Year-end car-buying: Let's hear from you
Many readers wrote in about Sunday's story on getting the best prices on new cars at the end of the year. The story detailed strategies for getting a car at a low price -- sometimes below invoice -- and explained how dealers are compensated by manufacturers for meeting sales targets. This information is not generally available to the public.
Several writers who said they work at dealerships wrote with comments such as these:
"Why don't you title this article 'How to put another car dealer out of business' "... "How many more good people will be ruined before you put us all out of business?"
and, "Do us a favor, don't kick us when we are down."
Others readers wrote in with stories about bad experiences with dealers, saying they were pressured to buy extras like extended warranties.
No doubt about it, car dealers and automakers are in a tough spot these days with the economy on the rocks. Automakers are seeking a bailout from Uncle Sam, and many dealerships are shutting down. But there are always salespeople out there with the "I can sell ice to Eskimos" spirit.
Did you buy a car in December? We want to hear about your experience. What did you buy? Did you get a good deal? Drop us a line in the comment section below.
-- Peter Y. Hong
Photo: Rex Dugan, left, Gary Houser Jr., middle, and J.R. Dugan talk on the Dugan Chevrolet Pontiac car dealership lot in Avon, Ind., last month. Houser, who is co-owner of Danville Chrysler Dodge Jeep across the street, often shared volume figures and sometimes tent sales or customer mailings with Dugan. Credit: Darron Cummings /Associated Press