History how car dealers started

The dealership needs to run your credit, get your loan approved, appraise the car you're trading in, figure out the pay-off amount to your current car and agree on a price for the new car you want to buy. Now, if during all this, you forgot a key piece of the paperwork, things can grind to a halt. So be sure you have the following ready:. Payment: This can be a bank or credit union check for a pre-approved loan, or it can be a cashier's check, a personal check or even a credit card payment for a down payment when the financing is done at the dealership. To find out what forms of payment the dealership will accept, call ahead of time and ask to speak with a finance manager.

Driver license: You have to drive the car off the lot, so the dealer needs to know that you are a legally registered driver. The driver license also serves as identification for your check or other form of payment. Title for your trade-in vehicle: If you are trading in a vehicle, you will need proof that you own it. The title, sometimes called the "pink slip," shows that you are the owner. Current vehicle registration for trade-in: If you are trading in a vehicle, you will need a copy of your current registration.

Locate this important document, verify that the registration is current and also check that the sticker is on the license plate. Proof of insurance: To drive a new car off the lot you need to prove you have insurance on that car. You can call ahead and set up the new insurance policy if you know which car you are buying. Account number for trade-in loan: If you are trading in a car for which there is an unpaid loan, you will need to bring the loan's account number, which is on one of your payment stubs. Better yet, call the lender yourself, explain that you are trading in the car and ask how to facilitate the transaction.

If you are car shopping on the weekend, ask if a representative is available to handle the transfer. If you want to speed up the process, try these tips: Shop during the week. If you have to shop on the weekend, get your trade-in appraised on a different day or sell it yourself. Finally, here are some other shopping tips that can cut your time in half. If you saw a car online and dropped in to see it in person, the car might not be on the main dealer lot.

The history of car sales

There is a finite amount of space at a car dealership. Cars are often parked like sardines to fit the entire inventory and many will be on satellite or "overflow" lots, which could be miles away. If you've chosen one of these cars, the salesperson has to locate the key, get to the car and move the ones that are blocking it.

And when he gets there, the battery may be dead or the car may be so dirty that he gives it a quick wash to ensure it makes a good first impression. Do you want to test-drive that nice car you saw in the showroom? Even more complicated: The dealership is going to have to open up the doors and move other cars that are in the way. Here's what to do to avoid all that: Call ahead and make an appointment for a test-drive. If you don't want to talk numbers yet, let the salesperson know that you're still in the research phase and aren't ready to buy. When you arrive for the test-drive, the car will be out front waiting for you.

You've cut the wait time to zero. If you're considering a showroom model, ask if there is a comparably equipped car that might be more accessible.

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Q: Why can't they give me the best price upfront? A: It goes against one of the big rules of negotiating. If the salesperson did give you his best price, one of two things would happen: You would take that price to another dealer and ask them to beat it, or you wouldn't trust the first price and you'd ask for something even lower. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with comparing quotes or with healthy skepticism, but you can see why the dealer is hesitant to show all his cards at once. That said, there are a number of dealer groups that are bucking the trend and offering a very competitive price upfront, so it is important to recognize when you are at this type of dealership.


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Lexus has also begun to test the waters of a no-haggle, no-negotiating sales process, so the tide may be changing. We use the nonconfrontational approach to get a great car price. Call the Internet sales manager at three dealerships. Rather than asking each for his "best price," use the term "asking price. Q: What happens when the sales guy goes to talk to the manager, and why is he gone so long?

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A: Most salespeople just aren't authorized to make deal decisions, such as determining a trade-in value or discounting the price of a car on their own. They usually have to take a trip over to the sales manager a process that's known as "visiting the tower". The sales manager may be working out terms for other deals at the same time as yours. And if you're shopping during peak hours, those deal discussions are stacking up like air traffic at Los Angeles International Airport. Even if you are the only customer in the dealership, there is still no guarantee you'll be able to get a deal offer in a flash.

If you're taking out a loan, the sales manager might have to run your credit to get your credit score. He'll call the finance department to get your interest rate, and then look up specials and incentives on your car to make sure you're getting the right program offer for the right car. Sometimes it just takes a while to get all the information together. A: Maybe in days past, but certainly not now. And most shoppers don't pay full sticker. These days, car dealerships make the majority of their income in the service department, on used-car sales and in the finance and insurance office.

Tesla has been providing test-drive online scheduling almost since its inception, and now online scheduling is offered by several car makers and even some dealerships — although they almost all require visiting a showroom. A partnership that showed promise was one announced in between Hyundai and Amazon, which allowed Amazon Prime customers to go online to schedule test drives with the option of cars being delivered to their home, work, or even a coffee shop.

Developments before World War I

But it was a pilot that at the time was only offered in and around Los Angeles, only for two weekends in August, and only on the Hyundai Elantra. Test drives are free for shoppers with a credit score or above, although everyone has to put down a deposit and provide a selfie so the vending machine, which has no staff, will recognize them. While many come to look online, far fewer actually take the plunge.

In this new customer-centric world, even small efforts at personalization can make a difference. For instance, based on collection of personal data almost every company engages in these days, should a car company or dealer go the extra mile to make sure the car provided for a test drive has the options a customer has shown interest in during search and is even the right color? Or should they offer an extended test drive — an hour or two rather than the typical 15 or 20 minutes — so the prospective buyer can really experience the car?

Many leading automakers have started introducing virtual showrooms, with immersive digital experiences, that allow customers to configure their own unique combination of options. But automakers must realize if they poke the bear they had better be ready to run quickly — meaning that if a car company offers an online experience then it must be an online experience that is updated constantly to match what is being offered and what the consumer expects.

Incorporating augmented reality AR or virtual reality VR and artificial intelligence into marketing solutions is going to be a must-have, but they should remember they are not alone in that realization: Amazon already allows people to see themselves in a piece of clothing, so the potential for them to apply that technology to other industries is great. Most car companies are also experimenting with car ownership alternatives like car sharing or short-term rental.

For instance, the Porsche Passport is a car subscription service that launched in in Atlanta. The industry also must recognize the potential impact of different models of ownership, which reduce the initial financial commitment. While many of these things are being discussed in automotive circles, they should be the primary strategies moving forward rather than only futuristic pilots.

There is no easy fix for the disruptions auto sales are about to endure. The only survival tactic car companies have is to recognize the aspirations of the new customer and make sure they have a journey to offer that speaks to each of them. August Joas, based in Munich, leads the worldwide automotive team for global management consultancy Oliver Wyman. Andreas Nienhaus is a principal in the firm's automotive practice. Fabian Diaz is a senior partner at Lippincott, Oliver Wyman's creative consultancy. Markus Puttlitz, an Oliver Wyman principal, Victor Kondel, an associate, and Gregory Heckl, an engagement manager — all with the firm's automotive practice — contributed research and insights to the article.