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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at a goat for a while, and with my Bonneville needing some major TLC, I decided to pull the trigger. In my youth, I used to be one of the best hagglers around. I had never had accepted a retail price on anything that cost me more than $100. All that haggling comes at a price...it is called stress, and something I dearly wanted to avoid when buying my new goat. I have a friend who gave me a supplier discount code, and I was satisfied to pay that price without having to go through the stress.

About a month ago, I just wanted to look at one, so I stopped at one of the half-dozen dealers in St. Louis. It was just to look, but the salesperson talked me into taking one out for a spin, tossed me the keys, and said "Take your time". I returned 20 minutes later with my heart a pounding, drooling all over myself, and completely in love.

I worked on the "Finance Committee" and got approval to buy, so I did the obvious thing and contacted my local dealer (10 minutes away), talked to a salesperson, and basically handed them the easiest sale they've ever made. The one catch? I wanted to be able to take the car out ALONE with my wife for a test drive. I even swore I would stick to any time or mileage limitations they would insist on. In the end, their refusal to allow me to do so terminated our relationship, cost them the sale, and years of revenue from service work. Heck, I’ve already spent over $500 in their service bays, and I may even be related to one of the service managers. Now? If they were the last Pontiac dealer on the face of the earth, I’d buy a Dodge.

I don’t want to offend anyone here, so let me make this clear…you cannot judge a person based on color, sex, or what they are wearing, but when I was 21 I **ACCEPTED** the fact that some folks would be hesitant to trust me on a test drive of a muscle car.

Fast-forward to 2006, and my attitude has changed quite a bit along with my hair color. About the quickest comparison I can make is that I look something like Taylor Hicks…just uglier, a bit more gray, and I can’t sing to save my @ss. I do, however, dress like a professional software engineer, and was wearing clothing that obviously displayed the company I work for and the job I do there.

Anyway, I contacted “Bill” at my local dealer last Thursday and explained that I’d already decided I was going to get a GTO, but I wanted to take a test drive with the frau. He….yes ********HE********** suggested that I could take it out for a drive, keep it overnight if I wanted to, and bla, bla, bla. I thought that was kewl, especially considering my neighbor got a $50k + Caddy to drive for the weekend before they purchased it. I cleared my schedule for Friday evening, talked my wife out of working OT on Saturday simply because I wanted her to drive it, and had a leisurely route picked out for us, fully intending to sign the paperwork on our return.

Then came the call from Bill. According to him, the GTO and the Escalade are the only two vehicles on Earth that cannot be taken out overnight. I was fine with that, and accepted the fact that insurance companies would not let them do it. So, I started ironing down the details of when I would show up with my wife yesterday, and quickly balked at his proclamation that he would go on the test drive with us, but would give me an my wife all the time we needed to make a decision.

Excuse me? I’ve been married for 20 years, and there is no discussion required. Any of you married folks will know what I’m talking about. If you’ve been married for 20 years and your spouse DOESN’T know why you’re at a Pontiac dealer, you’ve got problems.

I overlooked that (though I pointed it out to Bill later), thinking I was being overly sensitive about it. I did tell him that “If I cannot convince you and your sales manager that I’m trustworthy enough to take out the car for 10 minutes without you in the back seat, I’m getting up and walking.” He got up, went over to a group of three people talking, returned sweating like he’d jammed a couple dozen habeneros down his throat and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but that was Mr. OwnerName I just talked to along with my sales manager. That’s Mr. OwnerName himself, and they absolutely refuse to let anyone take out a GTO without a salesperson. It’s no offense to you – our insurance will NOT let us do that.”

I got up, shook his hand, and wished him luck. I was accosted by his big, [email protected] sales manager at the door who said, “Bring your wife in, and we’ll work something out.” While I’m too polite to do it, I was thinking “Fat f*****g chance you jerk.

