Car dealers going away..part 2.

Old 10-20-2020, 08:37 AM
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Default Car dealers going away..part 2.

If not dealers...at least the ridiculous dealerships, which is a start. Maybe the days of ruining several miles of real estate of a major in town road with dozens of car dealerships are finally starting to end.

I said that in this thread 9 years ago...wow did I catch hell over it. I even had car dealers invite me to fly half way across the country to see how great they were. I had attacks on my intelligence and some of the replies wanted to know what I did for a living; as if that matters. My thoughts then--and now--were that they saw the potential for getting rid of dealerships, and it scared them.

Tesla has proven it will work. The biggest issue now are the lobbyists, but it looks like even the car manufacturers are starting to see the light, from this blurb in Jalopnik today, quoted from Automotive News.

I also still think that one day, cars will be like coffee makers and microwaves; you simply won't care what you drive, as long as it works. If you don't believe that, look at pretty much everything Toyota makes. Is there a better definition of commuter car than a Corolla?

You might even use a car as a subscription service like Youtube TV or Hulu. Need a car this year, or even this month, but not the next? Only sign up for the car service while you need it. Volvo offers a version of it and has had some success. Cadillac tried a similar program it and failed, then had plans to revamp it and bring back a version, but I guess COVID got in the way.

Last edited by Joe; 10-20-2020 at 08:47 AM.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:20 AM
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My most recent new car purchase was made over the internet. I was never in their show room and only in the dealership to pick up the car. That last step wasn't necessary because they would have delivered it to me (100 miles) without charge but I was planning to be in the area so I drove it home.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:26 AM
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Things change and we have a saying in tech which evolves or die. A lot of car dealers will end up going belly up sooner or later. There are a lot of consumers who like to look, shop around and by from dealers so it will take time but I can see the day especially with self-driving cars where you will just open your app up and the car will appear.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe View Post
If you don't believe that, look at pretty much everything Toyota makes. Is there a better definition of commuter car than a Corolla?
.
Spending a long commute in a Toyota Corolla sounds miserable. My dad commutes 60 miles each way to our business and he does it in a new Toyota Avalon. Much nicer for a true commute. I think Americans will always care what they drive. Car sharing etc only really works in big metro areas where you don't need to drive on a regular basis.

Old 10-20-2020, 09:35 AM
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How does one purchase a new car without at least driving one at a dealership?
Old 10-20-2020, 09:39 AM
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Grocery stores are disappearing as well. Sad but true
Old 10-20-2020, 09:39 AM
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Well I hope dealerships last a couple more years then I will be out!
15,000 plus cars sold/delivered
Old 10-20-2020, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
How does one purchase a new car without at least driving one at a dealership?
The first brand new car I ever owned I had never driven that one or even a similar model. Just seemed to be everything I wanted/needed in looks, performance and price. Ordered it and when it came it, the first time I drove it was when I drove away from the dealership. Ended up having that car for many years and 160,000 miles.

I do think dealerships will still be around, but they will be quite a bit different. There are still a lot of consumers who don't have a clue what they really want or need and will have to look at many before they finally decide.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:44 AM
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One interesting trend I've seen is larger dealer groups seem to be doing a bit more to increase customer ease of doing business. For instance my wife drives a honda. Honda dealer is in town a good 20-25 min from home. Same dealer group owns a VW dealership 5 min from home, and has cross trained technicians to handle all but the most extensive of repairs. Stock Honda specific service parts, etc. Even simple stuff like getting an oil change this branching out on their part has made me a much more receptive customer.

Not sure how they get the info, but in my home county there is 1 GM dealer. Sells Chevrolet only. Anyone who buys or brings a GM product of any type into the county tends to get a flier or phone call asking for their service business. They have a good rep and get a lot of it that way. Being that they only sell one brand and the town is not large enough to support a lot of others, I don't see that changing any time soon.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
How does one purchase a new car without at least driving one at a dealership?
What does a limited test drive really tell? Not much. If the car is not a first year of that model, there are good reviews available, with many being videos. I test drive wasn't going to tell me more than I could read and watch about the car. I'm happy 4 years later with a car I didn't test drive.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
How does one purchase a new car without at least driving one at a dealership?
I purchased my 2020 F150 Platinum without going to the dealer. I sent the sales manager my list and he ordered the truck. When it came in he had it delivered it to my house. I drove it and then signed the paperwork. If they ever build my new Bronco I'll do it the same way.
Old 10-20-2020, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by IES99 View Post
What does a limited test drive really tell? Not much. If the car is not a first year of that model, there are good reviews available, with many being videos. I test drive wasn't going to tell me more than I could read and watch about the car. I'm happy 4 years later with a car I didn't test drive.
You cant tell how comfortable a car is going to be for you by reading internet reviews
Old 10-20-2020, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by CalypsoNotch93 View Post
You cant tell how comfortable a car is going to be for you by reading internet reviews
I agree. On a purchase tha5 large, one should rent said vehicle before purchase.
Old 10-20-2020, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
How does one purchase a new car without at least driving one at a dealership?
i bought my CPO BMW from a dealer 300 miles away completely by email. Flew into Atlanta, Uber’d to Macon, ten minutes in the dealership and drove it away headed to work the Sarasota boat show. Guess I assumed a 30k mile CPO care would drive fine.

