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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I've been looking to get the MDX since its release. However, they have been difficult to get and priced to reflect that. Having played the "over MSRP" game back in 2000 when I bought my S2000, and having played the MSRP game in 1999 when the 3.2 TL was really hot, I was not looking forward to skipping down this path again. So, I waited and waited and just this week thought I'd try it again hoping that additional shipping units and the unfortunate economy might have changed the picture a bit....

It appears I was mostly right on one end, but not the other. Inventory is indeed much easier to come by these days. We are looking for the Granite Green Touring with Nav which would be attainable from any dealer in anywhere from possibly a week to a bit more than a month. Great. The bad news is that it seems they are all continuing to charge over MSRP. In this case, it appears they are all going for $2k over MSRP.

What really annoyed me was that I have a local Acura dealer here that I have purchased two new cars from since 1995 and have had all service, including oil changes, done with them. When I inquired into whether customer loyalty and patronage might assist in this over MSRP nonsense, I was rebuked. Oh, they were sympathetic and thought the argument was cogent, but in the end, they said no. Currently, however, this is "under review" with the store's management.

Part of my argument provided for a very good example of how another local dealership (Honda no less) seemed to take customer loyalty a bit more seriously. I know back in 2000 when I was buying my S2000, these cars were going for $10k over MSRP. A local dealership, however, was offering the car at MSRP for its previous customers. This on a car fetching a far greater premium than the MDX, even today. While I could not take advantage of this deal, I greatly respected their attitude towards their customers. In all other cases, Acura has far outshined Honda for sales and service.

I am curious if anyone else has been able to use their previous buying from a particular Acura dealer as a tool to get better pricing on the MDX. It's hard to believe that this over MSRP can continue for that much longer given the incoming inventory and economy. Seems shortsighted on the part of this Acura dealership.
 

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ScottS2K said:
... Seems shortsighted on the part of this Acura dealership.
I guess "loyal buyers" are among the very few. When you buy a car, it will be a few years before you buy another. "Price competition" is the key of car buying.. so in the case of MDX, Acura and Acura dealers win and laugh all the way to the bank.'
:rolleyes:
 

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Our Acura dealer always gives a $500 price deduction for past Acura customers, and we bought our TL from them, so when we sat down to draw up our MDX order our salesperson took $500 off the MSRP. Our dealer sells AT MSRP, so the $500 discount is the best one could do. We'll take it. : )
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Re: My First Dealing with Acura on the MDX

RedMdxMemphis said:


I guess "loyal buyers" are among the very few. When you buy a car, it will be a few years before you buy another. "Price competition" is the key of car buying.. so in the case of MDX, Acura and Acura dealers win and laugh all the way to the bank.'
:rolleyes:
Acura/Honda proper might win, but I would argue that this dealer does not. First, they will lose the sale of an MDX. You might say oh well, there are a line of people waiting. True, but this probably will not always be the case. Second, and perhaps more important, they lose my business entirely. In other words no service either. We all know dealers make their money on service. Given my history with this dealer, they stand to lose a lot more money than a few grand should they decide not to treat repeat customers as people worth retaining. Lastly, they lose good word of mouth. I have recommended more than a few people to that dealership over the years. Not all have purchased from them of course, but some have.

I am sure this dealer will continue to do business just fine without me. However, where I live there are A LOT of Acura dealers within a fairly short distance. One cannot continue down this path forever and expect to keep growing revenues.

Oh well, we'll see what happens Q1 next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Words said:
Our Acura dealer always gives a $500 price deduction for past Acura customers, and we bought our TL from them, so when we sat down to draw up our MDX order our salesperson took $500 off the MSRP. Our dealer sells AT MSRP, so the $500 discount is the best one could do. We'll take it. : )
This is great. I wonder how this works on vehicles that you can actually negotiate on. Could get tricky if they try to tie that in with your negotiation. In other words, you get them down to the price you want and than they say that this actually includes the $500 repeat business rebate. Regardless, it is nice to know that some dealerships care about customer retention.
 

