Remember that killer deal I was talking about earlier on the 2014 Silverado LT? Granted, we did not go there anticipating to pay $159 a month. I figured that there was some sort of dark magic at play but my curiosity had to be quenched.
I walked to work today, as I only live 3/4 of a mile from the office. My wife took the Mini today as we had agreed this past weekend that we would switch cars for the remainder of the summer to give my back a break (the seats are fucking terrible). In the interest of not spending her evening with a sweaty version of myself, she decided to come pick me up from work as it was about 95°F and 100% humidity.
As we drove home, she prattled on about how much the Mini has really started to show its age in the nearly 2 years and 30k we've put on it. Parking in front of the house, I turned to her and said, "maybe you're right, maybe we should get a truck." This past weekend, after I twisted my knee getting out of said Mini, she said that I would probably fit better in a larger vehicle like a truck. "You know, the Chevy dealer out on South Willow St. says they have a $159/mo, zero-down lease on the Silverado. Maybe we could try to trade this thing in and get a truck" Reluctantly, she agreed and we set out for the local Chevy dealer.
We pulled into the Chevy dealer across town, after dodging all of Manchester's worst potholes down the length of Union St., and drove around the lot looking at the trucks. None of the trucks really seemed to match the description of the truck in the ad - a 2014 Silverado 1500 LT Double Cab (not to be confused with the Crew Cab - 4 full sized doors) with All-Star Package. We parked the Mini and walked inside the massive dealership.
Much to my surprise, not a single salesman leapt from their perch to try to make the terms agreeable or ask what needed to be done to make the deal happen. We walked down the hall of shiny new Chevrolets, then went back outside to look at the one truck that appeared to match the ad's specifications. We went back inside to look for a sales rep, and upon doing so, a familiar face from my past greeted us. Yes, it was an old high school acquaintance who had clearly done all the right things in the 14 years since we graduated, as he was now selling Chevrolets.
Now, before I keep telling this story, you must remember that I was a car salesman twice upon a time - I know all the bullshit lines, the Jedi mind tricks, etc. With this in mind, know full well that I am constantly grading the sales experience in my head and taking stock of the information that is being conveyed. My bullshit meter was already on alert, simply from the lack of terms expressed in the ad - it was only going up from here.
After exchanging pleasantries and introducing him to my wife, we walked back down towards the truck end of the showroom. Chuck brought us right to the Silverado 1500 LTZ, which was a bit out of my price range for this experiment. I told him that I had come in for the specific truck in the ad - and he asked what color I wanted. I figured, great, they have hundreds of these things in stock. One lesson I always remembered from my sales days was to sell what's in stock. I was assured that the Blue Granite 1500 LT was in stock and in fact, it was. I pointed it out to Chuck and said I wanted to take a look at it, to which his response was "That truck has been sitting there for 7 months, it's not going to start." You can see where this is going.
We sat down at one of the tables and ran through the requisite needs assessment phase of the sales process. Very clearly on the form was a section for "the customer's most important concern" in which he wrote "All-Star Package". Had he listened like a good salesman, he would have understood the fact that the Mini is causing me abject amounts of back pain from its lack of lumbar support, and I twisted my left knee folding myself out of the damn thing this past weekend. He took a copy of my license and fetched a Tungsten Grey LT Z71 from the back lot.
The truck was very, very nice. While my preferences laid with the Blue Granite, the Tungsten was a sharp looking rig. Chuck pulled it into the delivery garage, so we could do the walk-around in a relatively cooler place than the asphalt hell that lay beyond the garage door. We all hopped in the truck, after Chuck demonstrated the easy-open tailgate and the triple-sealed doors. The sea of dashboard lay ahead of me, replete with the touch-screen infotainment and sharp looking instrument cluster. Instead of telling us about some of the comfort features of the truck, he showed us how to change the theme on the display instead. After I was given a whole lot of information about the radio that I honestly could care less about, we shifted the beastly truck into drive and set out on the pre-defined test drive route.
The ride was quiet, tight and compliant. My last Chevy was a 2003 Silverado 3500HD Duramax with a dump body at my last job, so this was a massive improvement in every regard. The truck was a joy to drive around town and on the highway. Cylinder deactivation kicked on a few times imperceptibly, much to my delight. We returned to the dealership after my wife and I had both given the truck a fair shake. As we pulled back in, Chuck realized that he had a delivery showing up that he needed to attend to. While Chuck dealt with his delivery, the appraiser took our 2013 "BMW Mini Cooper" for a ride.
Now it was coming down to brass tacks. We could see the manager's desk from where we were sitting, so the entire dance was visible. I gave my commentary to my wife, play by play as the great charade played on. Chuck's demeanor changed as he turned to come back to chat with us. I knew it wasn't my credit, so I know the sales manager totally low-balled the trade figure. He began writing the numbers down on the paper.
"Did you know your car was in an accident? We pulled the carfax."
I was all like, "Oh yeah, that. Little scuffle while it was parked last winter. It got fixed by the only BMW certified body repair shop in the area, it's as good as new."
"Well, we ran the book and the most we can give you is $12k. We see you owe $19k, so that's a $7k difference. That's what's killing you in this deal." as he wrote down $611/mo on the paper.
I immediately, yet calmly, told Chuck that I was insulted by his offer. The car was repaired to as-new condition, and even with 30k on it is in really, really good shape.
"CHUCK!" bellowed the Sales Manager, and he dashed back to the desk. The sales manager then stood up and came back to the table. The guy didn't even say his name, looked like the unholy lovechild of Gene Simmons and John Travolta, and tried to convert us from a lease prospect into a *gasp* 84-month finance prospect.
We parted ways with Chuck, and told him we'd see him at the 20th Exeter High reunion. Alas, we left in the same car in which we arrived, but it was for the best.