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Well my Sonata came in 2 weeks earlier than I expected (came on a truck mid-day Friday) and I picked it up Saturday morning. There was something of a little bit of controversy as the dealer tried to tack on an additional $1,000 to the deal after we agreed upon the numbers for the car. However, I guess I should explain everything from the beginning. I first inquired about the price of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE with Sunroof & Navigation package through Hyundai's website. The next day I was contacted by a saleswoman at the local Hyundai dealership, who knows me well and the only person I do business with at that dealership. In the e-mail, she stated that the price of a SE with Sun & Nav would be $27,549 (which I know was absolute bull and that the price was inflated with possible dealer markups and dealer add-ons I never want on a car) but that they would sell it to me for $24,735 which in all reality is only $1160 off the MSRP (including destination), not the $3,000 they explained in the e-mail. Last Saturday I went to a Hyundai dealership in Columbia (SC) to test drive a 2011 Sonata. The same saleswoman gave me the keys to a demo GLS and let me take it out for a test drive by myself (since we have a good rapport) while she handled some business with other customers. When I came back to the dealership, the saleswoman and myself talked about what I want in a Sonata. She let me know that 2 Sonatas with the options I wanted was on their way to the dealership and at last check would be there at or around 2 weeks from the 14th (the Saturday I test drove). So we talked some numbers. When we got down to it and crunch some numbers I didn't like what I saw or was offered. They were wanting me to put down $2,000 to get my payments down in the $380 range which I knew I didn't have to put down that much to get in that range as I did lots of number crunching before ever stepping foot in the dealership. If I did put down that much my payment would have been in the $340 - $350 range. They even stated they would be willing to help by giving me $12,000 even for my 2008 Sonata that was only worth $9,975 in a trade-in (according to KBB) but I still owed $11,924.12 on it. Still I opted to declined because the estimated payments were well beyond the means of which I was willing to pay. They claim the estimated payments included Hyundai's 3.99% for 72 months.

Anyways, shift to Monday and I receive a letter from my insurance company telling me that their banking services is running a special promotional rate for new vehicle purchases, 3.49% for 84 months. This rate would put me well in line with the price range I want and with the outstanding credit I got, I knew it wouldn't be a problem for me to get that rate. The next day, I e-mail the saleswoman at the dealership and explain that I may be able to do the deal but there were certain provisions that I want and explain that I could be financing the car through a different company and not HMFC if my loan was approved. Some of the important provisions I requested for me to consider buying the car was:

  • Before including my down payment and Owner Loyalty rebate as part of the deal, the selling price of the Sonata should be $24,735 which was the same price they e-mail me a week earlier.
  • I wanted the proposed $12,000 trade-in value they were going to give me the Saturday I came in to test drive their demo GLS.
  • I said if they agreed to the deal that I would be in their office later in the week to put a security deposit/down payment (ranging between $500 - $1500) for them to hold one of the cars so it wouldn't be sold off the lot. As I explained to them I wouldn't take possession of the car or purchase until the local county taxes for my 2008 was processed and showed as paid since I paid them 2 weeks previously and didn't want to get double billed.
At the conclusion of the e-mail I broke down what the final selling price of the vehicle would have been if I only put down $500 or $1,500 and what my payments would actually be with financing at 3.99% for 72 months through Hyundai. Keep in mind I also made it clear that I was working on my own to find financing and if I found a deal better than Hyundai was offering I would take it. Well the saleswoman called me back the same day and told me she relayed my offer to the sales manager and he agreed to all my terms. Well my insurance company contacted me and let me know that I qualified for the promotional rate & term and that when ever I was ready to get the car, to give them a call and they would cut me a check the same day. Fast forward to this past Friday morning and I get a phone call that my car had arrived at the dealership and they were taking off the truck and that I could pick it up whenever I was ready. The insurance company calls me back that Friday also to let me know their bank wanted more information on the car before they could give me final approval for the promotional rate and terms. Without it, I was looking at 5.09% for 72 months with them. Anyways I was inundated with phone calls from my insurance company at work Friday trying to get a VIN number for my car so the bank could give me the rate. They finally get one and I stop by their office after work to sign some papers and give them some additional information they need. In any case, my agent ends up checking the country records to see if payment for taxes on the 2008 Hyundai Sonata had been received. It was posted on their website Friday which meant I could get the car Saturday. They cut me a check for what should be the final purchase price of the car ($24,287.12...I'll explain that number in a bit). Onwards to Saturday...