Now on that I think about it I didn’t test drive my Avalanche when I bought it new. It was just my next Chevy truck, so I knew what to expect. If I were shopping trucks now I would test drive - it’s been a while and much has changed.

I don’t think dealers are going away, but their methods of doing business will evolve.,
Old 10-20-2020, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe View Post
If not dealers...at least the ridiculous dealerships, which is a start. Maybe the days of ruining several miles of real estate of a major in town road with dozens of car dealerships are finally starting to end.

I said that in this thread 9 years ago...wow did I catch hell over it. I even had car dealers invite me to fly half way across the country to see how great they were. I had attacks on my intelligence and some of the replies wanted to know what I did for a living; as if that matters. My thoughts then--and now--were that they saw the potential for getting rid of dealerships, and it scared them.

Tesla has proven it will work. The biggest issue now are the lobbyists, but it looks like even the car manufacturers are starting to see the light, from this blurb in Jalopnik today, quoted from Automotive News.

I also still think that one day, cars will be like coffee makers and microwaves; you simply won't care what you drive, as long as it works. If you don't believe that, look at pretty much everything Toyota makes. Is there a better definition of commuter car than a Corolla?

You might even use a car as a subscription service like Youtube TV or Hulu. Need a car this year, or even this month, but not the next? Only sign up for the car service while you need it. Volvo offers a version of it and has had some success. Cadillac tried a similar program it and failed, then had plans to revamp it and bring back a version, but I guess COVID got in the way.
I think there are some problems with the basic premises of your post. It's funny that you mention coffee as something that is universal, when Americans have never cared more about their various coffee-related accessories and are becoming quite coffee snobbish, just as we are becoming (or have become) quite beer snobbish. I walk into any friend's house these days and there is a grinder or two and a couple different ways to brew some joe. Americans very much care about the uniqueness/niceness of their things, whether coffee makers, microwaves, and cars. Even though these things are mass-produced, the models cover many price points and tastes, and they do that because the market tells them to. Going back to the coffee comparison, look at gas stations -- even in the rural area where I live they have auto-grinding bean-fed machines with seven different kinds of beans.

MAYBE in some densely urban areas there will be a market for the universal car, nothing but utilitarian transportation. But again, Americans love their cars. It will certainly never be a national movement. I mean, look at the bicycle market.

Now, I do think that there will be an evolution of the car dealership that has already started with some "virtual" dealerships you might call them. But most people want to test drive a vehicle before buying one, new or used. They want to see and experience it and see how it drives, and flip all the little switches and so on and so forth. So I think a portion of the market will go virtual for those who are comfortable. But dealerships will stay. They will have to become more streamlined, but people want test drives, and need warranty work, and service bulletin work, etc etc. People often still want to talk to a sales person in many cases despite our hatred of car salesmen. People still want certified pre-owned vehicles.

Amazon didn't destroy the brick and mortar commerce it competes with. I still have a Best Buy and a Target and a Walmart and so on. Because some things you don't want to buy sight unseen, and there are services you can get in-store that you can't get over the internet.

And the blurb you cited in Jalopnik provides no data other than one quote and that manufacturers are relaxing requirements for dealerships to update their facilities.

Lastly, if dealers are seeing less traffic this year it's due in large part to what is (hopefully) a temporary pandemic.

So I think it's more likely that we see a shift in the business model, with dealerships still being around years from now, rather than their extinction.
Old 10-20-2020, 11:09 AM
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Lose the BS negotiation tactics that everyone despises and maybe they have a chance.. sorry not a fan of most salesmen as I usually know more ( DD on the net ) than they do walking through the door...
Old 10-20-2020, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ono loco View Post
Lose the BS negotiation tactics that everyone despises and maybe they have a chance.. sorry not a fan of most salesmen as I usually know more ( DD on the net ) than they do walking through the door...
The BS**t pinstripe, scotchguard, paint sealants, and other showroom add-ons are also highly despised and would not be missed, but probably pay the note on the franchise owners Jarret Bay.
Old 10-20-2020, 11:34 AM
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I've many different brands of vehicles and, therefore, dealers. Some are worth their weight in gold - loaner cars, excellent service staff, great customer service. My local Ford dealer is just a parking lot with trucks. I know 10x more then the sales guys about each truck there with 30 minutes of internet research. The service department is a joke that I can no longer trust to safely do anything on my truck after multiple unsafe experiences. Loaners are always booked out for months. They are a multi-generation dealer and just take it for granted they will always have customers. No one will mind if they go away.
Old 10-20-2020, 11:37 AM
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I bought a mercedes completely by email last year. They delivered it to my house. Just had to sign like 2 things (signed most digitally), Took like 5 minutes.
Old 10-20-2020, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe View Post
Tesla has proven it will work.
I do not think using Tesla to prove your point is valid. Telsa is trendy and for the most part it is currently a niche product. To say Telsa has proven it works doesn't mean it will work with a segment like 1/2 ton trucks where there are many different options and brand loyalties.

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