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KEEPING UP WITH WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE CAR BIZ:
Yikes! Every day now there's something new happening in the car business and it's probably going to be like this for the foreseeable future.
Unprofitable dealerships are closing and obsolete models are disappearing. New models are being introduced that will meet tougher emissions and fuel economy requirements. These changes will affect your decision on what your next vehicle will be, and how, when, and where you purchase it. They may already be affecting how you service ones you already have.
If your nearest dealer is 20 miles away, how much of a hassle will it be to take it there, get to work and then get back? Purchasing an extended service contract that requires that warranty work be done by a dealer may not be such a good idea. Having a long factory warranty on a new car may not be as important.
A friend of mine who recently purchased a Hyundai Santa Fe was concerned about the possibility of his nearest Hyundai dealer closing. New Hyundai's come with a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty for the original owner and 3 years 36,000 miles for the next owner. Of course, the projected expense for providing that security is built into the price of the new car when it leaves the factory. Instead, I found him a beautiful Santa Fe that was a year old with under 15,000 miles, saving him almost $10,000. He has about half the original warranty left. For required maintenance, he'll take it to a good local mechanic whom he trusts.
Finding a good mechanic close to you who can service multiple product lines will be important in the future. Also, if you feel safer with an extended service contract, purchase one that allows warranty work to be done by a good local mechanic.
Service contracts you purchase from a new car dealer don't allow this, and since they're a major profit center for dealers, they're very expensive. You can get around this by purchasing the contract from an independent company on the internet. The problem with this is that the vast majority of those companies are underfunded and have a poor track record of paying claims. In fact the State of California allows only two companies in the entire country to sell their products in our state. The State has checked these companies out and vetted them as able to cover their claims and that they have a good track record of doing so.
To save you the headache of trying to find one of these companies, Access Auto has formed an alliance with the one that we think is the best. You can check them out by going to accessauto.com and clicking on itís link. They've been in business for over 30 years and have a great track record. So now, without the pressure of sitting in a little glass room at a dealership and being sold the product that makes the dealer the most profit, you can go online and find the combination of coverage, time, mileage and price for your new or used car that works best for you. You don't even need to call me to make the purchase. It can all be handled on line at their secure website.
We're going to see some exciting new products lines for a greener America, but I think it's going to be about five years before we'll see all the technology perfected. We have some good choices available now, and prices on some of the hybrids has never been better. Since it could be years before new battery technology is perfected for plug-ins, you might want to consider getting a Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Ford Hybrid now. By the time you're ready to replace that car, the bugs will be out of the plug-ins and the new batteries will hold charges for really long trips. In a few years we'll also see competition in choices and greater availability that will bring new-model introduction prices down.
2009 IS ALMOST HALF OVER!
If you've been waiting to buy or lease a new car, now's the time to put Access Auto to work in researching pricing, finance and lease rates, and availability. Lease residuals are also an important factor to consider, as they actually go down after the halfway mark. That's NOT a good thing. It means you end up having a higher lease payment. If you've been thinking about factory ordering a domestic vehicle, the cut-off date for that is upon us, so don't put that off any longer. Some European cars can still be "factory ordered". In that case we find a dealer with orders at the factory without production dates and that haven't been assigned to a customer. Access Auto can find the dealers with the ability to do that, negotiate the price and have one of those orders changed to meet your specs. It takes less time for delivery that way than if we'd placed a fresh factory order.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
This year marked my 31st year in the automobile business, with the last 26 being spent as a broker. This is staggering to me. Kind of like when one of my kids has a birthday and I realize how old they're getting. I enjoy this business more today than I did when I first started. There's always something new happening in the industry that keeps me hopping, and with technology that helps me do a better job for you and stay connected. Now with dealer closures Iím busy finding and nurturing relationships with dealers who will bend over backwards to give us great prices and treat you right.
One of the landmarks for me this year has been that I've traveled quite a bit. I used to joke that since I owned my own business I only had to work a half time, and I could choose which twelve hours of each day that was. Vacations were very difficult to schedule. Business was either too busy or too slow. This year I over came that problem by just doing it.
I won't print here how much time I've spent traveling in and out of the country the last twelve months. It surprised me when I added it all up. You'd think I'd become very casual about my work ethic. But with a cell phone and email, I can literally be anywhere in the world and still be in touch. In fact, I just returned from a great trip to Peru, which had been in my bucket list for many years. While there, I put together a great deal for one of my clients on a new Highlander. Two other clients' cars were delivered during that time I'd been working on before leaving.
This coming year I plan on being in one place most of the time, so maybe I'll get some Peru pics posted on my website.
OK, now it's your turn. What have you been up to? Let's stay in touch.