Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 4:45 PM
You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan, Wagon
#1310 of 2212 Re: Interesting forum, but a few things to add [fabbrisd]
Dec 20, 2011 (9:16 am)
The purpose of this forum is to provide as much "up-front" information to prospective buyers of the E class vehicle as possible so that a buyer can go into a showroom with ammunition to deal with these salespeople, or even a sales manager, which is usually what happens in most dealerships when a salesperson is asked a myriad of questions by a knowledgable customer. That is the reason I try to answer as many questions as possible to forum visitors - to ensure they have sufficient information to deal!
*As for your comment about 4-matics, I agree. Unless you live north of the so-called Mason-Dixon line, a 4-matic is not worth the extra dollars you will pay for the car and/or the extra gasoline you will burn. BUT there are many folks out there who can afford the extra bucks and who feel safer with an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Even here in South Florida, with all the rain we get, I know many people who buy all-wheel-drive vehicles. So, the final comment of 4-matics should be, "...get it if you feel more secure and don't mind spending some extra bucks on something you might not need!"
*As for your comment on 1.9%, in 2010 MB Financial offered a .9% rate up to 66 months, which was advertised. So, 1.9% is not the lowest rate MB has ever offered. Secondly, if an individual is going to borrow $45,000 on an E class vehicle, and can save 1% over 66 months, then over the term of the loan, which might be 66 months, he/she could save $450 the first year, $400 the seond year, etc. So, the savings could be significant if you could save 1% on a financed vehicle. I do not consider providing that information a waste of time or effort.
*USAA provides a great service to veterans and their families. If an individual can qualify for a USAA purchase, then why not let them know who might be eligible and where the pricing is. Last year, it was $4000 under dealer invoice, which was significant. This year, it isn't as significant, but still, $500 over invoice less $2000 is not peanuts. And if it can be bundled with an MB Financial incentive of $2000, that means you can buy that car for $3500 under dealer invoice. We all understand that there is a 2% holdback on dealer invoice, but isn't it ok for a dealer to make $1500 or so on a sale, which would be all back-end money for the dealer? And, depending upon where you buy your car, not all dealers are willing to sell a car at cost to them. Down here in Florida, there are 12 Mercedes Benz Dealerships within 50 miles (Palm Beach to South Miami). But in many parts of the country, there is only 1 dealership within 200 or 300 miles, and that dealership is in no big hurry to give away cars.
*As for you comment on lane tracking, I do not feel people who do not consider or purchase that option "...have not studied the E350!" What kind of comment is that? And it certainly is not questionable if a person decided against getting the folding rear seats. I've had folding rear seats in my Mercedes Benz vehicles for years, and have never, ever used them. So, since I ordered this one (first one I ever ordered from the factory), I decided not to get the $450 option, but rather got the $450 ventilated seats, since this is going to be MY CAR WITH THE OPTIONS I WANT! It is quite possible lane tracking will eventually become standard on cars, but when I drove one with lane-tracking for a week last year, I found it distracting, so I turned it off. As you can see, NOT ALL PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME NEEDS OR THOUGHTS YOU HAVE! I buy what I want, not what others think I want!
*Finally, of course people need to focus on more than just what they pay for a car, as you mentioned in your next to last paragraph. But USAA, MB Financial Incentives, Conquest Incentives, Loyalty Incentives, dealer costs, factory cost, etc., is more than blah, blah, blah! As I am sure you know, there is a shortage of E350 sedans. Instead of a dealer having an inventory of 15-30 of them, which is usual for most of the dealers down here in South Florida, there a now a total of 36 among all the dealers. 36 of them between 12 dealers, or an average of 3 vehicles per dealer So, the more a prospective customer knows, the better chance he/she can get a little better deal.
