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Discussion Starter #1
This paragraph is from the daily blurb sent out from the carconnection.com:

Saturn Dealers Told to Lay Off Sky Markup

High demand for a new vehicle has often led dealers to add a high markup over sticker price. And that's reportedly been the case with two of General Motors' recent hits, the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters. "Do those situations occur? You bet," acknowledges Saturn division general manager Jill Lajdzick. But the GM division, which has built its reputation on customer service and no-haggle pricing, recognizes the potential damage and is "counseling" dealers to stick with the sticker price. State franchising laws typically limit a manufacturer's ability to hold the line on prices. But Lajdzick notes that Saturn's unusual franchise agreement has more teeth than most dealer contracts. So those who try to squeeze a few thousand dollars more out of a Sky buyer may find themselves suddenly running short of that and other hot products. Then again, Sky has been significantly exceeding projections and is in short supply anyway, Saturn officials note. And if anything, the new, turbocharged version of the roadster is expected to boost demand even more, which could lead more retailers to throw caution - and pricing guidelines - to the wind.-Paul A. Eisenstein
 

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i work for a group that is charging over sticker. let me just say that up front. do i agree with it? not necessarily. but since i don't own the stores, i can do nothing about it.

let me tell you what i've seen about all the threats everyone has been posting. i know consumers get hot about markups; they've been happening for years and years now, but i've yet to see saturn corporate do anything about it.

franchise laws prohibit it, and if they did, there would be some serious lawsuits flying. plus, a lot of saturn franchises are not happy about having to cough up a lot of extra dough for their outdated computer dealer systems to Saturn.

the reality is this: Saturn wants to sell cars; it NEEDs to sell cars. period.
the moment there is proof to Saturn that dealers charging premiums for their cars hurts Saturn financially, well, that will be different (maybe). but for now, cars are moving, and that is what any car company cares about (trust me, take at look at Toyota's CSI on of these days)

but, if they do something (besides empty words), I would actually be glad. i've been with saturn long enough to appreciate their approach to sales, and i always feel like apologizing for the markups on our skys :(

but, i also understand business too......it just doesn't fit with Saturn's philosophy.
 

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It is my understanding that if a dealer gives you something for the mark-up, then it is not a breech the Saturn Corporate/Dealer Agreement. However if a dealer tacks a markup on with no product then The big boys get into the picture. A dealer in my area lost the rest of their SKY allotments because of this reason, a large markup with nothing. Although it isn't right, dealers are in the game to make money. Downside is for everyone that wlaks away sombody is always there to walk in. It really depend upon how badly you want an item as opposed to what you are willing to pay. simple. It is just the laws of supply and demand, free enterprise system. My dealer has an addon package, reasonable to me, and apparently to a lot of others, as they have sold 23 SKYS making them the largest SKY sellor in Texas, Hence why I got one of the first alloted R/L's.

We are dealing with a very unique, smallproduction halo vehicle, all the other Saturn models is business as usual, and the 10k productiion for the year rapidly approaching, my R/L is 8087.
 

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Just a follow up with Ernest. I happen to be the one he is refering to who does not like the extra package deal. It is over 2800 dollars. Extended warranty, interior warranty, pin striping and tinted window.
I can deal with tinted windows.
As for the interior warranty. Not really sure why I need it. No kids. No dogs. No silly neighbor drooling on it.
Extended warranty. Great if you were putting 15 - 20 k a year on this car. This is a second car for me. 4k per year at most. I was told I can cancel the extended warranty at any time. I asked if I can cancel it before it is put on. I never got the answer I wanted.
I made it clear that I will find another dealer if this problem cannot be fixed.
I understand they want to make money. I offered them 500 dollars over MSRP and not to include any add ons besides what I ordered for my REDLINE.
I am now waiting for a response. I am an adult. If they refuse to go along with my order without the addons I will just cancel my order and find another dealership. Or I will go find another car.
Just on a side note. My wife has fallen in love with a car that her best friend drives. Her Jeep is almost at the end of the lease and she is jumping up and down wanting me to get her new car. What she wants is a Saab 9-3 convertable. I almost laughed when she told me.
I can promise GM one thing right now. If they let their dealerships get away with this kind of stuff, I will not be buying a Saab. Audii or Acura can have my business.
I do want to thank Ernest for all his help at this dealership. I really understand a business wanting to make money. But forcing add-ons is just petty.
 

