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Discussion Starter #1
Anatomy of an X purchase … (Long)

Hi All:

___So how do you purchase an X? Some go to their local Acura dealer and pick up whatever they can off the lot at MSRP or MSRP + or - with whatever forced options (or none) the dealer decided to install that month … if they have one on the lot? Some individuals pick up exactly what they want off the lot or there was a cancellation and one equipped exactly as requested becomes available at MSRP + or – depending on locale. Some individuals test drive an X and order exactly what they want with usually 2 – 10 months waits but usually at MSRP. And then there are those … well, just read on if you can stand reading a novel ;)

___Approximately 9 months ago, my wife started to really turn up the heat about a replacement for the 92 Toyota Previa LE. The fact that it had ~ 165,000 miles on it at the time didn’t phase me as it was running perfectly … That fact didn’t fly as anyone with a wife knows when she decides its time for her present car to move on, you had better think seriously about moving on or you start doing your own laundry and sleeping on the couch ;) Ok, Ok already, let’s start looking … Honey.

___First stop, a nearby Honda dealer to look at the Odyssey. I see quite a few great reviews from the car mags, Edmunds, Car Point, and online testimonials. Edmunds Town Hall end user experiences are showing some problems (Tranny’s and side doors) but the wife wants one now … Off we go to visit a relatively close Honda dealer (Pauly Honda in Libertyville, IL.). We walk to the front door for a test drive and receive the worst dealership experience I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy . Salesman says we can’t let you test drive an Odyssey but with $5000 down, we would be more than happy to order you one. I ask what about the Demo’s on the lot? No, you can’t test drive those. I could have strangled the guy :3: Fortunately my wife was with me and after those 3 sentences; we are both walking the other way. I thought I had dodged the bullet. She won’t want a new car after that experience … Boy I was wrong.

___Next stop, the local Toyota dealership. After all, I had a great experience picking up an 03 Corolla LE from them not 1 month prior. I am thinking a Toyota Camry LE w/ a 4 banger and she would be very very happy. You know, one of the best 4-door sedans in its price class including decent gas mileage, nice size, and most importantly, it’s relatively inexpensive ;) We were talking < $16K out the door including taxes w/ the Previa trade. I had Car Point, Edmunds, on line reviews, newsgroups, and a ton of car mags all passing on accolades for the Camry as well as one of her best friends owns an 02 and loves it. I thought, at least she’ll get a new car and I won’t get murdered in the process. Next thing I know, the LE isn’t good enough :( She now wants a leather equipped 6 with all the fixings. It took me 2 weeks to convince (pleading, begging, doing the dishes, laundry, vacuuming the house … some of you know all about this, I am sure ;)) for her to consider a GLE w/ a particular leather option package and the 4. All righty then. I saved $2,500.00 with the 4 rather than the 6 and I am almost home free … Finally, time to go to pick one out. She has also been talking with friends at work. Darn it again! Don’t let your wife talk with friends at work as it’s the fastest way to the poor house …

___She now wants a Lexus RX300. After maybe a 100 of hours of research and she wants to switch. Problem … this one is going to hurt. Ok, lets go for a test drive, look at one, pull up the online reviews, absorb the personnel histories at Edmunds Town Hall, Car Point, newsgroups, car mags, online reviews, and a friend of mine at work owns one … Great interior, and its as quiet as the Camry with SUV utility. She notices the interior is very cramped however and does not have the utility of the Previa. Well, what did you want? It isn’t a Minivan! She says, “Let’s look at other SUV’s than …”

___My father owned a 2x4 Expedition that had been trouble free in its 4 years of existence. She doesn’t like the feel or the looks. He has a Yukon on order and after it arrives, she doesn’t like that. Since she is looking at $30 - $40K vehicles, I thought I may have one more chance at dropping down below my $30K barrier … The Toyota Highlander! It’s an RX with a bit less luxury but is slightly larger … She looks at it and doesn’t like it. Not sporty enough I believe? So now what is she going to want? I have already seen many mentions of the MDX in the Lexus RX Edmunds Town hall. I have seen the 01 SUV of the year in print but an Acura? Why would I consider one of those? There is a dealer in Libertyville but it has got to cost an arm and a leg? Well, the RX cost an arm and a leg so what the heck …

