Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

___Given my recent poor experiences with both the Honda and Acura dealerships here in Northern, IL., what would you do as a customer to make the whole experience that much more appealing let alone palatable? In my own dealings, I guess it all comes down to supply and demand of the vehicles I am interested in but I believe the MDX has been at ~ the same production numbers for 2 years now thus giving unscrupulous dealers the ability and incentive to jack customers around with all kinds of pricing schemes. If AHMC wants to fix this problem, they had better get their production up instead of this almost micro-managed control of the supply side. Anyway, how about the following list:
  • No more than MSRP no matter how short the supply may be. Lexus has always forced their dealership networks to this basic principle to my knowledge and Acura should as well …
  • Leave at least one current model year demo on the lot for customer drives no matter how many would be owners would like to purchase it. Tell the customers up front the reason for not selling that demo vehicle until close to the end of the model year as used but offer them/us the test drive just in case they/we/I decide to order … Even if they were to keep a loaded up X at less than 75 - 100 miles for new customer demo’s as a new sale but only after the next months allotment arrives? 75 - 100 miles is still new to me but maybe I am off base with customer requirements on this one?
  • Having corporate add in a few DIO’s without having stated it on the sticker? Wheel Locks, Cargo Net, Cargo tray, or Cargo cover of the customer’s choice sounds like a cheap yet good start. Freebies after the sale have always left me with a good impression. A full tank of gas doesn’t cut it anymore …
  • Everyone is greeted at the door with most questions asked being answered and not with a “tough luck as you are going to have to wait to get that vehicle …”. Just tell me about the allotments and don’t give me the cold shoulder or BS.
  • Beverages should be offered for each and every customer walking in from the dealerships initial contact person upon entrance. Coke and Pepsi are just $0.16/can in 24 packs and coffee is even less.
  • Explain the extended warranty and paint protection non-sense during the description of the vehicle or test drive instead of that last minute hard sell crap when we are practically picking up the keys. Toyota needs to work on this is well! If most dealerships thought this paint/fabric/underbody protection was worth it, they should just install it for its true cost of ~ $50.00 + instead of the $500.00 - $800.00 they want in the first place. Why on earth would an automobile with > $3400.00 mark up + hold back need to have this kind of garbage added to it for profit motives alone? I may actually be overstepping my knowledge on this one as I have yet to actually pick up the keys but I saw a sticker on a new X with some of this superfluous stuff listed …
  • Three after the sale phone contacts at week 1, 10, and than again at 1 yr. out. Maybe Acura already does this but this is my first Acura.
  • Finally, get rid of the guy doing the Acura commercials all of these years. His voice sounds so condescending to me although maybe they already have?
___I am looking forward to comments as well as a way to send this threads contents to a few of the dealers I have visited in the last three months as a token of my appreciation and to state the reasons why I didn’t order/purchase an X from them in the first place. It may actually help the future customers of these dealerships and that is something that may benefit us all. I just have such a good feeling of customer satisfaction/ownership after purchasing the 03 Corolla yet I can’t understand why I have such a bad taste after trying to purchase the much more luxurious and expensive X from the 4 dealerships in total is all? McGrath in Glenview, IL. didn’t attempt to pull any BS that I know of … at least so far anyway. They wanted way more for BSM’s than what the Acura web site listed and this was before I said I was going to do it myself so they are not perfect either … Maybe most Acura dealerships offer all of this already but I just happen to hit 3 out of 4 that didn’t is all?

___I look forward to the many replies and apologize to all if a thread of this nature has already been posted.

___Good Luck

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

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Good start!

I'm behind every one of your suggestions. It will do nothing but improve the resale of Acuras if the dealers make an effort to be more cusotmer friendly.

Most of the things they could do would NOT hurt their bottom line.

It is amazing to me too that the dealers have a margin of thousands per MDX and do not lavish great treatment upon every potential buyer...
 

