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  1. #1
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    I went in to my dealer to put down my small deposit for my FEH and to get my purchase agreement, etc. for the credit union. Its scheduled build week is next week, and I should have it by the end of March When I looked at the PA, I was shocked to see a $5000 dealer markup! That's not a typo, the premium was five thousand dollars. Dealer gave me song and dance about "everyone else" is doing that, but a quick check of three dealers around the country and the completed auctions on eBay suggests that my dealer is partaking of hallucinogenic substances. I'm feeling even more taken-advantage-of today, and I'm inclined to walk away from the deal, however reluctantly.

    How much above MSRP did you pay?

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  3. #2
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    I went through the internet and had a price quote of MSRP before I even stepped on the lot, and that's in New York City. Mine was in stock, and not built-to-order though.

    What I heard was that they are going for ~$2000 above MSRP in this area, but they offer better deals through their "Internet Sales" department.

    In the end, going through the internet and paying cash, I was able to pay MSRP (they wouldn't go lower) and get a few perks like 4 free oil changes, 2 free tanks of gas, etc.

    $5000 over doesn't sound right to me.

  4. #3
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    I did not pay a penny over MSRP. You should not either. Find another dealer if you can (perhaps one state over?).
    I love the car and know that the Highlander is going to be quite a bit more (37-40K is what a large dealer in SF area told me, though that seems really high), but I would still find somewhere that will sell you a FEH at sticker.

    Keep at it. You'll find one. Like you said, you could buy one on Ebay and have it shipped for much less than 5K.

    Story about my buying experience....
    http://www.hybridcars.com/escape-hybrid-driver.html

    David J. Miller
    Hybrid Daze Blog @ HybridCars.com

  5. #4
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    Don't pay a markup. Shop around since there are dealers who will not add a markup.

    Here's my story:
    Two weeks ago, I started getting interested in the Ford Escape Hybrid. The dealers in Lancaster, Pa started to receive their first ones. I searched through Ford's online inventory then visited the closest dealer (there were 8 vehicles found within 10 miles).

    The first dealer, Chapman Ford of Lancaster, I visited low-balled my trade (by $3,000). I guess to give them room to 'bargain'. However, I knew the value of my trade (Kelly Blue Book). This dealer was just cheap. The Escape was not the color or trim level I was looking for anyway. The sales guy then tried to convince me that I would be ‘One of the only Hybrid owners in Pennsylvania’. He said that there were ‘maybe’ 10 of these in the State (which is BS).

    The second dealer, Chapman Ford of Columbia, was really nice when I dropped by. The sale guy seemed more knowledgeable about the Escape Hybrid. This vehicle was the color I wanted. Unfortunately, this dealer was adding $2,500 to the sticker. In this day of rebates and low interest, I was not going to pay a markup on a Hybrid. They eventually added more to my trade, claiming that they were taking some away from the markup. Next, the manager tried to use the ‘Tax write off’ as an extra $$$ bargaining chip. The truth is that this Ford Hybrid will give me a deduction of $2,000 for the FIRST year of use (even if I don’t itemize). BTW: in 2006 the deduction goes down to $500. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...132163,00.html

    My third and final dealer, Keller Brothers Ford in Lititz, Pa, was a charm. They received their first hybrid on Wednesday. I searched the online inventory on Thursday. I then emailed them to find out if they added markup (which they NEVER add markup). With no markup added, I purchased it Friday (one week after seeing the first one only 5 miles away).

    So if you are looking at the Ford Escape Hybrid, there are more available then the dealers are suggesting.

  6. #5
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    Yep. After the feedback I got here, and my own research on sites ranging from eBay to individual Ford dealership sites, I pretty much confirmed what I first suspected: my dealer was smoking crack.

    I sent him an e-mail. I was willing to give it up -- in fact I pretty much suspected that since we were so far apart, I would have to. (A side note: in my area, this dealership is the only one getting any of the FEHs through at least this August, when the '06 model run starts in earnest.) I was okay with that; after all, I want but don't need a hybrid right now, and my '02 Escape Midnight Edition was still running like a top, not to mention all tricked out. I was a little bummed, though, because I was the one who got them to START the waiting list a year and a half ago, and I even got to customize the FEH they had coming in. No response for a day. I thought, well, that did it.

    Got a call on the second day: they had reconsidered and were willing to offer it for $2500K above MSRP. I hesitated, then politely declined, reminding myself that I didn't NEED this particular truck.

    Got a call a few days later: the FEH was still mine if I wanted it. For a premium, I asked? Nope. No premium. (Turns out they went a few deep on the list, and everyone ELSE refused to pay a premium, either.

