Local News

Car dealerships driving plenty of incentives

Posted December 26, 2008 6:36 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.