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Honesty, professionalism, and going that extra step for a service customer.
That would do it for me.
Trying to 'set' the price structure is well beyond my understanding.
I admit naivity, for I always thought that competition between dealers has usually been the best tool. As long as there are enough people willing to plunk down cash without shopping for the best price, I doubt the trend will change.
 

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What makes it a sweet deal??

Let me buy my MDX and negotiate it two points above dealer like the rest of the SUVS out there.

Don't let me wait for like ever for it.

All the sales people need to go back to school and learn about the art and professionalism of sales...(remember people..this is high ticket sale...it "ain't" used car we are talking about here..) Remember Glen Gary Glen Ross the movie? HHAHAHA

Better SERVICE department...And for Christ's sake!!! If you are going to do this full on wash after vehicle service deal...At least...hire some real detailers or auto washers that knows what they are doing...QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY....cant stress this enough...Remember people QUALITY quantifies QUANTITIES...NOT the other ways around...

Hmmm...what else....Oh yeah....The Ability to have MORE MDX in the lots...HAHHAHA
 

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Don't go to the Dealership

I have three words for you.
INTERNET, INTERNET, INTERNET

When my wife and I were interested in purchasing an MDX we called several dealers about a test drive. Made an appointment, drove, and left in under 30 min. We told our salesman we were not going to buy today and that took all the pressure off.

Look here or on the internet and deal with the internet manager only. No salesman BS. Make sure the deposit contract states "msrp, No forced options or undecoting and deposit is refundable" as mine does. You may have to go out of area (NO. IL) to find a decent dealership, but it could be worth it.

I plan on doing the same kind of research when selecting a place to have my service done.

I agree with sending the sales people back to school. I knew more about the X than our test drive salesman. Rude sales people are totally unacceptable espically at a preium auto Dealer.:mad:

I could care less about soda or who is in Acura's commercials. :rolleyes:

IMHO the less time spent at the dealership the better for them and me!!! :2:
 

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Wayne,
You dissed Joe Rizza Acura when I suggested them in another thread. However, most of the things you asked for were exactly how I was treated by Len Donnells their Internet Manager when I ordered mine in January 2001. I paid MSRP with only rear guards and wheel locks added which I would have purchased anyhow plus the other stuff I had them put on. Basically your dealer experiences haven't quite matched mine so I am not sure what advice I can offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Remery:

___Joe Rizza is not one that I have visited so I cannot comment on them. I did a search of my own Acura MDX forum document and did not see any mention of them … In any case, I hope I did not imply anything negative of them in a prior post. As for McGrath, MDX4now gave me this suggestion in a thread back in August. A simple phone call, personal visit to sign the paperwork and place the refundable deposit down at MSRP w/ no forced options was all that was needed to close the deal. 30 minutes in and out so at least I received a decent experience from them. To add, Libertyville Acura never did reply to their recent E-Mail solicitation where I replied by asking about beating McGrath? Go figure ;)

___As for beverages and the commercial voice guy, $0.16 doesn’t kill anyone and the commercial guy … Well I wouldn’t buy an X because of anything he would have or would have not said but I have always disliked the arrogance that his voice projects. Anyone else think the same about the commercial guy?

___Most do not shop via the internet but if that were an option, I most certainly would be glad too. Since most don’t, improving these small items should give the Acura management a heads up as to what they had better fix and they had better fix soon as the items appear in the forums. Can you imagine if all Acura had to sell was TL/CL/RL’s and no X’s to produce traffic? They wouldn’t stand a chance IMO.

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

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Suggest Lexus to acquire Acura? :D

torchny
 

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For me, having a sales manager who didn't spit tobacco juice during financing discussions woulda been a plus. Only in KY . . .
 

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What dealers need is to teach some basic sales skills. I've purchased about 20 new cars in my lifetime. Only met one good salesperson so far.... when I bought an Infinity I30. Best test drive, explained the entire car based on the benefits, not just the features. Too bad she left the business and went into mortgage sales.