___So lets look into this SUV called the MDX? Off I go to Edmunds Town Hall, online reviews, Car Point, newsgroups … once again. Hmmm. Someone in the alt.autos.acura newsgroup or Edmunds Town Hall mentions Acuramdx.org. I believe it was Wmquan! Well let’s check out this online MDX forum out. Interesting, ton’s of accolades and personal experiences with the good and bad as it actually happened! What is this phenomenon called the X? A few days of reading the forums as a guest and I become a member. I ask quite a few questions (mostly dumb ones of course ;)) and the membership of this forum not only answer my questions in full but with great enthusiasm and they have now convinced me to consider an X! I talk to the wife and say why don’t you consider looking at this SUV called the MDX? I am still busy reading the newsgroups, the forum, Edmunds Town Hall, Car Point, online reviews … Off to Acura of Libertyville we go for a test drive. Ah oh, she likes it. It’s got the size, the luxury, and the sporty look and feel. I can’t believe it, I even like it! Well let’s see what we can do about getting one of these.

___Now is where we run directly into Acura’s dirty little secret … Damn these Acura dealerships. X’s at MSRP + forced options and at marked up prices in Northern, IL! I simply can’t pull the trigger no matter how much the vehicle fits our family … I have to figure out how I can pick up an X for a good price and get rid of the Acura dealership problem? I have read of the horror stories of dealership markups and poor treatment from many other forum members and am thinking about how to bypass this obstacle. I am still determined to purchase an X so let’s see what else is available. Interesting, I see the Canadian purchased Touring X’s are ~ $7K less. I also find out about the lack of warranty coverage in the states as well as do the research on importing one (driving one across the border myself). Not too much trouble as there are quite a few foreign and domestics coming in this way and it appears to work! Is the $7K worth it for no warranty? It is just to get rid of the local dealerships gouging. So I start calling the closer Canadian dealers. I call almost every dealer along the Detroit, MI to Buffalo, NY Canadian corridor and I get a similar message from all. No sales to US citizens due to a chance of losing X allotments … I am a bit disappointed now. Let us see about other local dealerships than … I find that almost all of our local dealers are just as bad if not worse than Libertyville. One dealer (Mueller in Hoffman Estates) offers just $600 for the Previa and says they will take off the DIO’s we don’t want and place them in the back of the X so we can drive off with them while still paying the outrageous DIO price! I am finding out that this is the one true black eye of this vehicle called the “X”. Remember, this was 4 or so months ago … Hmmm, I just read of a forum member (MDX4now) that pre-ordered an X for straight MSRP and no forced DIO’s at McGrath in Glenview, IL. We may now have a winner … Off to McGrath we go. 2 + months out you should receive your X with the mandatory $2K refundable deposit. This dealer was cordial and even though it’s at MSRP, there are no forced options. I am still reading of $1k + discounts in FL. and TX. and can only imagine the savings … While we are waiting, I may as well see what is available around the 5 state area. IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI with most pushing the same story. We offer the best service … and MSRP or MSRP + and most are forcing DIO’s. Well, if they are getting the deals in FL. and TX, why don’t I look a bit further? Tommyleon leads me to Damson Acura in Huntsville AL. Hmmm. They offer $1100 under MSRP and no forced DIO’s with a refundable deposit. It’s only 641 miles one way. That’s worth it to me. The wife decides this isn’t a good idea for her. They are still a great dealer in my book.

___It looks like it is going to be MSRP from McGrath :( I am watching StevenTimm’s thread on a Group Buy for a complete X. Nothing appears to have moved on the thread in a few weeks so I bump it … I contact a few members to see if they were still interested and after a ton of E-Mail, it looks like I have enough members to make it work! I contact Clay and Ray “Raymdxking” from Baranco Acura just south of Atlanta. They have over 20 - 03 X’s in stock and they are willing to go for a Group Buy! A ton more E-Mail and GB is a go. Finally, an X at a great price and its only 784 miles from my door … Cancel the McGrath order and we are set for the Group Buy. 784 miles one way sucks but for $1500, it’s easily worth it in my book … Our X will be built between 02/09 and 02/13. It is only a matter of time now and I am finally actually looking forward to the new X given the price. Ray and Clay of Baranco were great in all my E-Mail and phone exchanges in case anyone where interested in purchasing from them … 5 stars all around IMHO.