THIS FORUM IS FOR E CLASS PRICING AND BUYING EXPERIENCES and that is why lots of people ask questions and seek answers to pricing. It's because they want to get the best deal possible on the car they want. Sure, people should also know that often you can get a much better price on a car that the dealer has in stock because he makes the sale immediately, etc. If he has to dealer trade the car, there is a $250 to $1000 additional cost for transporting that car to his dealership, not to mention sending the dealer he got the car from a replacement vehicle - and the cost involved in that.
Why not give as much information as possible. You have provided your input as well as plenty of feedback. That's good. But you don't have to be facetious or condescending about those of us who spend their time trying to help others or those who seek help.
#1311 of 2212 Re: Interesting forum, but a few things to add [abacomike]
Dec 20, 2011 (9:24 am)
Good post. Thanks. What do you think is the reason for the E350 shortage?
#1312 of 2212 Re: SteveM [stevemc3]
Dec 20, 2011 (9:33 am)
Congratulations on your 4-matic purchase.
If you live up north where there is snow and/or ice, then your salesperson was correct - you will get a better trade value on the car up north than if you got the rear wheel drive version. But, if you live where there isn't much or any snow, the resale value may be the same, or even less, due to the added cost you paid and the fuel needs. It all depends upon where you end up trading the car - up north or down south.
Just enjoy your car, that is the main consideration. I don't buy cars based upon what I might or might not get when I trade them. The individual who responded to your post who was negative about what your salesperson said about resale may not have considered where you live and how much snow you get.
One more comment on resale. My new E350 Sport has tons of upgraded options and packages. If I considered what I would get on a trade in 3 or 4 years on a Mercedes Benz, I would have purchased the $57,500 Sport over the one I ordered, which was $62,325, since both will bring approximately the same trade value in 3 years. You need to buy what will make you happy, and you sure seem happy.
If I lived in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Mass., Vt, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc., I sure as heck would get a 4-matic and would expect it to bring more dollars on resale over a rear wheel drive identical Mercedes.
#1313 of 2212 Re: Interesting forum, but a few things to add [kevinc5]
Dec 20, 2011 (9:50 am)
I've asked several dealers down here in Florida (Delray, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach and Ft. Lauderdale) where I have friends and/or acquaintences working in those dealerships or managing them, and they said that they have ordered lots of them, but this seems to have all started in the summer.
Mercedes Benz had lots of 2011 E350 sedans throughout the U.S. They had so many, they decided to no start building the 2012's until September 1st, 2011. You might be aware that the 2012 E350 coupes and convertibles got to the U.S. dealers in late may, early June of this year. That was 4 1/2 months sooner than the sedans. Thus, there has not been sufficient time for inventories to build up like they usually do over the summer months. There aren't lots of coupes or convertibles around either, but there of many more coupes and convertibles than there are sedans.
Mine was built on September 3rd and I took delivery on October 17th, but my dealer only received "rush ordered" E350 sedans that day, 6 of them. He didn't get another sedan for almost 2 weeks, nor did any of the other dealerships, most of which are owned by AutoNation, the largest dealership network organization in the country.
When I spoke with a few of the managers I know, they told me that they sell the cars (E350 sedans) even before they get to the port because the shortages, and many of the sales are dealer trades due to the shortages. They are all dumbfounded as to the reason Mercedes Benz waited so long to introduce the E350 sedan in our country. The BlueTech and E550's and E63's have been available since August, but the E350's have not.
I have a friend I am trying to help get an E350 sedan for with certain color combination and interior, P1, ventilated seats, drive dynamic drivers seat and folding rear seats, and I've been informed that it will need to be ordered since what he wants is not available in current production, on the ocean, or at a port. Last year, when I wanted my 2011 in silver w/black interior, walnut trim and P1, etc., not only did my dealer have 3 of them, but there wre 16 of them in the southeast region. So, something is definitely different this year from last year.
By the way, I am willing to bet that Mercedes continues their current incentives and financing through the middle of January because there are so many cars currently in production or on the ocean headed to the various ports which were ordered by dealers for customers but could not deliver them due to shortages. Let's see if I'm right.