I just turned in my RL in the beginning of Sept (off lease) and decided to wait for the 2003 X. Very glad I did. Acura need to track their leases and start contacting their customers 6 months prior to expiration. I got no contact except turn in instructions. No info on new cars, no stay with us kind of campaign. (Infinity is still sending me stuff 3 years after the lease expired.)

I went back to the Acura dealer at -4 months to drive an X. They didn't have a 2002, but they had a 2001 that was unwashed and had the service manager's gym clothes in it. Grossed my wife out. We drove to Bakersfield CA to drive a new one and that's where we placed the order.

Didn't get the soft drink though. :confused:
 

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Re: What makes it a sweet deal??

Fireblade6 said:
L.(remember people..this is high ticket sale...it "ain't" used car we are talking about here..)
You see, that where your kidding yourself. Acura is a 'wannabee luxury marque'. The value for the dollar is there, it just isn't the top, top end. They are selling to a more price sensitive crowd, and it creates a different dynamic.

It was easier for Infiniti and Lexus to learn from Aucra's mistakes and go out and create a new brand image. It would be harder for Aucra to remake itself than it was for Lexus to start new.

Ard
 

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Re: Re: What makes it a sweet deal??

ardvarkus said:


You see, that where your kidding yourself. Acura is a 'wannabee luxury marque'. The value for the dollar is there, it just isn't the top, top end. They are selling to a more price sensitive crowd, and it creates a different dynamic.

It was easier for Infiniti and Lexus to learn from Aucra's mistakes and go out and create a new brand image. It would be harder for Aucra to remake itself than it was for Lexus to start new.

Ard
I agree. Their entire mentality would need a complete makeover. From the top of the corporate ladder on down. If they even have any aspirations to compete with Lexus and BMW, Acura needs to decide what it wants to be. Do they want to earn the status of a true luxury car, or do they want to be "the fancy Honda"? As it sits they are more and more becoming known as the "luxury wannabe" and it's partly due to all the cutting of corners, slow reponse to customer desires, and shabby treatment at the dealer.

From my experiences with Acura so far, it seems blatantly clear that they have no aspirations to be a true Luxury marque. I just don't see it. I think for Acura it is too late to actually achieve that status anyway. I think now they have found a niche with the budget minded buyers and I think that's exactly where they are going to stay. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. The MDX is arguably the best "bang for the buck" SUV on the market right now. It's an outstanding bargain. I just don't see Acura being able to convince their dealers to treat us like Kings when they seem to be marketing towards folks that put price ahead of luxury.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Bareyb:
I just don't see Acura being able to convince their dealers to treat us like Kings when they seem to be marketing towards folks that put price ahead of luxury.
___Remember the 03 Toyota Corolla? You know … the one for budget minded folks? Treated like a King? Well honestly, no but maybe a close relative. In Acura’s case, you are treated either like the court jester or the lowly Pi$$ b0y :D

___As for pricing … I don’t know many budget minded folks that have paid up to $5,000 over MSRP for a vehicle that has a $3400 mark up on it already … That my friend is a lot more dinero than most budget minded folks can afford.

___Good Luck

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

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Mix

What is the mix of cars being sold at your Acura dealers? Mine was MB, Saab, and Acura. My gut tells me the treatment would have been much better if we were buying a MB. Right before delivery I was finalizing the financing with the finance lady and early in the conversation she asked “are we delivering the car to you”. I responded that would be nice but I wasn’t offered that. Then she said, “What is it your buying, oh a MDX”. We picked it up!

I have good relationship with our local Honda\GM dealer and they knew we were getting an MDX and asked me to bring it in when we got it. About a week after we took delivery I took it over there and everyone came out and crawled all over it. They were interested and seemed to care. A couple weeks ago I got an invitation from the above-mentioned Honda\GM dealer to attend a special showing\test drive of the new Accord. Have I ever received anything from the Acura dealer? Yes…..service reminders!