I got home about 20 minutes later to find a message on my answering machine from Bill. It was left at 10:00 AM on Friday after he asked his sales manager if what he’d promised me (the overnight thing) was OK. That set me off again, and since Bill was out picking up another vehicle, I chewed on the sales manager’s @ss for quite some time. I’ve got to tell you though…he never faltered at all, and in the process came over as one of the most arrogant pr!cks I’ve ever dealt with.

In an effort to terminate this thing sometime this year, a few phone calls later I’d told them to take a flying f**k at a rolling donut, but guess what? The phone rang a bit later, and it was a salesperson from yet another dealer in St. Louis. “How serious are you about that black ’06 goat, because we have a dealer trying to get it from us.” I asked what dealer and who it was that called.

You guessed it folks…it was Bill from my local dealer. His sales manager said he was doing me a favor (that no other dealer in the country would do) by pulling in a black M6 without a down payment…their “gift” to me. My quote to Bill ½ hour or so before the other dealer called was, “And to be quite honest with you, with those two [email protected] (color I hate) GTOs sitting on your lot for the last three months, I don’t think your sales manager is taking a huge risk by pulling in a black one for me. I guess I was right ;-)

My wife assured me she didn’t need to drive the car, so my daughter and I stopped at McDonalds in Festus yesterday on our way to test drive the M6. We were behind a ’65 Vette coupe that was so loud they had to shut her down to order, and they, us, and all the workers at Micky D’s were all whipped up into a frenzy over it. Wow!

Anyway, we drove to Auffenberg Pontiac in Farmington, MO and talked to Jamie Lashley. I’d taken my father-in-law’s Yukon there a year ago to check out the brakes before we took it out to Colorado to throw a huge-ass BBQ party for troops returning to Ft. Carson from Iraq, had spoken to her about a new Bonneville, so I thought she deserved the first shot.

She didn’t hesitate…she put the whip to the gang, and had them roll out the only M6 they had out of the showroom. Five minutes later, my daughter and I were in the car and freaking out over how nice it was. I told Jamie what she needed to do while I was gone, where I was at in my life in regards to haggling, and that she had one and only one chance to make the deal. Hell, I had a dealer call me before we left (unsolicited) to offer me $29,300 for an 06 M6 with 17” wheels, so I had nothing to lose.

We came back in 20 minutes, she came within a few bucks of matching the deal I’d been quoted (plus $ for the 18” wheels), and that was that. Well, I did walk away from the deal over $200, but my daughter talked me going back and taking it. I did a Uie, signed the papers, and am going to pick up my ‘06 M6 tomorrow. I even got approval from the boss to take the day off to go pick it up and drive around for a while.

My wife is awesome.

Gerry
 

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I don't know what it is about dealerships. You would think that even though they are a franchise that they would all have some kind of set "rules" when it came to things like test drives alone, etc. We've had it both ways and I don't really care if they're in the back seat or not. I'm going to drive the **** out of it if I feel the need to do so. When that one idiot came walking back up to you after talking with the so-called "owner" I would have pushed him aside and spoke directly with Mr. Owner telling him a sale was about to walk out the door.

JET
 

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Enjoyed the short story- - -

Glad you got a Goat after all that. I'm in VA and very nearly drove to St. Genevieve in December last year to buy a brand new '04 they had left over. Just couldn't get past the differences in the '05's tho- - -and ended up not going.

Had a similar experience as yours at the local Ford dealer. Went there with my wife to drive a GT, and the sales guy had to go with us. I didn't mind because he was in such physical agony in the back seat of that car it made it amusing.

Enjoy your new car.
 

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I Live In The St. Louis Area And Am Just Curious Which Dealerships You Went To. Also, I Thnk That I Met Jamie When My Wife And I Looked At A New Envoy. Cute Girl With Dark Hair
 

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Cool story,,, When I went for the test drive in my GTO the salesman was writing up the TD permit papers he told me to take as much time as I needed... I asked if he was going to ride along?? He said "No, I don't need have the crap scared out of me today!" I wonder what he was worried about?? I promised him I wouldn't thrash the car (too much).

