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Old 09-24-2001, 10:47 PM   #1
Bimmer
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Member#: 4116
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Humboldt County, CA
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza TS
White

Default SoCal Dealers

I got busy week-before-last with the subaru.com site and sent on-line price quote requests to 11 dealers within 75 miles of West L.A. on a Friday evening...

General impressions... if you give them your phone number, they'll use it, even if you tell them you'd rather be contacted by e-mail. Several dealers apparently aren't even bothering to answer internet inquiries...
In any case, most Subaru dealers ARE decent, we also looked at Mazda Protege5's and those dealers are SLEAZY. Bull**** pricing, high-pressure sales push ("what can I do to put you in the car TODAY... "), hour-long sit and sweat sessions (attempted), impossible to order a car or even get one from another dealer, etc. etc. etc.

Here's my impressions and grades of the buying/ordering experience at individual dealers based on response time and price...

Subaru San Bernadino
Dan Brown got back to me over e-mail immediately, gave me a $200.- over invoice quote.
Couldn't have been happier, except that San Bernadino is SOOO far away.
A

Irvine Subaru
Desiree Farey? (spelled her own name wrong at least once) got back to me Monday evening, too late, but with a no-bull**** $350- over invoice price quote.
B

Renick Subaru
The much-acclaimed Tor Johnson took until Tuesday (four days) to get back to me over e-mail, offered to get me a car for exactly $372.- over invoice...
By then I'd already ordered elsewhere.
B

Exclusively Subaru
BTW, they're not exclusively anything, they sell all sorts of other cars.
Chris and Don got back to me quickly, gave me a no-bull**** 3% over invoice quote... which was too high compared to the others.
C

Assael Motors
Debbie Willis got right back to me, but her doomsday predictions of availability problems were annoying and her price was WAY high.
C

Barber Subaru, Ventura
Got a call and an e-mail immediately from Tom Hayden, who was business-like and gave me a no-bull**** $300 over invoice quote.
Unfortunately, Charlie Silverman (burn in hell, jerk!) then sent me a slew of form e-mail responses and then a bunch of spam regarding financing a Ford, VW, or Izusu. Encountering Silverman was the worst part of the entire experience.
C... Tough call, but an A for Hayden and an F for Silverman

Big Valley
Sent me an e-mail Sunday, not too late, but NO price quote, the sleazy promise to talk it over if I'd call...
D

Culver City Subaru
Answered over e-mail by the Mazda guy, said he didn't have one in stock, would let me know if he got one. NO offer to order one, no pricing info...
D

Thousand Oaks Subaru
NO website, so I called.
Got very vague pricing information, but the promise to come in under sticker...
F

Timmons Subaru/Santa Monica Subaru/Lancaster Subaru
None of these three responded at all...
I think a guy from Timmons called on Wednesday (WAY too late) to offer me a car for $500.- over invoice, but by then I wasn't taking good notes anymore.
F, F, F

In the end, despite all this, we ordered through Jessica Cline at Santa Monica Subaru, which is closest to us.
Jessica's an aspiring actress and couldn't seem to care less about selling cars, which makes for a low-pressure sales pitch, at least. We test-drove there, then told her we wanted to order if she could do a competitive price. She met with the boss and offered us the car for $300.- over invoice, which we agreed to (it's a long drive out to San Bernadino... ).
If Santa Monica Subaru had NOT offered us the car so cheaply, we'd have been on the way to meet Tom Hayden in Ventura or Dan Brown in San Bernadino.
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Old 09-25-2001, 03:29 AM   #2
WRX Pilot
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Default WOW!

Talk about doing your homework!
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Old 09-25-2001, 06:55 PM   #3
LA1Mike
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11 Accord Coupe V6

Default

Are the dealers willing to show the real invoice for the cars now? From my experience, they either show you a generic price list or refuse your request.

Yes, Mazda dealers are perhaps the worst and their service departments are not any better. Parts are very very expensive as well. They even refused to return my DL even after I had bought the car and signed all the papers. I will never buy another Mazda again.

When I test drove a Legacy GT two years ago, a salesman in Assael Subaru claimed the AWD would make the car "impossible to spin." When i said the car was underpowered, he tried to sell me Mazda cars, which they also sell. Hmm...
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Old 10-02-2001, 11:34 PM   #4
Bimmer
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Member#: 4116
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Humboldt County, CA
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza TS
White

Default Follow-up...