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Economics 101

It's supply and demand. As long as MDXs sell as quickly as they come off the trucks, individual dealers will be able to charge whatever the market will support. Unfortunately in ScottS2K's neck of the woods, that means paying above sticker.
Realistically speaking, auto retailers can't effectively court or count on customer loyalty because car-buyers are extremely fickle. How many RX300, ML320/400 owners are now driving MDXs? Buyers go where the "good cars" are...no matter whose "marque" they're wearing.
 

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Sorry to hear your predicamen. my experience with the dealership is that they are willing to sell the MDX at MSRP and the add ons at cost. that is the best they can do for loyal customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
dtkao said:
Sorry to hear your predicamen. my experience with the dealership is that they are willing to sell the MDX at MSRP and the add ons at cost. that is the best they can do for loyal customer.
I'd have been more than happy if they offered me the "deal" of MSRP.

Leader, I agree with you but still think this isn't good business. If a dealer just assumes the customer is going to screw them by going away in the future, and thus offers nothing to keep the customer, than it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I certainly cannot and would not guarantee Acura that I would purchase from them again in the future. However, if they play the odds based on past behavior I'd say they have a better shot with me than someone they have absolutely no experience with. As it is, my local DVD rental store shows me more customer appreciation! ;)
 

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Acura is a perfect example.

The shorter "life-cycle" of Acura models has probably completely turned-over the Acura customer base a couple of times in the last ten years.

Because Acura's lineup changes pretty radically (versus Mercedes, Lexus, BMW for example) a loyal customer coming in to trade a Legend or Vigor finds a showroom full of cars that have not evolved, but are all new in size and styling. The dealers know this is happening, so customer loyalty is just no longer an issue.

Then along comes a segment-leading vehicle like the MDX with stellar reviews and customer approval ratings off the charts. Demand exceeds supply and up goes the price. You can't blame an Acura dealer for cashing in while he can.

There's no way to know what Honda will be sending them in the years to come. If Acura is true to its recent corporate behavior, the second-generation MDX will look a lot different and probably have a different name. And, IMHO, that's no way to sustain brand loyalty or customer satisfaction. Acura should "evolve" their models, not completely redesign (and rebadge) them every two or three years. Then the dealers might actually recognize repeat buyers coming into their stores.

Remember, this is just my opinion. :rolleyes:
 

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ScottS2k,

I too bought two Acuras from the same dealer in the past and when I inquired about discounts for customer loyalty, I was told that I can pay MSRP + $2K in overpriced mandatory accessories. I eventually bought mine from another dealer since there was plenty of time and $$$ incentive to continue shopping for a better deal.

When I bought my 98 CL, there was a promotion on the Acura web-site that provided a $1000-$1500 "customer Loyalty" discount through the manufacturer. I haven't seen anything like that since then. In fact I bought the CL below MSRP and then applied the Acura discount.

Some dealers prey upon customer ignorance and are arrogant enough to think that because people can afford to pay over MSRP, they won't bother to check with other dealerships further away.
 

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It is the customer....not the dealer, who is to blame....

When ignorant, unsavvy, spoiled customers (who are not difficult to come by in large numbers these days)......let me give an example to illustrate before I proceed:

Salesman: The MDX is a limited production model and you
should count yourself lucky to even be able to get
on a waiting list cause we're not taking any more
deposits,but because you guys are such nice people
I just couldn't refuse you, and BTW the wait is 6 months
and as a special favor to you I'll let one go for 5K
over MSRP. It's normally 10K over MSRP

George: Wow, really, didn't know that. Thank you so much
for being so kind.... as I soooooo badly want the MDX
and thank you for doing me the favor and giving it to
me for 5K over

Salesman: Oh, I just got news that for some odd reason we got
one additional MDX delivered....and would you
believe it!....it happens to be the exact same
color Touring and Navi that you wanted....

George: Wow, guess it's our lucky day......What luck! first to
to get one in just a couple weeks instead of 6 months
and that too at just 5K over MSRP.....We must've
done something right for luck to smile :) on us this
way

I would say a good 60-70% or more customers are like the one described OR they're one of those spoiled people who MUST have one TODAY regardless of what it costs.......Now tell me, when you have a scenario like this, why would the dealer (most dealers) give a rat's a** ??? - although there are exceptions - those dealerships that are wise and plan for the long term - but they're in the minority.
On the other hand if most customers were Savvy buyers who would stand up for their rights and as a matter of principle simply REFUSE to put with this price gouging this situation would never thrive - plain and simple!! :)
 

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This phenomenon is a major part of the reason I've not bought Hondas my last two cars.

