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Discussion Starter #21
Nimbo,

Thank you for your candid and insightfull response. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the sales viewpoint and the inner workings of the company. I think I will wait a bit to see what next month brings in terms of incentives and decide then whether to buy an 07 or go ahead and place my order for an 08. Your answers have been very helpful, at least for my situation. Maybe I should put my local sales rep in touch with you for a lesson on how to win over a customer.
 

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Apparently GM is going to announce some promotion starting on June 28th and ending around July 9th. This is to coincide with July 4th and the opening of the new Transformers movie. I have also heard talks that dealers might already know of the promotion and might end up announcing it tomorrow or Wednesday in order to increase June sales which hasn't been all that great. Nimbu, do you know anthying about this and how it might pertain to Saturn?
 

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Discussion Starter #23

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Tom H said:
Looks like the Outlook won't be included. Too bad as I was hoping to be able to buy one. The loss in the 07' vs the 08' is just too great to make it worth a purchase at this time. I think this is where not being able to sell at invoice or some other equivalent incentive is really hurting Saturn.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/25/autos/bc.autos.gm.incentives.reut/?postversion=2007062519
Neither is the Acadia or Enclave! You build the Acadia you want, list the options, I'll bet the Saturn dealer near you will be able to do just as good if not better on price.

Again, the dead horse needs another beating, there's simply no reason to offer any extra incentives on these cars, they're moving pretty well on their own. The Saturn dealers here (3 in my county) are pretty well out of these things. The GMC dealer has them to sell, but not many, and certainly no SLT2 models. Buick's just getting them, so pretty scarce pickins there too.

If you're willing to wait for the '08s, then it's a no-brainer, wait for them and see the incentives for the leftover xe fwds and slt-1 models. I hope you weren't looking to find the higher end options on the vehicle, because those are already being sold off the lots with no replacement orders of the '07 year, partly due to your logic that in a year it's less 3k in value than an '08 will be if purchased when it arrives.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
So far my local Saturn dealer won't bend on price, yet the lot is full of 07's with almost every option and color available. He still says he can get almost anything I want because they own 5 dealerships with plenty of inventory at each of them (I'm in NW Indiana). About the only thing they don't have left is any model in White Diamond Tri-coat. The GMC dealer nearby had quite a few Acadia's although I honestly haven't looked in about a week. The Acadias remaining were definitely the odd ball option pkgs that didn't sell well initially. None-the-less GM obviously doesn't share my perception or there would be incentives offered. It's too bad GM doesn't give Saturn the same latitude on incentives to level the playing field. The Acadia seems to be outselling the Outlook at a roughly a 2:1 ratio.
 

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nimbu,

im glad you had a good experience w/the saturn dealer because i sure didnt. i went to saturn dealer, parked my car, sat there a few minutes, got out, walked around for about 30 minutes looking at outlooks and not one dealer came to greet me. no one said hello absolutely nothing. i got in my car, left and vowed that was it for me as far as a outlook was concerned. the lot was full of outlooks you would think they wanted to sell those bad boys but i guess not.
 

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MsS42 said:
nimbu,

im glad you had a good experience w/the saturn dealer because i sure didnt. i went to saturn dealer, parked my car, sat there a few minutes, got out, walked around for about 30 minutes looking at outlooks and not one dealer came to greet me. no one said hello absolutely nothing. i got in my car, left and vowed that was it for me as far as a outlook was concerned. the lot was full of outlooks you would think they wanted to sell those bad boys but i guess not.
Hello MsS42,

You may not be aware of it but some Saturn stores still have the practice of not bothering the customers on the lot. This is because at some non Saturn Dealers the sales staff pounce on you as soon as you get out of your car. Ever seen "King of Cars"?. When the salespeople watch the lot for customers here are a few signs that we interpret as someone wanting to be left alone. When parking their car they do not park in "customer parking" but park at the other end of the lot, (don't want to show commitment). People who leave the doors open to their cars when they get out and look. When only one person comes out of the vehicle to look at something. People who walk around with a coffee in their hands. There are others too.

