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Old 10-18-2012, 01:08 PM   #2529
Evanston Subaru
Former Vendor
Member#: 217382
Join Date: Jul 2009
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: 3340 W. Oakton Skokie IL 60076

^^^^^ SICLOS: That is all accurate (kinda) as far as I know.


This is where the problem started:

In the beginning of this fiscal year (not model year) another dealer I will not name (but some here may know I have serious beef with from one of their salesmen impersonating a customer and lying about my dealership right here on this forum), decided to get crazy with pricing quotes here in Chicagoland. Prices that are just ridiculous.

They made it their goal to surpass us as the "#1 Dealer" in Illinois no matter what it took. Of course, we don't want to let that happen. At that time, sold orders did NOT come out of the cars each dealer "earned", rather the sold orders came off the top of the allocation for the entire region (mid west in this case). So dealers in theory could put in as many orders as they wanted, and it would not affect how many units you earned for "stock". This allowed any dealer to take advantage of the system and not be punished regardless of how many orders they had.

That is exactly what this dealer did. Ordering a HUGE amount of Imprezas and wrx/sti, which in turn was greatly reducing the number of "stock" units that our entire Region got (MidWest). They took advantage of a silly system. We had two choices:

1. Sit back and allow this to happen, reducing the number we "earn" and taking many customers from our market area.

2. Jump on board with their style of "selling" (if you can call it that) and match their prices and start putting orders in.

We chose the latter.

I reached out to this forum, offering silly prices to you guys, in order to try and keep up with them. Of course, many of you guys were happy this rivalry was taking place, as you got crazy cheap deals because of it. We had no problem giving these discounts because sold orders were looked at as just "bonus cars" for us and we would still be earning the normal amount for "stock".

I was NEVER a fan of having the system set up this way. NEVER. However, I wasn't just going to sit back and let another dealer take advantage of it and surpass us and take business out of my market (evanston,north chicago etc). I went with the "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy. My owner was fighting hard to get the system changed so that sold orders DID come out of dealers "earned" cars.

Fast forward to August 15th, the day the order system opened for 2013MY. Subaru blind sides everyone that day announcing that Sold Orders will now count against your earned units. This obviously was an issue as we do not want to sell the few wrx/sti we get for these crazy prices. I immediately stopped quoting those very insane prices, but of course I would still honor the ones that I had quoted and already accepted orders on.

As of now I am nowhere near as aggressive as I was before. I still try and hook up nasiocers with great prices, but it has to be reasonable. This other dealer did not stop. While they still claim to offer those prices, they are probably SOOOOO backlogged with orders that their customers may not see cars for 6+ months. It is what it is though, and they have every right to do what they want. More power to them if they want to operate that way. I am in no position to tell them what to do.

Where the REAL issue is with SoA- They have not told any dealers how many cars they actually "earn", leaving us in the dark as far as how many puts us "over" our allocations. The concept of their new order system is AWESOME and exactly what needed to be done, but it was rushed. How can SoA expect us to give a customer an accurate timeline for delivery on orders, if we have not been told how many wrx/sti we even "earn" per month????? It is an issue they are trying to address now, but it is a little late, no? So now we are all scrambling.

Back in August, I was given an estimate (guess) of 8 units per month, and that is what I stuck to. I have only ordered ~18 wrx/sti over the past 2 months, which seemed reasonable but was apparently over my number. So 2 of my orders were put on "hold".

Moving on to posting the info here, and pricing here:

There was a miscommunication or misunderstanding between someone who should know the right answers, and myself. I was told that because this is a private forum, where you have to sign up to join (and I pay to be a vendor) that I could post whatever I wanted in regards to pricing.

This was an error. While you DO have to join to be a member of this forum, it can still be VIEWED by anyone. Therefor I had to comply with Subaru's pricing guidelines for advertizing. I was misinformed, and made a mistake. Since then I have removed everything I have the power to remove. I have even sent out PMs to others who must have saved/screencapped what I had posted asking them to remove it form posts. There is nothing more I can do to correct my mistake, and if those dealers want to pursue further action that is their perogative. I did everything I could to fix it once I was made aware of it.

I apologize to anyone who sells Subarus if you are reading this (except anyone at that one dealer that started this storm of crap pricing ). My intention was never to cut into your profits. I hope everyone can be understanding of this. I make mistakes, and I am human.

MOVING FORWARD: I am reducing the allowed distance from my store from 200 miles to 100 miles for who I can actually order a car for. My prcing will still be aggressive, but not insane nor stupid by any means (PM me ).

This whole situation has become the biggest stress in my career by FAR. If I could take a picture of my hair 3 months ago, vs now, you would see that it is having an impact on me. lol. Salt and pepper, and I recently got an ulcer as well as shingles (both triggered by stress). I am NOT happy with this situation, and feel terrible that I have angered dealers accross the country. If I could go back knowing what I know now, things would be different. I love being able to help out other true Subaru enthusiasts across the country. I am an enthusiast first, and a "car salesman" second. That said my career here is very important to me, and I never wanted to jeopardize that.

Thanks for listening and letting me rant. Again my sincerest apologies to anyone who was negatively affected by the way this has all gone down.

Mike Olenski
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