Completion of this post follows directly afterwards due to Server not allowing > 10,000 words per post ...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Post Continued

___Last week … while heading to a local eatery, we passed Pauly Acura of Highland Park and I see they had 8 X’s on their lot. I post my sighting for others possibly looking for an X in our locale for immediate delivery. Rjmitche posts in the same thread that he has seen ten + X’s at Acura of Libertyville. Within a few days of Rjmitche’s post, Jim Sudol, Acura of Libertyville’s Internet manager contacted me via E-Mail with a hello, are you still interested. During all of the above, Jim has been contacting me via E-Mail on and off and I kept replying that when they were ready to deal, I would head on over. Here are those E-Mails from the last 5 months:

I believe my original request was through CarPoint?

Wednesday, September 18, 2002 2:06 PM

Dear WAYNE GERDES,

My online records indicate a while ago you were interested in a Acura MDX listed on the Acura Web site. If you are still interested in this vehicle, or if you would prefer me to find a different vehicle for you, please let me know. I would be happy to assist with your vehicle search in any way possible.

I can be reached either by replying to this e-mail or by phone at 847 680-7333. Please contact me if you wish to be removed from our AcuraPoint follow-up system.

Thanks for your interest. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Jim Sudol
Sales & Leasing Consultant
Acura of Libertyville

Reply

Thursday, September 19, 2002 12:03 PM

Hi Jim:

I sure am ... What do you have in the way of an 03 TW Premium w/ Quartz interior coming in? I understand that this is the week when you can order the new Quartz interior equipped MDX's within the Acura MOVE process for your dealerships allocation but I may be mistaken.

I am looking for a no forced option MDX unlike what Libertyville Acura has offered in the past. Secondly, are you still asking for MSRP or more? If you can throw in a few Dealer Installed Options at MSRP, I would be very interested :) Currently, McGrath in Glenview offers MSRP and no forced options plus a free loaner for any service or any repair that requires over 2 hours to repair or replace.

Thank you and please reply at your earliest convenience.

Wayne R. Gerdes
[email protected]

No reply afterwards?

********************************************************************

I believe Acura of Libertyville picked this request up from a “Car Buyers club” request through our local Sam’s Club and he replied with offers on 02’s still left on their lot.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002 9:29 AM

Dear Wayne, Thank you for choosing Acura of Libertyville for your new vehicle needs. We have received your purchase request for the MDX. Our no haggle / no hassle philosophy ensures your vehicle purchase process is simple and enjoyable. In our department, all sales are conducted by e-Commerce Managers not SALESPEOPLE, allowing you to avoid the traditional time-consuming negotiation process associated with buying a new car. Your special e-commerce price on the MDX Touring is: YOUR PRICE $37,000 With Navigation $39,800.00 * Price good only in stock units only. This pricing is valid ONLY through our Online Sales Department. Upon arrival at the dealership, immediately identify yourself as an Internet client and show a copy of this e-mail to guarantee your price. Your price includes destination charges but does not include applicable tax, license, and documentation fees. A team member will contact you to answer any further questions you may have and/or to schedule a test drive. If you need to speak with us immediately, please contact us directly at 847-932-5166 Again, thank you for choosing Acura of Libertyville. We look forward to serving you! Jim Sudol e-Commerce Manager Acura of Libertyville 847-932-5166 [email protected]

Reply

Wednesday, October 16, 2002 9:34 PM

Hi Jim:

I will extend a no haggle/no hassle offer of $35,200 including destination charges on a brand new 2003 MDX (used to be called Premium trim in 01/02 model years) w/ a Taffeta White exterior and Quartz interior (no DIO’s) ordered in your MOVE process for a December delivery.

I want to thank you again for responding in the professional manner as received below and I look forward to your reply ASAP.

Good Luck and Thanks again for your reply. You can contact me via E-Mail or phone as listed below if you have any other questions or comments.

Wayne R. Gerdes
[email protected]

No reply afterwards once again?

********************************************************************

I must have been in Jim’s tickle file for this one?

