Remember the launch of Saturn, the “different kind of car company”? Remember how the Saturn buying experience was going to be unique, complete with modern and inviting dealerships and no-haggle pricing? If you’ve missed that since the demise of Saturn, I’ve got some good news for you: Chrysler is implementing “no haggle” pricing at Fiat dealers. Their strategy behind it is sound: the target market for the Fiat 500 (Generation Y) doesn’t like to negotiate pricing. Instead, they want to know that the price they’ll pay is the best deal, and that no other Fiat 500 buyer in the U.S. will get a better price (please note that I’m keeping my skepticism in check). In the words of Laura Soave, head of Fiat North America, “The pricing is the pricing. The younger generation doesn’t haggle. They don’t feel comfortable with it. They hate the experience.”
That’s a pretty broad generalization, and I’ve got plenty of Gen Y friends who’d disagree with the statement. Still, I applaud anything that makes car-buying a more pleasant experience, as it seems to have gotten even more nasty and confrontational in recent years (or maybe I’ve gotten more nasty and confrontational in recent years). In any case, the limited number of Fiat franchises, and the limited amount of inventory they sell, will ensure that Chrysler can monitor which dealers are playing by the fixed pricing rule. While manufacturers can’t legally set selling prices for dealers, they can control inventory for dealers who don’t play by the rules. Chrysler has a set policy that Fiat dealers can’t advertise the 500 below the established MSRP, but I doubt that policy extends to cover ADM for dealers who want to pad profits on early delivery vehicles.
What’s your take? Do you enjoy the hand to hand combat of car buying, or would you rather be told what the price is up front. When a salesman says, “this is my best deal,” do you believe him or do you keep working it? Would “no haggle” pricing influence where you bought your next car?
Source: Left Lane News