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Car dealerships driving plenty of incentives

Posted December 26, 2008
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Like retailers who have slashed their prices in an effort to make the most of what's expected to be a sluggish holiday sales season, automotive dealerships are pulling out all the stops to make deals before the end of the year.

Liz Geller and her husband, George Eiben, for example, didn't intend to drive away from Crossroads Ford in Cary Friday with a new Ford F-150. But they did.

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"We were just window shopping, but we kind of got sucked in," Geller said.

"They're doing some pretty good discounting," Eiben added.

Local dealers say they are doing whatever they can without taking a loss in an effort to boost year-end sales numbers.

"I've been selling Fords for 10 years, and they've never done this before," said Crossroads' general sales manager, Eric Kaplan. "They're giving employee pricing, what a Ford employee pays, and rebates on top of that, up to $6,000."

Dealers are doing all they can with attention-grabbing headlines and offers in the showroom and through the mail.

"We're pulling out all the stops," Kaplan said. "We're making deals."

A scratch-off flier worked with Tina Hudson, who was looking for a car for her 19-year-old son.

"Eric took us to the new cars, and actually that's what we're a little more interested in now," she said.

Other dealers, like the Capital Lincoln Mercury Mazda of Cary, are offering up to zero percent financing and more-than-usual on trade-ins.

"We're doing what we have to do," Capital of Cary's general manager, Clarence Ferguson, said.

And customers, he said, are responding.

"We're jammed today," he said.

Although the dealers would not say what sales have been like for the year, Crossroads Ford said it is expecting to do 40 percent of its December business this month alone.

Most deals end sometime between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15, depending on the dealership. Some, not all, say they will also be open Sunday.


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  • mylincolnls Dec 29, 2008

    how will the futured unemployed pay the car loans as more and more people are laid off ...

  • Uncle Jed Dec 26, 2008

    Nice advertorial for new car dealers!

  • drnc Dec 26, 2008

    A new vehicle is one of the worst investments you can make, especially if you must finance. Buy used and invest the money you save.

  • ncweddingdj.com Dec 26, 2008

    Somehwere in Japan there's an auto executive with his hand on the button. Cut the price of every Toyota and Honda sitting on dealer floor in the U.S. in half. Until ALL those cars are sold. Buy up GM and Chrysler. Do Ford next time....Sit back, restart regular business, a job well done. If you've really planned, have your U.S. parts operations full blast, too. Stomp them out for good.

  • StraightUp Dec 26, 2008

    When dealerships can present for example, 2008 Ford F250 or F350, that costs $60,000, the working man can't afford that. But until then, those vehicles will stay on the lot. I don't know about you guys, but I drive a 13 year old Ford Truck with 145,000 miles, because I can not afford the prices that are charged now at a dealership. When you dont make $100,000 a year like the federal government generalizes as middle class, you can't afford brand new vehicles to make your status or prestige level look soo well like so many people try. I work just as hard as anyone else and like what I do as a job, it is not always about bettering yourself to show your money off.

  • Worland Dec 26, 2008

    If you're no good at negotiating, employee pricing plus rebates is pretty good. You can usually get them to knock off another 10% or more.

    As for me, I'll keep driving/buying my full sized gas guzzling trucks. After paying $10 a gallon in Europe, I'm was not stunned by $4 a gallon gas here. Besides, I'll keep driving my 5/5 front and 5/5 side impact rated trucks over a gas-sipping metal coffin anyday. Not to mention how much more comfortable a full sized truck is to drive than a little car.

  • RowdyFriend Dec 26, 2008

    I've heard that financing is a problem. Are the incentives going out only to the customers with high scores? Are the dealers having to turn willing purchasers away due to the credit crunch?

  • lbzebulon Dec 26, 2008

    Yeah all ya'll keep right on buying these big ole vehicles and when the gas prices go back up they gonna be sitting in the yard cause you can't afford to put the gas in them...........Don't want to hear you compaining then........