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ykS said:
i work for a group that is charging over sticker. let me just say that up front. do i agree with it? not necessarily. but since i don't own the stores, i can do nothing about it.

let me tell you what i've seen about all the threats everyone has been posting. i know consumers get hot about markups; they've been happening for years and years now, but i've yet to see saturn corporate do anything about it.

franchise laws prohibit it, and if they did, there would be some serious lawsuits flying. plus, a lot of saturn franchises are not happy about having to cough up a lot of extra dough for their outdated computer dealer systems to Saturn.

the reality is this: Saturn wants to sell cars; it NEEDs to sell cars. period.
the moment there is proof to Saturn that dealers charging premiums for their cars hurts Saturn financially, well, that will be different (maybe). but for now, cars are moving, and that is what any car company cares about (trust me, take at look at Toyota's CSI on of these days)

but, if they do something (besides empty words), I would actually be glad. i've been with saturn long enough to appreciate their approach to sales, and i always feel like apologizing for the markups on our skys :(

but, i also understand business too......it just doesn't fit with Saturn's philosophy.
:agree: (Except I do not work for a dealership.)
 

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Im sorry, I dont understand why you need a markup. My dealer owns 2 locations and not only has he not marked-up, but has sold every single one that has come in for MSRP (including mine). I know for a fact that the owner said he will not charge more for this car just because of low supply vs demand. He said he will remain loyal to his customers and let them decide what options they want to add. Horray :cheers: to those that do not, and booo :nono: to those that do.
I know that a few members here paid a "premium" to get there Sky's and that was their decision. But so far out of all the skys that have joined our club, none of us have.
 

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hersheytx said:
Just a follow up with Ernest. I happen to be the one he is refering to who does not like the extra package deal. It is over 2800 dollars. Extended warranty, interior warranty, pin striping and tinted window.
I can deal with tinted windows.
As for the interior warranty. Not really sure why I need it. No kids. No dogs. No silly neighbor drooling on it.
Extended warranty. Great if you were putting 15 - 20 k a year on this car. This is a second car for me. 4k per year at most. I was told I can cancel the extended warranty at any time. I asked if I can cancel it before it is put on. I never got the answer I wanted.
I made it clear that I will find another dealer if this problem cannot be fixed.
I understand they want to make money. I offered them 500 dollars over MSRP and not to include any add ons besides what I ordered for my REDLINE.
I am now waiting for a response. I am an adult. If they refuse to go along with my order without the addons I will just cancel my order and find another dealership. Or I will go find another car.
Just on a side note. My wife has fallen in love with a car that her best friend drives. Her Jeep is almost at the end of the lease and she is jumping up and down wanting me to get her new car. What she wants is a Saab 9-3 convertable. I almost laughed when she told me.
I can promise GM one thing right now. If they let their dealerships get away with this kind of stuff, I will not be buying a Saab. Audii or Acura can have my business.
I do want to thank Ernest for all his help at this dealership. I really understand a business wanting to make money. But forcing add-ons is just petty.
Here's hoping it all works out for you buddy:thumbs: Enjoyed the visit today:thumbs: BTW I wasn't referring to you, it was a generality, I in no way shape or form inferred it was you>:nono: :nono: :jester:
 

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Greedy dealers are 10% of the problem. Buyers who pay their extortion money are 90% of the problem. If everyone refused to pay mark-up, the dealers couldn't charge it. Therefore, it is mostly the buyers who are to blame, not the dealers.

