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Old 09-05-2006, 08:46 PM   #1
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A review of 3 honda dealerships.

Over the past week I've been to three dealerships to ask about the Honda Fit. One was in California and two were in Utah.

Weir Canyon Honda - Anaheim Hills, CA
On Wednesday night my mother and I went to a Honda Dealership and the guy who talked to us was very helpful. I can't remember his name, but I do believe that his nickname, printed on the card, was "Mr. Ed." It was a good experience, as he found out the answers to my questions and wasn't pushy. If I was buying a Honda I would buy one from him. Too bad he's in California.


Ken Garff Honda - Downtown Salt Lake City, UT
This is the Honda Dealership close to my house. I walk around the lot for a few minutes waiting to be tackled by salespeople. They are nowhere to be seen.

I go inside and walk around the showroom. I look at the 1980 Honda Accord (automatic) in almost mint condition for a few seconds. I then walk around more waiting for the salespeople to attack me.

They must have had the day off. No one talked to me for 30 minutes. I finally ask the receptionist where a salesperson is, and she points me to a man in a corner office. I can see heis on the phone, so I waited for him to get off of the phone. After 4-5 minutes of more standing, his phone call ends. He asks if I need anything while eating his sandwich. Normally i wouldn't care if people eat while talking to me, but I would like to get the impression that I was more important than the sandwich. In this instance I did not get that feeling.

I asked about the Honda Fit, and he told me that I was pretty much out of luck for getting one. He never asked if I was interested in ordering one, if I had any questions about it, if I wanted to look at the civics, etc. I was just the guy slowing down his inhilation of the sandwich.

Sick of not being helped and being ignored, I walked to the parts department as I know they are friendly there. I asked them where the next closest Honda Dealership is. Then I went.

Larry H. Miller Honda - Murray, UT

Right away I was greeted by a salesperson. He mentions right away that he's new and that he doesn't know the answer to all of my questions. He asks his boss though and gets back to me with the answers.

According to him the Honda Fits are sold before they are even made, or as soon as they are made. He is quick to point out that the new Civic gets 30/40 MPG, which isn't really that bad. It's exactly the same as the Fit, if not better... too bad I like the Fit for it's look and it's versatility. They have one Fit scheduled to arrive in the end of November that I could buy now if i wanted an automatic red Fit. I prefer manual transmission and I dont want a red car. This guy didn't really know anything about Hondas, engines, or the Fit itself... but at least he was friendly and willing to get the answers for me. I took his card and gave him my number in the event that he hears about any used Fits in the area.

And the moral of this story is this: If you want to get a Honda Fit, don't expect to get one for the next few months. All three dealerships told me that the typical waiting period is 12 weeks. I personally have no desire to put a deposit on a car I won't be able to drive for 3 months.

I have no idea why Honda advertises the hell out of the Fit and then makes it impossible to own one. I understand the relationship between scarcity and demand, but this is just ridiculous. Every dealership has "The Fit is GO!" posters in their showrooms, but no Honda Fit is next to it, or near it, or within 1000 miles of the dealership.
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:15 PM   #2
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I drive by dealers now and then

In Little Rock, Arkansas, there are 2 Honda dealers. I had to spend a week there, so after a work visit, I wanted to see if I could find a Fit. The first dealer didn't even have any Civics, so I went to the 2nd one, which was really helpful. This was 2-months back. The guy pulled out this spiral notebook of people on a "wait list" to buy the Fit at sticker price. It was 6-deep, which I guess is the norm -- 5-10. I took a brochure and left.

All I want to do is drive one. I've read rave reviews on how it outperforms everything else in its class in a few car mags -- let me re-phrase that -- it WAY outperforms them on every level. To kick me in the groin, I saw a black Fit sport on the way back to the Hotel. The driver looked smug

Instead of the "Fit is Go!" -- the "Fit has went!" ...and it won't be back for a while.

If you need a car now, you may have to compromise. The Civic 5-speed is becoming more available -- there's one here I looked at the other night. I drove one when it first came out, and it isn't even the same Civic -- much improved. What are your thoughts at this point?

RH77
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:26 PM   #3
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My dealership

Wow, that is awful that you are treated that way. When I was up at school, in Indiana I got basically the same thing! No, you have to wait 3 months to even look at one...So I go back to Texas and was treated right...

Lawerence Marshall Honda of Denison Texas had 3 Fits all lined up out front. I walked up, and got a test drive. 2 were automatics, and the 3rd was a manual.

Flo Wheeler (the saleswoman) was really informative. She told me basically anything on the safety features of the car. She pointed out the ABS System, crumple zones, the unique hood made to absorb impacts better. Next, she showed me all the interior features, the seating configurations, and the stereo. I asked her if I could get my own cd out of my car. So I go grab one of my mp3 cd's out of the civic and pop it in. The interface of the radio was easy. Nothing to shout about with the power though. (I am pretty sure Alpine supplies the units for the Fit)

The reason I was over in denison was to drop my brother off at drum lessons. I asked the saleswoman if I could pick him up when his practice was over (the place was downtown ~ 5 miles away, and she said sure.) So I go to pick my brother up and the person who teaches him looks out, and is like...who is this?? Previously, when I dropped off my brother I drove up in a 2001 red s2000, a blue flamed civic, and now a charcoal Fit with ground effects and 16 inch HFP wheels. He relateed the Fit to the 1st generation Odyssey! --Just a little squished in proportions.

