Friday, June 25, 2010

Buying A New Car Is Getting Better But…

I hate the process of buying a new car but there is hope.

The local dealership through which the process had been easy and seamless the last 10 years or so had unfortunately swapped out Jeep for another brand.htbnc_overview Then the local dealership that picked Jeep up must have gotten slammed when Chrysler hit a rough patch in this downturn.

So the Jeep dealership was picked up by yet another local dealer but nothing from the database of the original dealer was accessible so it was like starting all over again.

The easy part was using the site to identify exactly what I wanted in every detail and then select dealers both here and in surrounding communities from which I requested proposals emailed back to me.

Then I ran into the old school process. The local dealership (I always buy local if I can help it) seemed very disorganized…and while I received several calls to check on status, I never could get the details emailed to me as promised.

I did hear back right away via email from a young sales person at the dealership in Burlington (Durham is between Burlington and Raleigh.) He was not only first to respond in email but he keep nearly the entire process “new school.”

The others I had selected in a radius from Durham eventually returned my email but then just used it to try to persuade me me to come in and discuss my request and I could tell go back through the old school process. No way!

I didn’t want to drive all the way over just to sit down and get taken back right through the usual . They had the information on what I wanted, they had access to what I’ve bought in the past. I didn’t need to waste the time until they confirmed they had the vehicle I had selected and provided interest rates and payment options for both purchase and/or lease.

So I kept working with young Christian at Nichols in Burlington. He was great. I could tell he was relatively new but he was comfortable in email. It took him a week of calls to other dealers to run down the vehicle I wanted. He also used email to provide finance details and even gave me a link to fill our the credit application online.

Now I could tell Christian was having to work through a few old schoolers at Nichols but even they stayed in email, where I could keep up to date and respond from my phone.

When I did go over to pick it up, I got an hour of the “old school” shuffle and wait so common to buying a new car. But still it was great progress and by the next trade in, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a whole new generation of very tech savvy sales people and hopefully a transformed process.

Otherwise, I’ll just try to buy it online directly from the factory and have it delivered to my driveway. And if dealers don’t figure that out and streamline this process, they will soon be nothing more than parts and service shops.


Anonymous said...

reyn, did you see the article in sunday n&o about the companies leaving CH for Durham and how it impacts taxes? Just another example of why the region is not 'one big place'. Lenore

Reyn said...

Thanks, went back and read that.