Yes, from what I can tell, the dealers are giving out the invoice... the dealers seem to realize that serious prospective buyers (that've done their homework) will download these from the internet anyway, so there's no sense bull-shooting them about what their cost is. I HAD PLANNED to download an invoice from Consumer Reports, but after 4 dealers quoted me the EXACT same invoice price I figured they were either telling me the truth or so well organized that I wouldn't beat it, anyways...

Also, got an e-mail from Cupholder... to answer your questions:

1. I didn't haggle with anybody. I'm not much of a negotiator. I wasn't looking to beat anybody down on price, and there was NEVER any back and forth on pricing. I let dealers give me a quote. If it was good, I was happy. If it wasn't (or if they wouldn't), I moved on. When my wife and I test drove at our local dealer I told them straight-up what sorts of price quotes I'd gotten from other dealers, and that I expected them to come up with a price in that range. They did. Done.

2. I didn't mean to impune Charlie Silverman, but getting nothing back after my internet inquiry except form e-mails and spam (about Fords, Izusus, and VW's) was annoying. His competitors did a much better job. I don't doubt that he's a nice guy in person and a good salesman, but I was working over the internet and can only report on that.

Welcome other comments/questions,
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Old 10-30-2001, 10:40 PM   #5
dooshbeg
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Member Sales Rating: (12)
 
Member#: 11781
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Palmdale
Vehicle:
- sti sold
fxt sold

Question

hey what did you buy? White TS? If so, do you think that they would sell the WRX for a few hundred over invoice?
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Old 11-02-2001, 07:24 PM   #6
Bimmer
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Member#: 4116
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Humboldt County, CA
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza TS
White

Default Follow up, Santa Monica Subaru

Yes, I'm assuming that dealers are only getting $200-300 over invoice for WRX's, too, esp. because every dealer I've seen has several sitting on the lot.

I got delivery today... a couple comments and cautions to anybody looking to buy:

First, after weeks of not even having the foggiest idea of when our car might arrive, we finally got a call announcing it would be there the NEXT day. Jeez, scramble to arrange finanancing, insurance, place ad for old car, etc., rush to dealership to sign papers, to credit union to arrange financing, etc.

That was Monday afternoon. Start wasting time... Trip to credit union is a waste of time, SOA has arranged financing, and the salespeople are clueless about it, the financing guy knows, though.
Come into dealer to sign the paperwork, salesperson disappears for 45 minutes, comes back to summon us to the financing dept., where nothing's ready, anyway. ***!?
Make trip to insurance agent personally because the salesperson can't seem to manage to fax him a copy of the sales contract...

Rushing off to the dealer was a mistake,: now the payment clock and my insurance coverage are running and the dealer's cashed my down payment but I've got no car (and no LEVERAGE if there's something wrong with the car when it arrives)... No word at all Tuesday, maybe it'll be there Wednesday... Thursday is my salesperson's day off, but the car shows up, won't be ready until Friday.

Call twice to arrange to pick up the car "Yes, it WILL be ready." Get there and nobody knows where the temporary tag is, Salesperson's out sick, nobody knows where she'd have put it. Hang around the showroom for a half hour and poke around my new car, waiting, waiting, waiting. Car not dirty, but not especially clean, either, there're various weird smudges on the exterior, and the dash could've used a wiped-down. Somebody tossed the tool kit into the cargo area loose... would've been too much work to pack it in with the spare or with the jack or in one of the handy tool storage bins under the floor. The spare key is hidden in the center console, as well as the all-important key code. It's got a full tank of gas, at least...

Parting shot: they point-blank ask me to give them straight "Excellent" ratings so they can keep their CSI high. I promised them I'd fill it out...

In retrospect, I'd have not written the down payment check and arranged for the insurance to start until I saw the car at the dealership. If there'd been something wrong with the car that needed fixing before I took delivery and/or it took them another week or two to actually get the car then I'd've been making payments and paying insurance that whole time, plus I'd have been without any leverage I'd've had to make them put things right...
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Old 11-03-2001, 07:59 AM   #7
rocker686
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Member#: 11143
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Corona, CA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sport Wagon
Sedona Red

Default

Interesting post. Right now, I'm trying to decide between an Acura TL-S and WRX, and was wondering the best tact to use with the Subie dealers that are rather few and far between. I've test-driven and talked to the Irvine folks w/o talking price, and I've been to Exclusively, but wasn't impressed (only 1 WRX on lot).
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Old 11-06-2001, 04:24 AM   #8
WRX Pilot
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Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: 39.544733 104.944625
Thumbs up Go To Renick Subaru!