#1314 of 2212 Re: Conquest Incentive [abacomike]
Dec 21, 2011 (7:09 pm)
My car is scheduled to arrive at the port on 12/26. We're going to get the deal done in '11...but will probably be the first week of '12 til I take possession. Counting the days!
#1315 of 2212 Re: Interesting forum, but a few things to add [abacomike]
Dec 21, 2011 (7:11 pm)
Very interesting post. Thanks for that back-story.
#1316 of 2212 Re: Interesting forum, but a few things to add [abacomike]
Dec 21, 2011 (7:38 pm)
Thanks...I thought the reason for the shortage was inventory management and the desire to support higher pricing. Sounds like there was a lot more to it than that..
#1317 of 2212 Buy/Lease/Sport/Luxury ...?
Dec 22, 2011 (10:40 am)
This forum is really great and it is very helpful to get feedback from all of your experiences. Sometimes it raises a lot of questions and it might be nice to just walk into a dealer and get the car that strikes you without all of the research (just kidding).
I am coming off of a BMW 528 lease, have had Lexus before, and am probably going to get the E350 now. Have several questions which some of your previous posts address, but would like your feedback on my situation.
1. BUY OR LEASE?
My firm pays for car payments, and would pay for lease or purchase. I have leased cars over the years, but am older now (57) and am thinking about buying so won't have car payments after car is paid off. My wife and I are conservative and I probably won't retire for another 15 years the way the economy is. Car payment for purchase with very agressive Mercedes financing at present would be around $900/month. Lease would be around $630/month. Company would pay for either. MB salesman suggested leasing because if I really liked the car at end of lease, I could always buy it and roll it over into a MB financing loan. If I didn't want to keep it, I could just turn it in. He also said that with leasing I won't have to worry about maintainance if things break after warranty ends (he suggested that if I do buy, get extended warranty). This makes sense, but if firm is paying, then doesn't it make sense to buy? Another factor is with changes in cars (hybrids, electric) in coming years, if I buy this car and want to change due to changing technology, would value be greatly lower in next few years?
2. SPORT VS. LUXURY?
My wife and I test drove both yesterday. The ride was definitely different in both. The Luxury was a softer ride and more play in steering wheel. The Sport was more like my BMW with feeling the road more and steering more responsive. My wife liked the Luxury (more like her Lexus) and I liked the Sport. She told me to get what I want. I'm leaning toward Sport but wonder if I would grow tired of the not-as-smooth ride over the years as I get older, and maybe the smoother would be better over long run. Also, the fact that the tires are staggered and can't be rotated has been mentioned. How much is this a real life factor?
The salesman said that the Sport outsells the Luxury by over 10 - 1, which is probably a function of MB making the Sport in greater numbers and it is more available.
Want simple options: only Premium 1 package, lane tracking/blind spot assist.
Any thoughts? Too much overthinking?
Thanks for your feedback.
#1318 of 2212 Re: Buy/Lease/Sport/Luxury ...? [lawcar]
Dec 22, 2011 (5:15 pm)
You pose some very interesting questions, however more information is needed in order to give you a proper response:
*How many miles do you drive in a year? That is needed for lease vs. purhase. If you drive 15000 miles per year, that means in 36 months, you will have driven 45,000 miles. Remember, your warranty is for 50,000 miles. Of course you can purchase the extended warranty, which I have because the dealer threw it in as part of the deal after negotiations were finalized. Definitely worth the bucks if you are going to keep the car for 4 or 5 years.
If you drive 15,000 miles a year, I would lease since the company is paying for the car. If you drive 10,000 miles per year, I would buy. If you keep the car for 5 years (if you buy) you would be able to get a good resale due to lower mileage.
*Sport vs. Luxury: I'm 67 years old and have always bought a sport E350. To me, handling and performance outweigh softer and looser. I used to buy BMW's, so I am familiar with your comparison. I know you will find the Merecedes is far superior in every way.