Friday, November 29, 2002 11:15 AM

11-29-02

If you’re still in the market for a new Acura, this is the time to make your purchase. Acura is now offering special A.P.R of 3.99 % up to 60 mos. This offer will expire 12-02-02 and excludes the RSX.

Thanks again,
Jim Sudol
E-Commerce Manager
Acura of Libertyville
(847)932-5166
[email protected]

Reply

Friday, November 29, 2002 11:41 AM

Hi Jim:

I am still interested in a TW w/ Quartz interior Premium but not at MSRP. Are you offering any amount under MSRP yet? I can get 1.1K under MSRP from any number of out of state dealers so when you’re ready, give me a call.

Wayne R. Gerdes
[email protected]

No reply afterwards for the third time?

********************************************************************

I must have been in Jim’s tickle file again although they now have 22 X’s on the lot to get rid of! Why else would they begin pushing X’s?

Wednesday, February 12, 2003 12:02 PM

Dear WAYNE GERDES,

My records indicate that a while ago you were interested in a 2003 Acura MDX quote that you requested via the Internet. If you are still interested in this vehicle, or if you would prefer me to find a different vehicle for you, please let me know. I will be happy to assist you with your vehicle search in any way possible.

I can be reached either by replying to this e-mail or by phone at 847 680-7333. Please contact me if you wish to be removed from our customer follow-up system.

Thank you for your interest. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Jim Sudol

Jim Sudol
Sales & Leasing Consultant
Acura of Libertyville
847-932-5166

Reply

Wednesday, February 12, 2003 04:21 PM

Hi Jim:

I sure am. If you happen to have an 03 TW Premium … or an 03 TW Touring w/ RES w/ Quartz available for $1500 under MSRP and $0 DOC, I would be willing to purchase within the hour.

Give me a call or reply to this E-Mail at your at your earliest convenience.

Thank you

Wayne R. Gerdes
[email protected]

This time Acura of Libertyville bit …
___After signing the paperwork, the rest is history …

___I did speak with Jim S. about Libertyville’s past MSRP + and forced DIO practices saying it was entirely unacceptable and they had quite a rep with the online community here at Acuramdx.org. He could not add anything other than yes, that used to be our policy and I had no control over it … After the paperwork signage was complete, I spoke with the General Manager for a preliminary on the rating numbers. I said Jim deserves higher marks than what I am giving him because he kept his end of the bargain but the dealerships management as a whole deserves 1’s or 2’s for the MSRP + forced DIO practices of the previous months. I recapped the same issues with the General Manager and another closer saying it places a bad taste in my mouth and I am not the only one that has posted similar experiences about Acura of Libertyville on the Acuramdx.org forum. He said that was a business decision given the supply and demand at the time … I once again reiterated that short term profit motives whether a business decision or not was unacceptable and if it were not for the deal, I wouldn’t come near the place. 5 minutes of discussion ensued about this afterwards and hopefully they got the message. The Closers, prep, and a salesman that explained some of the X’s features to my wife were getting 5’s but the salesman/dealership/overall experience was not when I finally receive a dealer survey myself.

___With war on the horizon, $2.00/gallon gas prices, a shaky US stock market, and an overall slowing of X SUV sales, it is time to get into those dealerships and deal for every last dollar. MSRP can be beaten and with a little patience, hopefully at your dealer down the street. What a roller coaster ride this has been is about all I can add …

___Finally, this single lengthy post should be good for about 50 posts instead of just 2, right? VicPai, I didn’t quite make it to a 1000 before the X arrived ;)

___Good Luck to you all in search of your own X.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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How many miles on that new X now? I'm surprised that you had the time for such a long post with the new X in the garage.

On another thread there was speculation about who had the record for the most posts before buying a MDX. This thread may be the record for the longest post. I doubt if anyone else has discovered the 10000 word limit.:6: :8:
 

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Wayne,
Great story. I know it was worth it. I hope you are having a ball driving that new X. I am only glad I didn't start shopping the X until late Nov otherwise I may have been another one that paid MSRP+. Not that the X isn't worth it, but I just can't pay sticker for a car. I think the market is beginning to soften as well. Is AoL moving these X's or are they staying on the lot? Just curious. Enjoy the ride.:2:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi BaldEagle:

___If I told you I have driven it a total distance of ~ 20’, would you believe me? I had to back it out of the garage to get the garbage cans in and place it back into the garage … And who would have thought after all this time, the only person to drive it would be the wife ;) The Corolla on the other hand had 400 miles put on her yesterday for the drive to U of I and back to pick up my son for the weekend … Guess who drove that one. Yep, me :(

___As for the amount of posts, I believe I was at 857 when the X arrived. I am not sure where VicPai or past members were as far as post count when they picked up their own?

