There is no such thing as a $200.00/month payment.

Back when I started in the car business in 1979, I remember all kinds of people coming into the dealership and looking at $15-20 thousand cars.  There were many of them then. In 1979, the desired payment I heard most often was $200./month.

I remember when we heard this we'd look at each other and wonder what this otherwise solid looking citizen with good credit had been smoking. Back then, just as now, $200. per month finances around 9-10 thousand dollars for 60 months.

So we would wonder...Without a chunk of money down, or a nice paid for trade, how could these buyers think they could have a $200./month payment?

Whats really funny is that this is still happening today, as the price of a new car on average has risen up to more like $25,000.00 or much more. Something to think about anyway.  The next time you're helping a customer, and the salesperson asks where they want to be payment wise, pray they don't say $200.

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Comment by Mr. Natural on May 15, 2013 at 6:55am

Thanks Doug...and of course the reality is that as an Internet Director (me) a lot of the people who inquire do so because they don't want to suffer the embarasment of learning the facts of life right there in the dealership in front of god and everybody. I'm getting off the payment thing, but the beauty of our industry is that no matter how bad the countrys credit gets, the manufacturers have to figure out how people will get the money for the cars..

I hope that the industry wide move to relationship selling will take us away from this stupid payment selling thing. How many times are we setting ourselves up for disaster by advertising super low-unatainable payments?

Go well...

Comment by Doug Davis on May 14, 2013 at 11:20pm

We are seeing all of the national lease ads with payments in that range. Most of those customers don't realize that it is with $3,000 down and TT&L.  

I actually have a few years on you.  I was a Used Car Director in an area where there was a lot of bad credit.  My blood pressure is higher than most of those beacon scores.  We never asked what they had budgeted for their payment.  You would always hear $250. If you ignored it, they thought it was realistic and if you challenged it, you risked the customer blowing out. Usually, you would hear the salesperson, "let's see what you qualify for" long before they started showing cars.  We would do 100 special finance deals per month which added an incredible amount of work.  

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