Saturday morning I arrived at the dealership ready to let the deal down. After going through all the formalities, signing the paperwork, handing them the check to buy the car and everything that goes with a new car buying experience. They take me to a place I like to call the dark room. I'm pretty sure most of you are familiar with this. It's a room where they take you that feels kinda secluded. There are no windows, the walls seem like they are sound proof. Basically what they are trying to do is to get you to buy additional stuff/protection for your car (whether it's through pressure or psychological warfare) so they can jack up the price of the car payment and get an additional kick back. Being how I know what goes downs with the deals since this wasn't my first rodeo I knew before hand I wasn't going to buy those products. Keep in mind I wasn't even financing through Hyundai or any of the dealer's financing arms so the reason why I had to talk with a finance manager eluded me. I even explained to their finance manager from the beginning that he should save his breathe because whatever he was selling, I wasn't buying. They even tried to play the tale of "what happens if something catastrophic goes wrong with your car and it's not covered by the warranty" to which I responded that new Hyundai's come with a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and a 5 year/60,000 mile new vehicle/bumper-to-bumper warranty and I think if anything "catastrophic" is going to happen to my car, it'll most likely happen in that time frame. So the finance manager tries to spin a different angle by saying I could say in maintenance cost over the life of the vehicle if I take their offer. Still I decline. Again he asks if was interested in one of their deals, which one would I take. So I choose the basic one because (1) I wasn't interested and (2) still didn't care. So he comes back and says what if I take 40% off this maintenance protection package would I interested then. I responded I'm still not interested, I like the price of my car where it is and if I wanted to pay more for my car, I would have financed with them instead of my company. After which he dropped the issue and had me signed a document stating that I was refusing all maintenance and protection packages they offered. He started printing the bill of sale and then stops. Out of no where he proclaims that I short changed their dealership $1,000 and that I owe them that before they will sell the car to me. I asked him how he came to that conclusion. He then explains that the sales price of the car was $25,749 and that I only put down $500 instead of $1500 they expected. I countered by stating the dealership agreed to sell me the car for $24,735 and that I never said I would put down $1,500 conclusively. I said I would put a down payment/security deposit between $500 - $1500 depending on who I financed with and that I had secured financing elsewhere. He showed me the paperwork that shows the price of the car as $25,749 and clearly I knew it was a piece of paperwork they didn't show me (whether it was intentional or not) or the paperwork on the other deal they tried to work the week prior as the finance company wasn't on the paper work. I responded by stating that he didn't still didn't explain how I owe them a $1,000 when I have a check for $24,287.12...the final price at which they agreed to sell the car to me for. I even use their own calculator to break down the price of the car since he had a hard time understanding. The pricing was as follows...

$24,735 (the price they would sell the Sonata to me for) + $11924.12 (amount owed on my '08) + $300.00 (state tax) + $289.00 (doc/dealer fees) + $39.00 (title & tags transfer) - $12,000.00 (trade-in amount they agreed to give me) - $500.00 (owner loyalty) - $500.00 (security/down payment) which would make the final price of the car $24,287.12. Still the finance manager argued that I owed the dealership $1,000 to which I countered I don't. He left the room and came back with the new car sales manager and the general manager. Both of which immediately started backing up the finance manager's statement. As much as I wanted to get mad, I kept my composure and calm in this situation because I knew going off the deep end wouldn't do me any good. In any case they the general manager re-reads the provisions in the e-mail I sent them of what it would take for me to buy a car and then the light bulb went off in his head as he realized his dealership made a huge blunder. He tells me point blank that someone in his department did not read my the contents of my provisions correctly and that they should never agree or offered to sell me the car at $24,735 (despite the fact the original e-mail to me states they would sell me a SE at that price before I ever came in). He says with my deal they would not make a profit on the car (that they would lose $151...not sure how that is but that's what he said). He said that since I have purchased a couple vehicles from them in the past...he is going to make the dealership honor their word and sell me the car for the final agreed upon price. He was very apologetic and I think he meant it but at the same time I could tell he wanted to chew someone out, whether it was the finance manager, new car sales manager, the saleswoman who I initially worked the deal with or even myself. 15 minutes later (after looking over the new bill of sale, getting a receipt saying that I paid them exact price of the car and making sure there was no hidden fees or what have you as naturally at this point I am highly suspicious of any paperwork given to me) I was given the key fobs to my 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE and I drive off happy if not with a bitter taste in my mouth. I came in at 8:30 that morning to get the car and didn't leave until well after 12 due to what I will call their controversy for a lack of a better word. In comparison, when I got my 2011 Mustang in May, it only took 2 hours 30 minutes for the deal to go down and the majority of that time was the hour drive there and the hour drive back. Sorry for the long post. I have attached pics of my new ride.
 

