When you buy a wheelbarrow or a table lamp or a half-gallon of milk, you probably don’t think twice about the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, if, indeed, there is such a thing for those consumer products. The only price that has any meaning is the price you pay to purchase most items. Every car buyer, though, keeps a weather-eye on the MSRP. For the savvy buyer, it’s the place from which negotiations begin, and for the surprising number of less educated buyers, it’s the price they pay, no questions asked, without even considering the fact they could pay less. Read more . . .
Don’t let anybody kid you–buying a new car is not a “good investment.” A good investment is something that should appreciate in value or in some other way earn you money. Well, one thing is sure, the new car you buy today is not going to gain in value over the course of time, so you are much better off looking at a new vehicle as an expense. And good business sense suggests that you should do everything you can to minimize your auto expense. But, of course, most people don’t even come close to doing that. They have been brainwashed to believe that a brand-new car is an important symbol of their status and success and, further, that they need to acquire one of these totems every two or three years or so. That’s great for car manufacturers, not so great for your personal financial well-being. Read more . . .
It wasn’t too long ago that Korean-built vehicles were thought of as shoddy imitations of the Japanese. After a series of big quality glitches in the early Nineties, Hyundai sales took a steeper plunge than a Magic Mountain roller coaster, and Kias were the butt of Jay Leno’s jokes on The Tonight Show. But this year’s Initial Quality Study from California-based research firm J.D. Power and Associates indicates the worm is turning. In this study, those once-derided Korean cars out-paced Domestic U.S. brands and, even more surprisingly, the aggregate of European brands. And while the term “paradigm-shift” is perhaps the most-over-used term in the car industry, this turning of the quality tables is a landmark moment. Read more . . .
A key factor in overall transportation cost is the re-sale value of your vehicle. But while many consumers research the prices of new vehicles to the nth degree, they often don’t even take a stab at finding out how that used vehicle’s value over time. But now a new online tool will make obtaining that information easier. The J.D. Power Consumer Center, a Web site that provides voice-of-the-customer ratings on a number of products and services, has introduced a new feature on its automotive site called PIN Retained Value. Read more . . .
How will you buy your next vehicle?Will you click on an online buying service, gather some information and then fill out a computer form to make your purchase? Or will you make the more traditional trek from dealership to dealership parrying with car salespeople before making your purchase? Or will your experience be some combination of these two extremes?
One thing is certain: the business of selling vehicles is changing minute-by-minute, but just what the process will morph into no one, not even the purported experts, Read more . . .