“What do we have to do to put you in a new car today?”

Posted: June 17, 2011 in Automotive
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

These days, even with gas prices running at least 40% higher than they were 12 months ago, car manufacturers and their dealers are doing just about anything and everything they possibly can to entice you behind the wheel of a brand new vehicle.

Scan your newspaper (yes, people still do that, you know) and check out the full-page advertisements for new cars, trucks, SUVs and vans on either a Saturday or Sunday and be prepared to be bamboozled and confused.

Sometimes the colours of type in the advertisement will subliminally tell you who the manufacturer is. Blue? Well, that’s easy – it’s Ford. No, wait; it could be Hyundai – my mistake. Wrong shade of blue. Red? Got to be Toyota – or is it Honda?

Even after a credit meltdown these past couple of years, the inducements are often still beyond belief. For example, what follows are just some things that Detroit and Asia have seen fit to throw at us,  and, for the record not all necessarily bundled together. Usually.

  • No money down.
  • No security deposit.
  • Zero percent financing.
  • We’ll pay the tax!
  • First three months payments are on us!
  • Free gas for a year.
  • Save $x per gallon/per liter for 12 months.
  • Free delivery.
  • Free tank of gas.
  • Free oil changes for as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Free tires for as long as you own the vehicle.
  • No charge scheduled maintenance.
  • Free courtesy vehicle when your car is in the dealer’s shop.
  • And my personal favorite, employee pricing – meaning you were being taken if you considered paying anything close to the suggested MSRP.

As alluded earlier, business, generally thanks to the recent ‘downturn’ in the economy took a nosedive. Automobile manufacturers went cap in
hand to their respective governments looking for bailout money. Why, like the debacle in the mortgage market, Detroit especially, in its own inimitable fashion followed suit and offered the automotive equivalent of mortgage-backed securities, one of the core reasons for the financial meltdown we all still struggle to make our way out from under. Easy credit and alarmingly disarming terms and sales tactics sucked in many individuals who seemed to believe that, the ‘dream’ that Madison Avenue had been promising for years, was attainable.

Just sign here. And here. Here, too.

People… are we not going down that very same road again?  If something sounds to good to be true…

Did we learn nothing?

That, my friends, is the perfect example of a simple yet rhetorical question.

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