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Sorry to hear they made it difficult, but glad in the end they honored their agreement on price. Now, Congrats and enjoy your new sonata!
 

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Ive said it before and Ill say it again---the sales and after-sales support is something that Hyundai must address in order to sell to the larger market. IE folks that would consider the Genesis over BMW 5 series and Equus over BMW 7 series.

Congrats on the new SE and keep that roof open!!!

Also make sure that they got your Hyundai assurance paperwork to you---my dealer forgot mine and I had to register it with Hyundai myself.
 

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If Hyundai expects to market Genesis as a luxury brand vis a vis BMW, Lexus, etc., they'll have their hands full with their dealer network - at least the 4 that I visited. All of them with bait and switch, ridiculous fees for "delivery" and "dealer prep", etc. The process for buying this car was absurd, but all the dealerships I visited were packed, and I'm sure lots of people are getting ripped off. Stick to your guns, REFUSE to pay the fees that bring that great price right back to MSRP or beyond, or walk out. Good job, and good luck with the new wheels!
 

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QUOTE (Hysteria @ Aug 23 2010, 06:14 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351259
Haha, no I took the badges off when I got home, as well as the dealer marker/sticker. I like that clean almost stealth look on the back.
Just out of curiosity, what did you use to remove the dealer's sticker? I've got one on the back of my Sonata and as nice of an experience I had with my dealer, I figure the license plate surrounds are all the marketing I need to do. My sticker is kind of metallic in color and seems to be stuck on pretty good...

Thanks in advance!
 

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QUOTE (BestShow4Life @ Aug 23 2010, 12:27 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351240
If Hyundai expects to market Genesis as a luxury brand vis a vis BMW, Lexus, etc., they'll have their hands full with their dealer network - at least the 4 that I visited. All of them with bait and switch, ridiculous fees for "delivery" and "dealer prep", etc. The process for buying this car was absurd, but all the dealerships I visited were packed, and I'm sure lots of people are getting ripped off. Stick to your guns, REFUSE to pay the fees that bring that great price right back to MSRP or beyond, or walk out. Good job, and good luck with the new wheels!
Great post, I like reading stories like this. I always tell people that no matter how much experience you think you have about buying a car and no matter how many times you've done it, you will always run into something you've never seen before so its always good to have as much knowledge in advance! :)

One thing I am really looking forward to when I buy my next car is not having a tradein. This will be my first ever attempt at buying a car in which I do not have a tradein. Taking that element out of the entire equation gives the dealer less room to mess with the numbers. If I can finance elsewhere, thats another thing I take out of the equation! :)

Sorry for your hassle, but like you said, its over with, you stuck to your guns, and now you have a beautiful new car in your driveway.
 

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Sorry to hear that you went through all of that, but glad it worked out for you. I had a similar experience, where i test drove one car, went home, talked it over with my wife, and called them and told them if they gave me the same discount on the car with nav as they were giving me on the one without, they had a deal, that was about a $1500 difference between the two cars. After I got there, I noticed the price difference on the paperwork. At first they didn't want to make the deal, but we met in the middle. I couldn't complain too much, as they were giving me about $5k more for my trade than KBB, and that was due to them not checking it out before they offered an amount - it had been nearly totaled twice, but they never car faxed it, so they offered me full value.

Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
QUOTE (herr_howard @ Aug 23 2010, 08:07 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351267
Just out of curiosity, what did you use to remove the dealer's sticker? I've got one on the back of my Sonata and as nice of an experience I had with my dealer, I figure the license plate surrounds are all the marketing I need to do. My sticker is kind of metallic in color and seems to be stuck on pretty good...

