Monday, January 05, 2009

The Buick Stops Here...

You may remember that I mentioned having looked at a 2009 Buick Enclave. I ended up not buying, largely because of lowballing on the value of the Sienna I would have been trading in.

Well, apparently I wasn't the only person who found Buick difficult to deal with: their sales dropped 38% in December, which was much worse than the 31% overall drop that GMC experienced.

Bear in mind that I was impressed enough with the Enclave that I was willing to make a deal; I was merely looking for $25k in trade-in value for my 10,700-miles-driven 2008 Sienna XLE Limited model with navigation and RES. That's right on the value listed for this vehicle on KBB, Edmunds, &

However, Capital GMC decided that $19k seemed like a fair offer. I pointed out this was undervalued. "Have a look on and see what Sienna's similar to yours are retailing for and you will see where we are coming from," Capital's internet rep, Martha, wrote to me. "As I mentioned earlier, the value of the Sienna has depreciated greatly."

So I followed her advice. The first car I found was a 2008 Sienna, same features as mine, with 10,400 miles (only 300 less than mine). Asking price? $31,400. That made my $25k trade-in request seem quite reasonable. So I wrote back and explained that--and even included a link.

"I couldn't get that link to work," Martha wrote back. She went on to explain how she had looked again and their offer was acccurate, and I must have made a mistake.

For an internet rep, Martha seemed oddly internet challenged. I clicked on the link included in my e-mail and it took me right to the site I had bookmarked. Assuming that her crude Windows system might not work so well, I then tried copying and pasting the link; took me to the same place. I must conclude, then, that her "I couldn't get that link to work" statement was akin to putting one's fingers in one's ears and repeating "la la la" in order to avoid hearing information one would rather not know.

So no American vehicle for me. And no American vehicle for lots of other people. You'd think they'd be willing to deal more fairly and honestly with people who are trying to help them avoid bankruptcy, wouldn't you?

But then again, they've got several billion of our bucks already, so maybe they don't feel the need to actually, you know, sell cars.

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