___The 10,000 character limit surprised me as well. I had to break the above up to fit but it worked …

___As an edit, Phins2rt, I didn’t see your post? I do not know what Acura of Libertyville is considering or up to with future X sales? I am just glad to see their BS business practices of loading em up at the customer’s expense is over in at least my case. Maybe this will be the norm around the country from now on … Lets all hope anyway.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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Wayne,

Congrats on finally taking delivery of the X. Your post is great, a classic! I think you should change the title to "My memoirs of getting an X". Enjoy!!!!;)
 

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While I still ended up paying MSRP only a month ago for my Sage Brush Navigation at Acura of Libertyville, I'm not the least bit disappointed and am very glad to hear that things are changing especially in the high demand Chicago area!

Like I'm sure you read before, I wasn't happy with Libertyville in the past, but the fact they got me my navigation, the 3rd Sage Brush navigation ever produced in all of Chicagoland, and free of any accessories within a month of a couple email inquiries made it worth it. They seem top notch now.

Since Libertyville seems to have quite the on the lot inventory free of any accessories and possible money off MSRP, do you think Pauly, McGrath, etc. will start feeling the heat? As of now, Pauly and them still have those huge waiting lists. I'm sure word will get around in the dealer circuit that Libertyville is playing hard ball now. We'll see....

Congrats again!
 

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xcel: thanks for the great, detailed post(s)! Congrats on your X and your great deal (and from the infamous AoL, no less). You either took extensive notes during your 'journey to MDX ownership' or you have a great memory. I couldn't begin to tell of my own experience (all the research, test drives, dealer discussions/e-mails, etc.) with as much detail as you have.

I'm in the "test drive an X and order exactly what they want with usually 2 – 10 months waits and usually at MSRP" club myself. After putting down $1000 in October I paid MSRP on delivery in January. I probably could have held out longer for a better deal but the timing was right and I'm still happy with the way things worked out. Timing (along with a little flexibility and persistence) is the name of the game and everyone needs to pull the trigger when the time/price is right for them. $1500 off MSRP (plus some extras) is a GREAT deal on the X but, a few months from now, we could be reading about better deals. It can be easy to fall into the "it might be cheaper tomorrow" thinking and never actually make the purchase... again, individual circumstances play heavily into each decision. I don't think anyone reading these recent 'great deal' posts should feel bad that they paid MSRP (or more) as long as they feel that they got what they wanted, when they wanted and for a price they were willing to live with at the time. It's also important to note that most (but not all) of the deals being discussed at the moment involve X's that are sitting on dealer lots. If a dealer has one on the lot that is the trim/color you want, it can work heavily in your favor.

Now, xcel... you need to find some excuses so that you can drive the X more often!
:2:
 

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Dizzy At best

Hi Wayne:Congratulations on finally getting your X .Like I said in a previous post "The X is the hardest vehicle that I have EVER bought"I think you will agree.When the deal is finally done though,its worth it.How many trips to the garage have you made to just look?
Enjoy it ,maybe we'll cross paths sometime driving our Xs.
Tom :29:
 

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xcel - I understand the irritation you experienced buying your MDX. I initially tried to purchase my MDX in December of 2000, but due to the same stuff you experienced bought an RX 300 on 12/31/00 (which my wife loves). I still wanted an MDX for me and it only took me until October of 2001 to finally make the deal and get it. This after talking to every DFW area dealer several times & a Houston dealer several times.

All I can say is, perseverance paid off and I got a very good deal on my '01 (when the '02s were just about ready to be delivered) from David McDavid in Plano. (they are a sponsored dealership on this forum now).

You may want to move this thread to dealer experiences though - it certainly is decriptive of what dealers do to lose business.......
 
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