You wont have the same experiance that Bimmer did!
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Old 11-15-2001, 03:50 AM   #9
Jimmy S.
I'm a real doctor
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Location: www.ftwracing.net
Default

I love Big Valley !!!!!!! thats where i got my scooby......gave me a deal too !!!! 500 off invoice, bought out my old leased car and gave me a grand down for free!!!! I went through John in the FLEET side so check him out......stupendous!!!!!

Tell him Jimmy sent ya!!!!!!!
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Old 11-15-2001, 08:55 PM   #10
monoboy
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Member#: 11657
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Santa Barbara, PRK
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza WRX
Aspen White

Angry

I took a tip from Bimmer and did my homework before the recent purchase of my WRX. I only e-mailed 7 dealerships, and recieved feedback from 5 of them.

I'm a bit pressed for time, so I won't include all of the details here. I'll do it later if I get a chance, or you can contact me offline.

However, I will vent a bit and pose this question. Why do the dealerships still insist on playing games? I made it very clear that I had contacted multiple dealers requesting quotes. My intention was to let the Internet do the bulk of the work for me.

So after I already made my purchase, I got a call from one of the other dealerships because they must have gotten wind that I already made my purchase. They stated that they really wished I would have given them last crack at beating the price. Well, they were off by over $800. So why didn't they give me a no BS price to begin with. I went with the person that shot straight, and didn't string me along and waste my time.

It just purtubs me that dealerships think that you need to keep going back and forth between them, trying to play them against each other for $100 or less that they will try to beat the other persons price. I like to save money as much as the next person (more money for mods), but I don't have time for that non-sense and I don't want to play that game.

Sorry folks. Rant tag off.
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Old 11-22-2001, 12:23 AM   #11
robert99b
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Member#: 6950
Join Date: May 2001
Location: so cal
Vehicle:
2002 WRX wagon
WR Blue Pearl

Default Assael and Irvine Subie

I bought my blue WRX sports wagon today at Assael for $500 over invoice (car had upgraded speakers and air filtration system). So total was $22721. Add tax, license, doc prep. I was very happy with the price, very happy with the buying experience, and highly recommend Debbie Willis at Assael. I actually just called in today to ask what type of pricing they were giving (after sending in quote last night), and she came back right away for $500 over invoice. On top of that, the dealer was 10 minutes from my house. Oh, and they filled up my gas tank

I also want to give big thumbs up to Laney (sp?) at Irvine Subie. She really wanted to make the deal happen for me, offered to match the price that Assael quoted, but unfortunately she only had a WRX wagon with quite a few options on it. If I was closer to Irvine, I definitely would have waited for a car to become available and buy the car from her.

Big Valley Subie, as I said before, was somewhat disappointing. Yes, someone commented that research should have been done. I admit, my friend told me about the newspaper ad. I did not see it for myself. And yes, I did research and knew that Subaru (the company) was not offering any special finance on 2002 WRX. Still, adding the finance charges to the price of the car, then calling it 0% financing, I don't understand how that could be. Even Debbie and Laney had some negative comments about that "deal". The price was decent, initial quote of $500 over invoice (though they did have a strange $200 dealer prep that others did not). $200 to rip the plastics off, wash the car, etc? I got that for free today.

By the way, Debbie told me that she is selling WRX wagons at $500 over invoice, WRX sedans at $600 over invoice. Give her a call at Assael Motors, ask for her, if you are in this part of town.
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Old 11-25-2001, 03:36 AM   #12
Eyecannon
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Location: LALA Land
Default

Hey dudes, I'm looking for a used Impreza, preferably RS, preferably auto... I live in Koreatown which is smack dab in the middle of LA. I found a 98 impreza L at Thousand Oaks, but I'd really like to go RS. Any suggestions on a dealership with a decent selection of used subies? All the ones I've visited had many outback wagons, but little of anything else.
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Old 11-26-2001, 02:17 AM   #13
scotty305
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Member#: 8877
Join Date: Aug 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: SoCal
Vehicle:
2000 Impreza 2.5RS
(sept '01-jan '04)

Default [H]ello again, eyecannon...