That said, I'd prefer to black-list any dealer who marks up their cars. I don't want to support them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've gotten used to Pontiac, Chevy, Honda, Toyota and others gouging occaisionally (it's not right, but they've always done it on a few hot models), but what really bugs me is Saturn, the home of the no-haggle price, the "different kind of car company", all that going out the window when they finally hit a home run with the Sky!

I understand that it has to be really tempting to get those extra bucks like the other guys do, but it will show everyone that they aren't any different. I think it will end up hurting Saturn in the long run.

That being said, my dealer did come around and sell me my car for MSRP, but not until I wrote Jill L. a letter telling her what I just wrote above in more detail. I have no idea what (or if) she did, but all of a sudden our deal was back to MSRP! My car is awesome, the price was right and I couldn't be happier. I don't think I will be taking it back to that particular dealership though, because they have lost my trust.
 

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agirltrucker said:
Im sorry, I dont understand why you need a markup. My dealer owns 2 locations and not only has he not marked-up, but has sold every single one that has come in for MSRP (including mine). I know for a fact that the owner said he will not charge more for this car just because of low supply vs demand. He said he will remain loyal to his customers and let them decide what options they want to add. Horray :cheers: to those that do not, and booo :nono: to those that do.
I know that a few members here paid a "premium" to get there Sky's and that was their decision. But so far out of all the skys that have joined our club, none of us have.
This is how it should be !! You have a good Dealership ! Mine is the same way for my GXP. When I traded in my Mysterious he sold it for 400.00 more that what I paid and the trade value he gave me on the car, he turned around and gave me the 400.00 added on my trade. And the reason it was higher price for sale to begin with was when I put all the Extras on he gave me a break on the price and gave them to me at the employee discount. I paid 26200.00 without tax and he giving me 26600.00 for trade value.
 

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Where I live there is an amusement park called Six Flags Magic Mountain.

They made it publicly known that they were going to sell off the rides, and then the land to developers because they weren't making enough on the park and it was worth more to sell.

Almost instantly the county jumped in to offer them sweetheart tax benefits to stay. They currently are in negotiations.

I explained this to my eight year old daughter. I told her it was unlikely they ever had planned to sell the park, rather they were looking for the tax break worth millions. I went on to say the park was making a lot of money, they simply wanted more.

She asked, wasn't this greedy of them?

I said yes.

She said isn't that bad?

I explained their presense was worth a lot of money to the county, and they employed a lot of people. So while greed by itself may seem bad its not that simple. Until you consider all the variables you really aren't in a position to make such a statement.
 

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ernest, i'm a bit skeptical about hearing a dealer lost its entire allocation of Skys..........not calling you a liar, just wondering what your proof is. if so, this would be the first i've heard of this happening (besides the usual hearsay that internet forums bring......by the way, i heard tom cruise is gay )
 

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So far my dealings with Saturn dealers have been FAR less than satisfactory. I have a deposit with one who states that they put a Clear Coat ($995.00) and VIN etching $499.00) on every car that comes through. I have explained to them that I do NOT want those add-ons. If I am going to pay 30K for a car I expect to get what I order. We are still "negotiating" this (when I can get them to talk to me). They agreed to email me once a month to keep me up to date on where I stand in the waiting list (#4 as of 1 Jul) but I have no idea where I am today. The problem in OKC (and it seems to be this way in a lot of cities) is that the same group owns both the dealerships here...they even share a GM...so I have to drive a long way to find another one. I recently made a trip through Kansas and Missouri and stopped at dealerships along the way. That was an interesting experience. The dealership in central Kansas (I won't name what city but how many dealerships do you think there are in Central Kansas?) is definitely one I will never set foot in again...it fits the same mold as the one I visited in central Missouri. In Missouri I could not get anyone to even speak to me. One of the most weird experiences I have ever encountered in a car dealership. :confused: I finally decided that they have a profile for Saturn owners that I do not fit. :nono: The only good experience was in Olathe, Ks. I spent some time talking with a salesman there who had good info. The only problem there is that their list is so long they are no longer taking deposits on the '07. Oh well, at least he acknowledged my presence. The more I see of Saturn dealers the more I think I will probably end up somewhere else! I really want a Sky but am about to decide it is not worth the extreme hassle of dealing with Saturn!:banghead:
 

