Robert De Niro is a gangster. He's been in every gangster movie that matters. He's killed every gangster you wanted dead. He's had sex with every gangsters wife. And, he's masterminded more hits than any gangster in real life. If there was such a thing as a gangster hall of fame, he'd be inducted before Al Capone. You get the point. He was also a car salesman, for 2 minutes....
I've never seen Analyze That, a 2002 box office dud, co-starring Billy Crystal. But, I've seen this clip 700 times. It pumps me up on Saturday's, the most tire kicker infested day of the week. One day, I'll grow a pair, morph into De Niro, and recite these lines verbatim to one of my tire-kicking compadres.
I sell Audi's, so this particular scene speaks to me. If you've never sold cars, you might not understand the gravity De Niro's rant. Tire kickers really do ask a million questions. "So, can we build 2015 A8L W12, just to see how much it costs?" "Can I drive the new RS7, my 3 series comes off lease in 9 months, and I'm getting a raise". Or, my favorite, "I know I can get a TDI with manual transmission and quattro, I've seen one".
Tire Kickers waste endless amounts of time, brag about their salaries, flaunt cars they used to own, and for the most part, don't buy anything. They walk around the showroom with the arrogance of Donald Trump, minus the check-writing ability, then act like you murdered their first born when you call the next day for a follow-up.
The entire dealership buying experience is flawed. I know, it's been discussed ad nauseam, but something's gotta change. There are in fact a couple honest-to-goodness car guys left in this business, like me, who love selling cars to people who love buying them. If you know the difference between a B6 and B7, we'll probably get along.
Next time you wanna test drive an R8, but you know you're ten grand flipped in your Camry, take a minute, and think. Wasting someone's time is foolish. I work with some cool people, car guys, family guys, guys that aren't scumbags. And, we don't usually resort to scumbagness, until tire kickers initiate the process. If you're cool, and most importantly, up-front with me, we'll go flog an R8.
The dynamic could change, but it's gonna take effort from both dealership staff and customer. Fixed pricing is a huge step in the right direction, a la Tesla. There's no reason why two people pay different amounts for the same product. It ain't right, and it leads potential clients to wonder if they're being butt raped, or just gently fondled. Even I feel that way after a buying a car, and I know the business. I can only imagine how you feel.
Flyinglap aka Joe knows more useless car information than anybody. He owns every Car & Driver since 1986. His 11 year old son knows the difference between an E24 and E28. His 7 year old son says "gai-ar-doh" not "gah-lar-doh".