Niles
:)
 

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Re: Mix

nwaring said:
What is the mix of cars being sold at your Acura dealers?
Niles
:)
The dealer we bought from sells Mazda and Acuras from the same dealership/showroom. The service dept. services both at the same facility. Our salesman was/is very professional and personable. Interestingly enough, the finance guy never pushed (or even offered) extended warranty.
 

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History....

bareyb said:
I think for Acura it is too late to actually achieve that status anyway.
Interestingly, it was Honda who was at the vanguard of the "japanese Luxury Mark".... Honda launched Acura as a 'up model' japanese marque. Nissan and Toyota watched closeley. They BOTH decided to leapfrog Acura and went significantly past Acura in terms of performance and price.

Actually, they went WAY beyond in performance, such that the early Q45 and early LS400s where TOTAL BUYS! German marques couldn't come close in value. This was calculated to drive the market. They also 'took it in the shorts' on customer service and warranty. Whatever the customer wanted- spend money- change the part- goodwill charges all over. THEY BOUGHT A POSITION IN THE CONSUMERS MIND. (Note the success came to Lexus, Infiniti mis-stepped and is paying the price.)

You will note that NOW Lexus is recouping the half-a billion they spent inthe development of their marque.

You only get one chance to make a first impression.....

I don't see Acura changing.

Ard
 

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Acura of the Desert, Honda of the Desert, and Toyota of the Desert make up a 3 in one dealership in Palm Springs.
3 separate dealerships arranged side by side, and in the back a super long service bay segmented for each marque. Very modern facility.
You can walk along the side and watch the mechanics working. (I did, I don't know if they really want you too, but it's all open).
Very good customer service and conveniences. A large customer courtesy center, including a separate eating area, after-market shop, vending machines, free coffee, tea, hot chocolate, lounge with TV area.
Free rides to work, malls, etc. Loaners for extended service or warranty work.
One customer courtesy center in each dealership.
Only problem? It's 500 miles away from me, but I don't expect to use 'service' very often.
Present dealership very efficient and courteous with most ameneties. Actual servicing completely closed to the public. This would bother me, except it is one of the highest rated dealerships for service. Right, Rob?
 

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xcel said:
As for pricing … I don’t know many budget minded folks that have paid up to $5,000 over MSRP for a vehicle that has a $3400 mark up on it already …
That's my point. I think Acura is underestimating their market. From all the complaints I've seen on forums about the fake wood, leather "inserts," missing convenience features, etc. It seems to me that many might prefer Acura stepped up a bit on features and ownership experience and simply charge a bit more for the vehicle. They have got to stop the dealers from price gouging and forcing options as well. Nothing does more to denegrate a purchase than to make the purchaser feel like they got ripped off. That was single biggest turnoff for me as a potential purchaser.
 

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DaleB said:
Present dealership very efficient and courteous with most ameneties. Actual servicing completely closed to the public. This would bother me, except it is one of the highest rated dealerships for service. Right, Rob?
Hmmm, maybe you don't know where I work. Our shop has half the doors facing the sales line of new vehicles, the other half facing our detail area and paint shop. But we are close to making Precision Team this year. Service department has its end covered. Sales needs to sell more units though. We may come up about 30 cars short for the year to make it.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi RobSJ:
… Sales needs to sell more units though. We may come up about 30 cars short for the year to make it.
___If your sales guys need a quick boost to get a few more Acura’s out the door before the end of the year, I think we could make arrangements for a group buy of lets say 50 - 03 X’s at $1500 below MSRP or thereabouts. Where do I sign and how much down do they want! I don’t think your dealership would have any problems meeting any sales goal with that kind of deal ;) I also don’t think your dealership would receive much in the way of negative responses in the process guaranteed. I would even forgo the std. refreshment offer, 3 call backs, and the last minute “would you like the highly recommended fabric protector” question … To bad there is a small problem of allocation … :(

___Good Luck

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