I wanted a Prelude Type-SH, which was a fairly low-production car. Every Honda dealer kept trying to talk me into the new Accord coupe. If I had wanted the Accord coupe, I would have asked for it, not a Prelude. I ended up getting a CL because the purchase process was SO much nicer. Turns out it's a nicer car, too, so it was a win-win. ;)

I wanted an S2000, which is an extremely low-production car. I can even understand paying MSRP on a high-demand, low-supply vehicle like that. What I could not understand or tolerate was the downright rude attitude of the Honda dealers. The BEST deal I found was for $5K over sticker, with that $5K being a deposit to hold your place in the waitng list. When a car came in and you came to the top of the list, no matter what color it was, you had to take it or leave it. Screw that! I brought my money to BMW instead.

Economic realities do drive the marketplace, and I don't really blame Acura dealers for selling the MDX at sticker. Where they are selling out their future is in the treatment of customers. Lying, adding unwanted accesories, and gouging to the very limit of what the market will bear is not good business. That focus on short-term profits at the expense of long-term growth is what has doomed so many once-great companies... :(
 

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Acura needs to wake up.

Lying, adding unwanted accesories, and gouging to the very limit of what the market will bear is not good business. That focus on short-term profits at the expense of long-term growth is what has doomed so many once-great companies...
You are absolutely right. Very well put!
 

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I guess we were lucky -- got ours for MSRP, no forced add-ons. The Acura dealership here is part of a local conglomerate which also sells Lincoln-Mercury, M-B, Honda, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Infiniti, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and maybe more. Their corporate policy is to never sell a car over MSRP -- period -- as well as to never bump a person out of his place on a waiting list. This prevents a rich fat daddy from buying your car when he sees it being unloaded from the truck; and, believe me, that can happen at many dealerships. I've heard an offer like that made and refused at their BMW dealership (and was the rich fat daddy ever ticked off!)

If your dealer sells at over MSRP, I'm willing to bet that he'll sell your car to the highest bidder -- and you might be at the bottom of the waiting list again as he lies to you about your car never getting there.

www.leithacura.com, if you're interested.
 

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I read a report not too long ago about repeat consumers in the auto industry. If I'm not mistaken, the highest percentage of repeat business that the top manufacturer could claim was 50%. (Lexus, I think)

So, if your looking for a new vehicle, chances are you'll be driving away with a different manufacturer's logo on your front grill.

Thinking of my own personal situation - I drive a Prelude and trust Honda for producing well engineered products. But I'm not willing to be treated poorly at the dealership. The MDX suits my wants perfectly, but I would probably be almost as happy in a quality competitor's SUV.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Holy cow, sorry I did not mean for this thread to turn into such a downer. :eek:

Despite what has been said, I am not going to let this deter me from writing a letting to the owner of this Acura dealership. Sure, she will probably use it to wipe the snot off the backseat of some MDX test driver's kid, but it will make me feel better.

Bef, unfortunately for me, all the Acura dealerships in the area are asking $2k over MSRP. We've got 4 within a pretty short driving distance. Anyone for collusion?

vicpai, I remember that sales pitch on the S2000. I actually walked out of the dealer after 2+ hours of negotiations. He called back the next day and made a better deal. You'd have thought we were deciding the fate of nations in these negotiations.

Iceman, I hear you. Having been used to the Acura experience (which up until this time has been fantastic), I was appalled at Honda. It was a mix of them not being used to selling expensive up-market cars combined with giddy arrogance of now being able to thumb their nose at and compete with Merc, BMW, Porsche, etc. I hate dealing with Honda, however, I love the S2000 like one of my children. This is the only sort of car that could have gotten me to pay over MSRP. I hated doing it, but it was worth it.

Bear, I wouldn't be surprised if the best was Lexus. When we were looking at the TL, we also went and test drove the ES300. The people at Lexus were fantastic and even though I was very happy with Acura at the time, Lexus was even better. Actually, we almost wound up with the RX300 at that time!
 
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