So I take my brother away, and Flo tells me to do what I please with the Fit, and show my brother what it can do. So basically, I ring the 1.5 liters of fury to the redline (even though I knew it was a new engine ) for the first 3 shifts, and end up going 85 down the smooth interstate. The shifts were pretty crisp and the clutch was light. Steering was very firm, it actually felt like I had to twist something... Pure econobox bliss.

So, I guess you could say that I had a pretty good time bringing my brother to drum lessons.
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Timion
I have no idea why Honda advertises the hell out of the Fit and then makes it impossible to own one. I understand the relationship between scarcity and demand, but this is just ridiculous. Every dealership has "The Fit is GO!" posters in their showrooms, but no Honda Fit is next to it, or near it, or within 1000 miles of the dealership.
Toyota did the same with the Yaris. Especially the liftback. I got my check from the credit union called 12 dealers til I found one on the lot, drove there handed them the check for sticker and left with it. I hate dealers, I hate financing and I hate test drives. I also would not order one. I took the automatic fully knowing it would never be my 1996 Geo manual. But I had no hassles and I bought the car in about 25 mins.
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:24 PM   #5
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I'm actually very disappointed that none of the salespeople were "honda people." I wouldn't mind talking hondas with some of these guys. I get the feeling that a lot of them just move from one dealership to the next.
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Timion
I'm actually very disappointed that none of the salespeople were "honda people." I wouldn't mind talking hondas with some of these guys. I get the feeling that a lot of them just move from one dealership to the next.
That moving dealership thing is a badge of honor for them in the DC area. It gives them to crap on the brand they arent selling today equally with "inside" knowledge of the other brands dealership. More importantly than knowing about honda or toyota per se is the fact the know very little about cars or technology in general. In my 25 minute stay I saw a sales person talk someone out of a Camry Hybrid into a Prius based on the false pretense that the prius did not have an "upcharge" for being a hybrid like the camry model did. That would infer that there is a prius base model non hybrid to compare the two. They really have no clue and could just as easily be a greeter at Walmart next week.
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Old 09-05-2006, 11:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tomauto
So I take my brother away, and Flo tells me to do what I please with the Fit, and show my brother what it can do. So basically, I ring the 1.5 liters of fury to the redline (even though I knew it was a new engine ) for the first 3 shifts, and end up going 85 down the smooth interstate. The shifts were pretty crisp and the clutch was light. Steering was very firm, it actually felt like I had to twist something... Pure econobox bliss.

So, I guess you could say that I had a pretty good time bringing my brother to drum lessons.
Be still my heart...

Anyway Matt, it's all about regions.

Car Salesmen and dealers are 99% money grubbers, so you have to play their game.

1. Know what you want to pay
2. Do not discuss a vehicle trade or payments, even if they ask
3. Know what you want to pay
4. Negotiate on #3
5. Get #4 in writing
5.5 Walk out if #5 is crap. Go to #6 if 5.5 is OK.
6. If you trade, have them eval it and make an offer. If the offer's crap. Take 2 cars home and sell the other one later if you can.
7. Discuss payments at the end with the "Undercoating Guy"
8. Say NO to everything the "Undercoating Guy" is pimping.
9. Refer to rule #8 under any circumstances even though it looks like a deal.
10. If they offer to pay off your trade, make sure they do so.
11. The new way Honda/Acura dealers make $$$ is the service dept (since they're bullet-proof). The "Maintenance Minder" built into the dash gives you a code to have the dealer complete a scheduled maintenance including the 100-point inspection. That's where 5 people point to the car 20 times.
12. I'm not kidding.

RH77 :-|
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Timion

And the moral of this story is this: If you want to get a Honda Fit, don't expect to get one for the next few months. All three dealerships told me that the typical waiting period is 12 weeks. I personally have no desire to put a deposit on a car I won't be able to drive for 3 months.
When we got my wifes 2004 Honda Pilot we had to wait 2 1/2 months to get it. When they called that they "had one" it was a do you want this one or we will just sell it to someone else. It had what we wanted so we took it. Lucky for us they didnt want a deposit because they had a waiting list and could sell it in 10 minutes if we didnt take it. I guess if you want the new hot Honda that is the game you have to play.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
11. The new way Honda/Acura dealers make $$$ is the service dept (since they're bullet-proof). The "Maintenance Minder" built into the dash gives you a code to have the dealer complete a scheduled maintenance including the 100-point inspection. That's where 5 people point to the car 20 times.
12. I'm not kidding.
They actually had a warning light come on to remind you to get our vehicle maintained? WTF?

I could understand an email, a phone call, or a letter... but not an annoying light that won't turn off unless I take it in.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:12 AM   #10
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If you were in so cal how come you didn't hit me up?
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