Hey bro, check the Southern CA boards and the Private for sale classifieds if you're looking to buy a used Impreza. Also, you might want to call some dealerships personally. Last I heard (August), used RS'es were leaving the lots as quick as they were coming in.

-scott-
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Old 03-24-2002, 12:19 PM   #14
kaizen23
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Torrance, CA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
Silver

Default

I had a great experience buying a WRX without ever stepping into a dealership. I got the fax numbers for all the Subaru dealers between San Luis Obispo and San Diego out to Bakersfield and sent faxes to the Fleet Managers / Internet Sales Managers telling them exactly what I was looking for and asked them to give me their best price--17 dealers in all.

I sent the faxes on a Tuesday morning around 9:30 and within an hour I had heard from about half of the dealers with quotes. I waited until the end of the month so they would have extra incentive to make their sales quotas. The dealers in the larger cities (Santa Monica, Culver City, Timmons in Long Beach) wanted nothing to do with me but the guys farther out were really motivated. It came down to Lancaster and Bakersfield really bidding against each other and adding in additional equipment to get the deal (Subwoofer and upgraded speakers). The best part is when some of them called to say I'd have to come in to talk about it I said no I didn't! Bid or you're out of the running! No sitting around dealerships for hours haggling with these guys.

I bought from Larry Kilbourn at Lancaster Subaru. We made the deal over the phone and I went out on that Saturday to sign the paperwork (Which he had filled out and waiting for me). Total time there: 20 minutes!! Give the guys on the outskirts a try, they don't get the traffic that the big city dealers get. You can still have it serviced anywhere. He put it on a trailer and dropped it off at my house in Torrance at no add'l charge.
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Old 05-31-2006, 06:23 PM   #15
sixtoo
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Member#: 67603
Join Date: Aug 2004
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: South Pasadena, CA
Vehicle:
2007 WRX Wagon
Urban Gray Metallic

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidForce
I love Big Valley !!!!!!! thats where i got my scooby......gave me a deal too !!!! 500 off invoice, bought out my old leased car and gave me a grand down for free!!!! I went through John in the FLEET side so check him out......stupendous!!!!!

Tell him Jimmy sent ya!!!!!!!
I know this post is a couple of years old, but I thought I'd ammend it with my test driving experiences from yesterday. After originally posting a quote inquiry on the Subaru website, I got a response from John at Big Valley (Van Nuys Subaru Dealership). After sending a couple of emails back and forth, we agreed to meet up so I could test drive and Impreza 2.5i and a Legacy 2.5i Special Edition.

Once I got there, I was greeted with a cheerful welcome and an offer for a free bottle of water. John was filled with knowledge and was just a stand up kind of guy. I spent about an hour and a half testing out the Impreza and Legacy. After the test drive was over, he made NO attempt into finagling me into making a purchase.

Naturally, I was interested in talking some numbers because I wanted to research pricing. When we got to his office, he offered me another bottle of water and brought in the pricing. Right off the bat, he offered the car at $300 over invoice (Read: no negociating yet!!). Then he told me to think about it and to give him a call should I be interested in making the purchase.

I'm more than sure I'll make the purchase at Big Valley once I've made a decision. BTW, the new Legacy wagons are just gorgeous. I'm very impressed with its pickup and handling capabilities (coming from a former WRX owner). John at Big Valley is top notch.
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:56 AM   #16
humara
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Chapter/Region: SCIC
Vehicle:
04 wrx waggin'
wrb

Default

got my wrx for $500 below invoice from sierra subaru. also includes lifetime oilchanges, but their parts and service department sucks so i don't go there. i more or less went through the same email all the dealers for quotes and go with the lowest. big valley kept calling even though i told them i wanted an email quote and vin number and would be purchasing the car within the week. sierra replied with 48 hours and i bought the car on the next day. in and out of the dealer with all paperwork signed in less than 1 hour.
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:55 PM   #17
j0hnlau
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Join Date: May 2006
Default

I currently live in the Bay Area; however, I grew up in LA. I was recently in the market for a WRX and based on previous knowledge, I thought SoCal had the best deals. I planned on buying one while I was in LA visiting family. I got quotes around $300 to $500 below invoice. I thought that sounded great until I received some quotes in NoCal. I ended up buying a new 2006 WRX for $1,293 below invoice from Marin Subaru. I also received a similar quote from Downtown Oakland. With that kind of savings, it might be worth a trip up North.
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