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ykS said:
ernest, i'm a bit skeptical about hearing a dealer lost its entire allocation of Skys..........not calling you a liar, just wondering what your proof is. if so, this would be the first i've heard of this happening (besides the usual hearsay that internet forums bring......by the way, i heard tom cruise is gay )
I could not verify this either. But I will go on record that I went to the dealerships owned by the same person in Plano/Lewisville/Dallas. They were up front about not taking orders. Even going so far to tell me to find another dealer if I could get my order in. They were almost proud that they did not have any brouchers on the SKY. (Saying everyone wants one, why keep anything on it).
I was there when 3 other customers over 5 minutes walked in asking about the SKY. All got the same treatment.
It was a strange experience. Plano is one of the suburbs of Dallas. A place where income is on the high side of the average annual US income stats.
The area where they are located is next to a Jag and Land Rover Dealer. Its not like a bad neighborhood.
That being said I think something happened. I cannot believe they would want customers going to other dealerships to buy a car unless they knew they could not fill the order.
 

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My dealership made me purchase aftermarket wheels they put on the car and some interior protectant, and secure etch, total cost $3500.00

They put the protectant (799.99) on after the car was at the dealership. They also had the original rims in the back of the dealership and would not put them back on even though they had them.
 

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Ernest said:
It is my understanding that if a dealer gives you something for the mark-up, then it is not a breech the Saturn Corporate/Dealer Agreement. However if a dealer tacks a markup on with no product then The big boys get into the picture. A dealer in my area lost the rest of their SKY allotments because of this reason, a large markup with nothing. Although it isn't right, dealers are in the game to make money. Downside is for everyone that wlaks away sombody is always there to walk in. It really depend upon how badly you want an item as opposed to what you are willing to pay. simple. It is just the laws of supply and demand, free enterprise system. My dealer has an addon package, reasonable to me, and apparently to a lot of others, as they have sold 23 SKYS making them the largest SKY sellor in Texas, Hence why I got one of the first alloted R/L's.

We are dealing with a very unique, smallproduction halo vehicle, all the other Saturn models is business as usual, and the 10k productiion for the year rapidly approaching, my R/L is 8087.
The "package" may be reasonable to you but not every dealer has the same package and not every customer wants add-ons. How about you go in to buy a refrigerator and instead of $1k the price is $1.5k and teh only difference is the 29.95 hookup for the icemaker is included in the higher price. Personally if I see a Sky or Sol with pinstripes I might lose it, I would rather see spinning wheelcovers and neon underbody lights (yeah, right) But my point is if you don't want a $1000 paint protectant you should not be forced to buy one. In PA if they do something like that or even extra markup a side sticker has to be applied to the car, even though everyone knows that the $1k paint system is still sitting on the shelf and has yet to be applied.
 

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Ken said:
My dealership made me purchase aftermarket wheels they put on the car and some interior protectant, and secure etch, total cost $3500.00

They put the protectant (799.99) on after the car was at the dealership. They also had the original rims in the back of the dealership and would not put them back on even though they had them.
Did they at least let you keep your factory rims as well? You paid for them!!!
 

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My personal favorite experience so far in my shopping process has been the dealer who sent me an e-mail saying that he didn't charge a premium on the Sky, then told me he'll sell me one for $31,000.
 

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Ken said:
My dealership made me purchase aftermarket wheels they put on the car and some interior protectant, and secure etch, total cost $3500.00

They put the protectant (799.99) on after the car was at the dealership. They also had the original rims in the back of the dealership and would not put them back on even though they had them.
Wow thats insane. A $799.99 wax job? Sounds more like a hose job. They wouldn't even give you the rims you paid for? Put that dealer on the Shame list over at SaturnFans. I would have put that $3500 towards some performance upgrades or a used motorcycle or used Jet Ski to go with an MSRP Sky.
 
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