I would also like to mention that at our store sometimes we run out of salespeople because we are all helping guests. Never, and I mean never interpret not being greeted on the lot as being ignored. Unless you have hard evidence to show otherwise. How difficult is it to come into the store, ask the receptionist if there is anyone who can help you and find out the situation. You may get a manager or a business card from someone the receptionist trusts- it is good to have this head's up from an insider. Leave your name and number for this person to call you. If by doing this you give the impression that you may be serious, how can that be a bad thing. Parking the car for a few "minutes" and walking the lot for "30 more" and assuming that you were being ignored could have been a simple misunderstanding on your part. Unless of course you noticed that salespeople were looking out the windows and not doing anything. Also,sometimes in a Saturn store because we have the service department as part of the showroom sometimes we make the mistake of not noticing someone simply because we thought they were there getting an oil change and they are just killing time. You wore a certain jacket or hat like someone else.

The best thing that you can do when you are in a position to make some decisions about purchasing a vehicle is go into the store, ask to see a top manager of some sort. Use the words "Team Leader" as that's a Saturn phrase. Say to the Team Leader that you are in the market for a vehicle and that you would like to be helped by his or her best salesperson because you do not want to be a guinea pig for a newbie. Ask lots of questions if that is your style or say outright what it is that you would like to accomplish. Don't play cat and mouse. Be honest as you do not need to fib at a Saturn store. One of the reasons that Saturn started the one price policy is to avoid the distrust developed between salesperson, dealer and customer. The customer pretty much knows everything before they come in the door. The job of the consultant is to the best of their ability help the guest find the right vehice that fits their needs and fits their budget. How silly is it to go vehicle shopping, want something, drive it, haggle over it and not get it because you couldn't get the price you wanted. Saturn makes it easy because that issue should be resolved.

85% of the shoppers out there do not like haggling. The 15% who do 80% of the time still do not think they got the best deal when they purchased their vehicle (and they would be right). If you are dealing on a vehicle with someone who sold 15 cars that month and you get a car maybe every 4 years or so, I can almost guarantee you that you are at a disadvantage. It is very funny when people say to me- "I have bought over 20 vehicles in my lifetime". So... what is your point? I sell that many in a month or so. I can assure you, I am better at this than you. And on top of this, I have a few managers who have overseen the sale of hundreds if not thousands of vehicles with a quick word of advise or a selling phrase if I need it. Be honest with me and I will work with you to the best of my ability. Try to push me around, or tell me how it is. I will be more than happy to keep every penny that I can from a know-it-all. Hidden incentives? Poof...gone. You have a trade? Well let me get out my white glove and my fine tooth comb. I may not keep you as a customer but I will put you in such a state that the next saleperson will hear from you the grand story of how you were treated, feign sympathy and take you to the cleaners because you thought he was your friend.

So just be honest, it works. Don't play games. Never assume. Ask lots of questions. You will get a good deal if you get a good salesperson. Shop for that first before the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Tom H said:
So far my local Saturn dealer won't bend on price, yet the lot is full of 07's with almost every option and color available. He still says he can get almost anything I want because they own 5 dealerships with plenty of inventory at each of them (I'm in NW Indiana). About the only thing they don't have left is any model in White Diamond Tri-coat. The GMC dealer nearby had quite a few Acadia's although I honestly haven't looked in about a week. The Acadias remaining were definitely the odd ball option pkgs that didn't sell well initially. None-the-less GM obviously doesn't share my perception or there would be incentives offered. It's too bad GM doesn't give Saturn the same latitude on incentives to level the playing field. The Acadia seems to be outselling the Outlook at a roughly a 2:1 ratio.
Interesting...Today I took a run by both the Saturn and GMC stores and both the Outlook and Acadia seem to be stagnant. The Saturn dealer had pretty much the same stock on hand plus a few new ones and the GMC dealer has 9 Acadias setting out front with a few in their back lot. Anyone care to speculate? Is it just that the 08 release is so close? They don't seem to be flying out the door like they were.

Any thoughts Nimbu???
 

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I stopped by to see the Outlook in person at our local Saturn dealer, the lot had roughly 6-8 in the front (actually had a white diamond - looks great). Can't say for sure how stagnat sales have been for them but the red jewel they have on display has been there for weeks.

Not sure if this factored into slow sales or not but here in Austin, when the new Tahoes/Suburbans came out people were buying them up like crazy. You can't go anywhere without seeing one on the road even during a short trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Took a run by the Saturn dealer again this morning. I now count 23 Outlooks on the lot that I could see in plain view. Part of the lot behind the store is out of view so there may be more. Conversely, the GMC dealer now has only 4 Acadias on the lot. I'm starting to smell additional Outlook incentives in the near future. They are going to have to do something to start moving them. Maybe it will just be a dealership incentive as opposed to GM. I can't really say this one particular dealer is representative of all Outlook sales.
 

