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Grandma Bought a Car Last Week

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October 01, 2008 – Comments (7) | RELATED TICKERS: F , GM , HMC

And I just listened to CNBC suggest that one of the reasons was an inability to arrange loans to customers. I went shopping and there were not extra car salesmen as compared to shoppers, at any of the different brands we shopped, on a Thursday. We settled down with a dealer (A story in itself available to all on the buying and maintaining a car board) and retired, fixed income, Grandma had no trouble getting a loan at 7.5% which we turned down and paid cash instead. On the wall inside the finance persons office was a big erasable board upon which he kept his schedule of appointments. Including Grandma, there were three appointments scheduled among 112 open half hour blocks of time. He did not have appointments for 30 people he had to turn down. At the most he had two. Now clearly cars are not selling, but I am doubting credit is the issue. We did not show up on Fords sales statistics by the way. We bought a one year old Focus.

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 01, 2008 at 8:30 PM, devoish (96.47) wrote:

And I just listened to CNBC suggest that one of the reasons very few other people did was an inability to arrange loans to customers.

Sorry. it seems I lost as many words as Ford did customers.

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#2) On October 01, 2008 at 8:51 PM, Imperial1964 (97.82) wrote:

I frequent the nearest Chrysler dealer because I buy all my parts from the dealer--all I can, anyway.

Last week, I actually saw a customer or two.  Recently I've mostly just seen salesmen standing around talking to each other.  Sometimes the salesmen are just standing around outside waiting for customers.

What is amazing is I've done business with the parts department of this dealership since I was 16, and I don't recall a salesman ever speaking to me until a few months ago.  I'm a long-haired country boy who sometimes looks more like someone who can't afford a used Kia than someone who is going to buy a new 300C.  Now the salesmen ask me what I'm looking for and talk about their new trucks.

I haven't talked to their finance guys, but based on my observations, there is a simple lack of demand for cars and trucks.

The parts department appears to be busier than ever.

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#3) On October 01, 2008 at 9:28 PM, dinodelaurentis (73.56) wrote:

based on Imperial1964's comment, i again would reccomend Advance Auto Parts (AAP) and Coparts (CRPT) as buys at the bottom. a deflationary period will have A LOT of folks working on their own vehicles.

last week my son and i test drove a Corvette 01 Zo6, and that highend used carlot was empty for 4+ hours. the very nice sales lay/owner was anxious to sell, decided to save the cash instead of realize the fantasy...

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#4) On October 01, 2008 at 10:21 PM, GNUBEE (21.91) wrote:

Ford and Chrysler just reported sales down some 30%, ouch

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#5) On October 01, 2008 at 10:24 PM, devoish (96.47) wrote:

Dino,

You could also look at Schnitzer Steel which is a recycler and used parts store. (junk yard) SCHN it has lost almost half its stock price since I outperformed it.

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#6) On October 01, 2008 at 11:53 PM, MikeMark (29.46) wrote:

Interesting. My next-door neighbor just bought a brand spankin' new decked-out Ford 4x4 pickup with extended cab. Said he just couldn't pass up the deal. The sticker price was about $43k, but he paid around $24k after incentives, which kept increasing up to the moment of signing, and a $6000 trade-in of a little car. Looks like they are beginning to price these things to move. I imagine they will actually be dirt cheap by around March to May next year.

Also interestingly, the approx yearly fuel cost shown on the sticker is $2,300... for a fuel price of $2.30/gal! I'd like to find some of that fuel.

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#7) On October 01, 2008 at 11:55 PM, MikeMark (29.46) wrote:

Interesting. My next-door neighbor just bought a brand spankin' new decked-out Ford 4x4 pickup with extended cab. Said he just couldn't pass up the deal. The sticker price was about $43k, but he paid around $24k after incentives, which kept increasing up to the moment of signing, and a $6000 trade-in of a little car. Looks like they are beginning to price these things to move. I imagine they will actually be dirt cheap by around March to May next year.

Also interestingly, the approx yearly fuel cost shown on the sticker is $2,300... for a fuel price of $2.30/gal! I'd like to find some of that fuel.

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