Roper
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh man, you guys have me ROTFLMAO!

Yes, that is Jamie, and she should be calling me any minute. I'm a basket case and can barely sit down. I'll take my camera along and see if she'd like to have her picture on the internet. She's just about as pleasant a person as you will meet.

I didn't say the name of my local dealer just because I didn't know if that was OK to do here or not. My brother-in-law is a lawyer and tells me to engage brain. All I'm saying is that I live in Festus, MO.

Lindsey R. at Bommarito is really nice too, and the first one who suggested so many times that I drive one, I finally said yes. I also worked with a new guy named Randy at Lou Fuze (always get the spelling wrong), and they pretty much offered me the same deal as Jamie.

C'mon phone - ring!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
noz34me said:
Enjoyed the short story- - -
I do tend to get a bit wordy. I live about 30 minutes from St. Gen - well, here in a few minutes, I'm going to live 20 minutes away!

You know, the thought just occured to me that maybe the reason why they wouldn't take one out is because they read this forum!!!
 

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Well the one here would sell one buy you cant test drive it.

Other dealer will take a several thousand dollar deposit for when they get one in to sell it to you, dunno what trans or color. Other dealer will order you one.

After having no luck here I got a used Black of from a Volvo Dealer, they let me tst drvie it


I wanted on 05-06 on orange or Grey but its what I could get.

All that being said Master Pontiac in Augusta GA sucks, call and tell them at (800) 771-0953
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Man, I'm in serious trouble. I just lay my foot on the accelerator, and it does 80. Oh lord, what a sweet ride!

Picked her up, and every cop in the county was out on the road. Got my first few lookers today. Had one Mitsubishi lookin thing that saw me coming up, rolled down the windows, and was smiling and nodding. I dropped her down in 5th so for them, and pulled away.

Jamie & the gang at Auffenberg were fantastic to work with, and really nice folks. I forgot to mention I met her a year ago when I took my father-in-law's Yukon in for some emergency brake work. They could have stuck me (well my father in law) with a big bill if they wanted to. Instead, a few bucks later I was on the road.

I snapped picture of Jamie and my new car, but I suddenly remembered I need to run to the store for something.:D

Gerry
 

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ShoddyHog said:
I snapped picture of Jamie and my new car, but I suddenly remembered I need to run to the store for something.:D
Hehe, so you are in "excuse phase", where you always have to think up something that causes you to have to drive somewhere. :)

I have to say I personally can understand why a dealership would not let people test drive without a salesperson in the car--they do have to protect something they are responsible for when they don't know you from Adam--but it does suck that dealerships don't have more consistency, and even more so, it sounds like this dealership was not consistent with itself. From what you say this same dealership let your neighbor do an extended test drive on a Caddy (unsupervised) and was initially going to let you have the goat unsupervised--so I can understand being ticked there.

It is cool that you were able to get a Goat in the end. There is no reason for you to not get the car you want, just because one dealership is changing their mind on you.

I've had my share of bad car hunting experiences too, but I have to say that things have gotten better over time. I don't know if it has been business and salespeople's views over time, differences in where I live (I used to live in a different state), or because I'm older (though this option would suck, as that means the reason I was hosed when younger was because I was young). One thing I've frequently run into is that when I look at a car I'm interested in getting--and I do my research beforehand, so I know what I'm looking for before I head out or at least have the choices narrowed--and the salesperson will try talking me into something else that is Cheaper! Now I know that salespeople will try talking people into more expensive stuff, but I often have them try talking me into something cheaper (or in the case of a private seller, some have tried talking me out of their car at all). For instance, I'll be looking at a V8 Camaro on the lot, and the salesperson will be like "You don't want that car, it eats too much gas. How about I show you this nice little Corolla?" Um, no thanks.
 

