strike (out) while the iron is hot

Patience... patience...Well internet folks, I tried; I really tried.

Over the past few days I’ve been working this deal and that deal and every other deal in between with the local Chevy and GMC dealers.  What am I trying to do?  Why, I’m trying to persuade them to let me take advantage of the government’s CARS plan (formerly known as, and written here about as, “cash for clunkers”).  “Oh yeah, how’s that going Dave,” you may ask…

From my experience while shopping these past few days, dealer awareness of the program seems poor overall, and when folks do know something it’s very hit-or-miss.  Some know about it in vague detail, some have never even heard of it, and none so far that I’ve been to know enough about it to be able to explain it as well as I can (all my knowledge coming from the website and legislation itself).  I think, were I owning a dealership, I’d make the law’s language itself mandatory reading for my sales staff, and have this  document printed for them all to have on-hand (especially the cheatsheet quick-reference table at the back).  But… that’s why I don’t run a dealership.

What’s got the dealers in such a fog, you may wonder…

See, the legislation mandates that the program went into effect yesterday, but that dealers won’t be setup with the funding/scrapping logistics until the 24th.  In other words, the deals are technically workable right now but the mechanics of how they work, from the dealer’s perspective, are undefined.  Some dealers, however, have been boastfully telling me that they’re doing C4C (my shorthand for the plan) “now” or “early.”  But, when it comes time to sit down to at the table and work the numbers, they get cold feet about fronting the $4,500 without  any real assurance from Uncle Sam that deals done prior to the official July 24 implementation will be reimbursed to them.

So, even though the sales managers are initially hot to trot and may promise the $4,500 while you’re on the lot – when they get back to the desk and realize you’ve done your homework, expect 0% APR and have GM “friends and family” pricing… they quickly realize they’re not going to make-up that $4,500 in sticker and instead recommend I wait for the “real” program.  Believe me, I’ve had three separate dealers swear to me they could give me C4C-equivalent trade-in for the Ford only to have them back out when I started talking numbers.

So, we wait.  Which is fine, although I do worry about the sweet 0% financing deals disappearing (right now they’re set to expire after the holiday weekend) and, to a lesser extent, the inventory on lot selling off.  But, I’ve waited this long… so I just need to practice some patience.  And, with the long weekend escape we have planned I think I’ll have no problems clearing my mind of all this vehicle business.  At least, here’s hoping…

Patience… patience…


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One Reply to “strike (out) while the iron is hot”

  1. Man…my Dad is up in arms over your situation. He’s gonna dig up the dirt at GM to figure-out why the dealers would rather jerk you around instead of just getting one of their cars on the road. Always good to have someone on the inside fighting the good fight.

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