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Tom H said:
Took a run by the Saturn dealer again this morning. I now count 23 Outlooks on the lot that I could see in plain view. Part of the lot behind the store is out of view so there may be more. Conversely, the GMC dealer now has only 4 Acadias on the lot. I'm starting to smell additional Outlook incentives in the near future. They are going to have to do something to start moving them. Maybe it will just be a dealership incentive as opposed to GM. I can't really say this one particular dealer is representative of all Outlook sales.
I saw about 10 on a lot near me. All but one had cloth interior, no DVD, no NAV, etc. Priced 28k to 31k. No one seems to be buying the cheaper ones. I'll betmost of the 23 you saw were the "under 35k" sticker models?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
gbshuler,

I think your rite. Two of them were without roof rails which means they are as basic as it can get. I looked on their website and it list 6 XR FWD and 10 AWD models in both XE and XR versions. The last time I visited the dealer I recall that many of the XE versions had quite a few options. They also have 2 demos in front that are fully loaded. One is a Red Jewell/Black leather and the other is Liquid Silver/Grey leather. Both of the demos have been there for the past 3 weeks.
 

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reverse said:
Not sure if this factored into slow sales or not but here in Austin, when the new Tahoes/Suburbans came out people were buying them up like crazy. You can't go anywhere without seeing one on the road even during a short trip.
The Acadia outsold the Suburban and Yukon XL combined. It also outsells the standard Yukon and Envoy and it's catching up with Tahoe sales. In fact, the Lambda Platform (Acadia, Enclave and Outlook) has pretty much matched the sales numbers of the Tahoe and Yukon combined. In another month or two, they will surpass those vehicle sales and never look back (since their numbers are climbing and Tahoe/Yukon sales are in decline). This month was a bit slower for the Acadia and Outlook mainly because of the ramp up of the Enclave production and the fact that a lot of buyers are in a holding pattern waiting for the 08s to be released this month.
 

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Lambdas will outpace the Tahoes, 'Burbans, and others soon enough. However, in my area the fact that soo many have already bought those makes me conclude that is the reason I haven't seen many of the Lambdas. Had they come out before the redesigned Tahoes and what not, Lambdas would be more abundant than they are now.

I'm just hoping enough people buy the Outlook so that there is a decent supply of used ones available in the next two years so I can pick one up at a decent price. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I took a drive out to my Saturn dealer today and counted 25 Outlooks on the lot (This is rapidly becoming my Sunday morning ritual). The ones up front were very loaded with options but I couldn't see the options on the ones in the back lot. Two of them were obviously very basic as they didn't have roof rails. These things just don't seem to be selling here. As usual, I drove down the road to the GMC dealer and found 7 Acadias on the front lot. Curious to see how they were optioned I took a close look and discovered that 5 of them were 2008 models that have just arrived. Does this mean the 2008 Outlooks are on the way? I imagine that my local Saturn guy will have a relatively small allotment of Outlooks since the 07s are still collecting dust.

Anyone receive a custom order 08 yet?
 

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Maybe sales of both are low because of gas prices. I know there are those buyers who need a larger vehicle to accomodate a large family or have the money so the price of gas is not a concern. These vehicles plus the Enclave are not exactly gas misers but branded as gas guzzlers. What would the re- sale value be 4 or 5 years down the road? what will the price of gas be? If twice as much as it is today the majority of buyers might not buy these vehicles leaving owners holding onto them. Dealers might not even take them as trade ins. So maybe buyers are shying away and thinking of the future. A lot can happen in a very short time. JMO
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I guess the price of gas could be a factor. The slow sales in my area have me concerned since this is in general a very high volume region for auto sales. The Outlook is IMO a very well designed and stylish SUV. The fact that the prices are fixed and interest rates high are enough of a deterrent to keep me in neutral rite now. My other fear is that Saturn won't keep the Outlook around if they don't sell more than they are now. That would be a shame because I think people are missing out on a very good vehicle. Maybe its just the Saturn stigma. They aren't exactly known for their SUV experience. Maybe GMC played it smart by keeping the Acadia a bit more truck like, which is exactly what I don't like about it. The Acadia has taken off like a rocket, but the Outlook seems to be stagnant.

Just my .02
 
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