    Hah! It showed up the next day. Now I'm jazzed to recommend this dealer to my friends, two of whom have already called to get on the list. Of course I warned them about not paying a premium!

  7. #6
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    I am on a waiting list at a San Diego area Toyota dealership for a Highlander hybrid and was recently informed that the general manager is adding an "addendum' of $10,000 to the MSRP. He said that the production will be limited at first and that all of the dealers in San Diego and Los Angeles counties will be doing the same. Is this normal business practice? I assume it's legal since it was also done with the Prius. Is there a good place to buy one online that wouldn't mark up? It's very disappointing since I've been following the release of the Highlander for almost 2 years now.

  8. #7
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    Don't go to the first dealer. Keep calling different dealers--moving further and further away if necessary--until you find one that is ethical enough to charge MSRP, and nothing more. It took me four calls before I found one. Don't pay those large premiums and don't give up.

    Keep track of each offer, and enter it in the HybridCars.com Price Pulse:

    http://www.hybridcars.com/pricepulse

    By entering your offer info, fellow hybrid shoppers can more easily locate the best hybrid dealers.

  9. #8
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    Stick with your guns and don't pay a premium. When I went to Sloan Ford in the Exton / Downingtown, PA area (Chester County), they wanted to add a "market condition" surcharge to the sticker of the one unit they had on the lot, which was the first 2006 model they had received (seems a bit early in the year for a 2006 to me) and which didn't meet my specs anyway. They generously offered to 'allow' me to pay just the MSRP if I ordered one to be delivered in 12 weeks or so. I took a pass on that.

    I subsequently went to Garnet Ford in Chadds Ford, PA (Delaware County) and was treated quite well. Besides not giving me the runaround on a market premium, they gave me a fair trade-in value on my prior vehicle - drove the unit off the lot the same day. I've had dealings with this dealership in past and have found them to be professionals all the way around.

    What seems to be the case is that not all dealers who have received hybrid allotments are moving them. As a result, the vehicles seem to be getting moved a few select dealers who are effectively moving the vehicles. For example, my vehicle was originally delivered to a dealer in another county in March 2005, where it sat for more than a month before being moved to Garnet. It was on the lot at Garnet for less than a week before it sold.

    At the end of the day, this probably isn't a bad thing from a service perspective. They are unique vehicles that will require knowledgable service technicians. By having the sales consolidated to fewer dealerships, hopefully those dealerships will develop the knowledge base to handle the unique service issues that will likely develop over time for the technology involved.


  10. #9
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    Stick with your guns and don't pay a premium. When I went to Sloan Ford in the Exton / Downingtown, PA area (Chester County), they wanted to add a "market condition" surcharge to the sticker of the one unit they had on the lot, which was the first 2006 model they had received (seems a bit early in the year for a 2006 to me) and which didn't meet my specs anyway. They generously offered to 'allow' me to pay just the MSRP if I ordered one to be delivered in 12 weeks or so. I took a pass on that.

    I subsequently went to Garnet Ford in Chadds Ford, PA (Delaware County) and was treated quite well. Besides not giving me the runaround on a market premium, they gave me a fair trade-in value on my prior vehicle - drove the unit off the lot the same day. I've had dealings with this dealership in past and have found them to be professionals all the way around.

    What seems to be the case is that not all dealers who have received hybrid allotments are moving them. As a result, the vehicles seem to be getting moved to a few select dealers who are effectively moving the vehicles. For example, my vehicle was originally delivered to a dealer in another county in March 2005, where it sat for more than a month before being moved to Garnet. It was on the lot at Garnet for less than a week before it sold.

    At the end of the day, this probably isn't a bad thing from a service perspective. They are unique vehicles that will require knowledgable service technicians. By having the sales consolidated to fewer dealerships, hopefully those dealerships will develop the knowledge base to handle the unique service issues that will likely develop over time for the technology involved.


  11. #10
    Guest

    FEH and dealer premium

    Just bought a 2006 Silver Escape Hybrid off the lot the day after it arrived. Fully loaded. Premium package with leather, navigation, safety package, backup sensors, heated seats/mirrors, plus a moonroof. $32,160 MSRP. They wanted $5000 over sticker. They also said that's what every other dealer is doing. I told them I wouldn't pay one penny over sticker and that they would be getting a really nice profit with that. After I made a move for the door, the $5000 premium simply vanished as the salesman waffled and tried to get me to buy that day.

    Lesson: NEVER pay a premium.

    Of course, he probably screwed me on the extended warranty.

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