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Clueless said:
I have to say I personally can understand why a dealership would not let people test drive without a salesperson in the car--they do have to protect something they are responsible for when they don't know you from Adam--but it does suck that dealerships don't have more consistency, and even more so, it sounds like this dealership was not consistent with itself. From what you say this same dealership let your neighbor do an extended test drive on a Caddy (unsupervised) and was initially going to let you have the goat unsupervised--so I can understand being ticked there.

Well I go to the Dodge Dealership they let me drive a daytona charger by myself, and ask if I want to try the SRT8 or SRT4 too. Other dealer lets me drive an EVO wahtever the hell model by myself.

Pontiac dealer here, well we cant let you test drive it its a high performace car, we drove a 98 Corvette there
 

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I read a thread where there were a couple of guys who who would go out and test drive some cars and beat the [email protected] out of them and then bring them back. I can't blame a dealer for not allowing a car off their lot without a salesmen. If I was a owner I would do the same. If I was the owner I don't want my property abused. When we tested our GTO, the salesman had to come along. But he told us to drop him off in back. Not our idea. What do you do on a test drive that you wouldn't do with the salesman in the car??
 

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oldgoat said:
Just Fyi, I Got To Take A Red Goat Home, Overnight! I Wound Up Buying A Black M6. Don't Know If You Were Being Told The Truth.

I contacted GM said the policy is up to the dealer
 

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The dealer owns the car, not gm. It's his decision. I heard of a dealer that let a 16 yr old take it a nissan pickup home. The salesman go let go and the kid still had the car a month later. No papers signed. 600 miles later....
 

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It sucked that they wouldn`t let you take it out by yourself when we took a test drive before buying our GTO they let us each take one out they had two.After a test drive we switched cars and went out again and went home that night with ours.
 

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ShoddyHog said:
That’s Mr. OwnerName himself, and they absolutely refuse to let anyone take out a GTO without a salesperson. It’s no offense to you – our insurance will NOT let us do that.”
That's a real possibility - you save a few bucks on your insurance but run the risk of P'ing off a potential customer. That's something that happens but good on you for not accepting it.

Dealers are funny; they really don't want to do business your way sometimes - all the sales training manuals say they need to be in control of the deal.

I contacted five delaers when buying my Goat a couple of months back.Two didn't call back me until after the deal was done - in one case they took two weeks to respond to a call saying I wanted to deal that weekend. I was paying cash and told them that when i contacted them.

Of the three I actually talked to: -

- One gave me a reasonably decent price but lowballed the trade in
- Another gave me an OK price and an OK trade

Both the above said "come back if you get a better price and we'll match it", this after I had said quite clearly that I wasn't interested in turing it into a dutch auction - just "give me your best price out the door and we'll compare it"

Dealer three listened and did what I asked them to - they came straight out best price they would give (with sight of their invoice together with trade in allowances, incentives and everything clearly laid out) a good trade in and just made it really easy to do business with them.

Dealer number two must have realised that I wasn't happy with the deal from them - they rang with a better offer while I was about to sign the paper work. They did come in a bit lower than the last dealer by upping the trade, but basically I wasn't interested in playing that game. I thought I'd been quite clear and specific about getting their best price and not turning the process into a lowball bidding war, but perhaps they thought they could play it their way rather than mine.
 

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I've heard a number of people talk about dealerships that won't let you test drive at all, or putting some stipulation on a test drive (credit check must be done first, you have to promise to buy it, deposit must be made first, etc).

That, I think, is really bad. Oftentimes a person wants to test drive, not because they are already likely to buy that model, but because they are considering between a few models and want to see how each feels (sort of like trying on a few pairs of shoes that you think look good and are the right class of shoes, then deciding based on feel). To me, if I can't test drive, I leave. There's no way I will buy a car without a test drive (or bother with hoops like a credit check or a deposit).
 
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