Thanks in advance!
Actually I used nothing more than the power of the sun, my finger(nails) and a flat head screwdriver. I live in South Carolina so it was like upper 80s early in the morning and by the time I got the car home (a little after 1) it was already dreadful with temps in the upper 90s. I just let the car bake in the sun for a couple hours, came back out around 3 - 4 and went to work. The first and last (STA) two letters were the easiest to get off. The middle letters (ONA) were a little more difficult. I could lift them with my finger but not enough to pull them off...not without ripping a nail from my finger. So what I ended up doing was using a flathead screwdriver (albeit very VERY carefully) to pop the letters from the trunk. The adhesive stuck to the letters so there was no sticky residue on the car but then again, the car did arrive Friday and the adhesive probably didn't have enough time to cure in the hot sun. As far as the dealer sticker, that was pretty easy. It was one of these elastic sticky things (thank goodness they switch from the big blocky almost life like badge they used to use) so I just billed off bit by bit. It was sticky on the back side or the car so I'm still curious how that stuck. Had I got there sooner, I would have told them not to put the badge on at all.
 

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Sounds like you enjoy buying cars. Looks like you've bought a new one every year for the past three years. Would you like to buy my '94 Honda Del Sol? Still runs.

I haven't read all the other replies from your story, but your situation with the financing, trade in, down payment, and emails back and forth are going to cause confusion as car salespeople don't have that long of an attention span. They just want you inside their doors and will say whatever to get you there. It sounds like your tactic worked though. You got a good price. Nice job.
 

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I wouldn't call this the worst car buying experience ever. They made a mistake, admitted to it, and then gave you the terms you requested without much of an argument. How is tis so miserable?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
QUOTE (matt317 @ Aug 24 2010, 08:13 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351563
Sounds like you enjoy buying cars. Looks like you've bought a new one every year for the past three years. Would you like to buy my '94 Honda Del Sol? Still runs.

I haven't read all the other replies from your story, but your situation with the financing, trade in, down payment, and emails back and forth are going to cause confusion as car salespeople don't have that long of an attention span. They just want you inside their doors and will say whatever to get you there. It sounds like your tactic worked though. You got a good price. Nice job.
Sorry, I've had my fill with used/pre-owned/pre-loved cars. Won't buy used again unless it's a situation I'm forced into. Also, I haven't really bought a new car every year for the past three years. More like I've been in a new car buying pattern every 3 to 4 years, but I get your point and I already came to the conclusion a long time ago that has to stop. Which is why I decided to get the Sonata, with the features I wanted. I want a car that's going to be fun to drive (which it is thus far), comfortable for long trips with the amenities I want so I won't be longing after other cars with the urge to trade it in. While at one point I came close to getting a 2010 Fusion, I'm glad I kept to my resolve and waited until I was able to get the Sonata. The Sonata (as well as the Mustang) are going to be long term cars for me (keeping +6 years or more) and as such I wanted to get them equipped the way I wanted so I wouldn't have regret later like when I got my 2008 Sonata GLS. Also, I wouldn't call what I went through a tactic. It's not like I tried to scam the dealership, most of the provision I wanted they offered to give to me in the first place. I was making sure they honored their word. **** if I wanted a better deal than the one I got, I'm pretty sure I could have went through Zag.com or something and got a better deal. As a matter of fact that's what a co-worker did on her Limited and got a bit of a better deal than I did on my SE.

QUOTE (hrustar @ Aug 24 2010, 10:26 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=351588
I wouldn't call this the worst car buying experience ever. They made a mistake, admitted to it, and then gave you the terms you requested without much of an argument. How is tis so miserable?
In my opinion it is the worst car buying experience FOR ME. Maybe I should added those words on but I thought that would generally be understood. How is this experience so miserable? How would you feel if the dealer held you up for hours, had the money you paid them for the agreed upon price of the car, called you a liar and threatened not to give you said car until you give them more money. What am I supposed to be, all smiles and giggles about it and beg for more? Yes the dealership did the right thing eventually, but it still doesn't excuse their actions or the way they treated me. Being how I've been a loyal customer to that dealership I expected more respect than I got...not to be treated like I was gum under their shoe.
 
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