The dealer was correct that 9 out of every 10 E350 sedans sold is a sport. There are shortcomings to the sport - tire and wheel sizes are not the same front to rear, so you cannot rotate tires; the sport is slightly lower in stance so if you park in an area where there are front curbs for the nose of the car, be careful not to pull too close or you will scrape the bottom of the lower front of the car; interior is slightly different - more aluminum and chrome trim in the sport. I still prefer the sport because of the stiffer feel and better handling.
*The 1.9% financing rate (can negotiate a lower rate, I got 1.6%) is a truly outstanding interest rate for a Mercedes, expecially considering you can extend the loan to 66 months.
*Your sales person is not well informed about leasing. If you drive 18,000 to 20,000 miles per year, your leased vehicle would be out of warranty within 2 1/2 years. If you drive 12,000 miles a year or even 15,000 miles a year, your car would be covered for the term of the 36 month lease. Again, need to know how many miles you drive a year to give you better answers.
*Options: For most, Premium 1 package is more than sufficient. My 2012 is the first one I"ve had with Premium 2, but since I drive alot at night, those Xenon lights, corning lights and adaptive lighting package are a great addition. I also thought the automatic trunk closer from the rear was a waste, but, since having it, I use it all the time. You have two buttons, one to just close the trunk, the other to close the trunk and "lock the car and set the alarm". Whenever we go shopping for groceries, it sure is a handy feature. I also like the keyless entry and start - never have to fumble around looking for my key. So long as I have it in my pocket, I'm set.
But I was very happy with premium 1. Since I live in Florida, I also got the ventilated seats (which require leather seating, another 1600+ option). Boy, they really cool your back and bottom quickly on a hot, muggy day, which we have here 7 months a year. We haven't used the heated seats with ventilation yet, but I would imagine up north, they sure are great. Other than these, sounds like you are getting what you need.
*As for overthinking, remember as we get older, we tend not to make snap decisions as we did when we were younger. We think things out before making a move. YOu are only doing what most of us do.
Once we know how many miles you drive, the answer to leasing vs. buying will be easier to advise you on.
#1319 of 2212 Re: Interesting forum, but a few things to add [kevinc5]
Dec 22, 2011 (5:45 pm)
Inventory management is always a consideration, i.e. floor plan (which are interest costs the dealer has to deal with for the money he borrowed from the bank(s) and/or the manufacturer to purchase the cars he has in inventory. The higher the inventory, the more interest that hs to be paid - but with interest rates so low at the present time, I doubt inventory management had much to do with it, if anything.
As for low inventories to increase pricing, any dealer would rather sell 2000 cars a year with a total front and back end profit of 2000 than to sell 1000 cars with total profit on each sale of 3000, or even 4000. Dealers who sell more cars are considered "favored" dealers by their manufacturers and get more corporate perks. Each dealer pays the same for a car, no matter how big or small the dealer may be, but there are additional incentives "per car" that are provided, above and beyond hold-back.
Believe it or not, because of sites such as Edmunds, Cars.com, Vehix, etc., I have learned that many dealers are offering customers "The Edmunds Pricing" to start negotiations or the "Cars.com Pricing".
Edmunds shows you what the average buyer is paying for a particular car with specific options, once you build your car on Edmunds. So, some dealers have decided on this new policy to cut down on the time it takes to negotiate a deal. When I was n the business, it could take up to 3 hours of hard negotiations to arrive at a price (not all were that long, but the average was 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Now, when a sales person presents their first penciled numbers, they start at MSRP and show the customer the Edmunds price. Their pitch is simple, this is what the average person is actually paying for this car according to Edmunds. They even show the Edmunds fact sheet which is shown online. Once dealer told me theya have cut the time it takes to negotiate a deal by 70%. That makes the customer happier and of course, it makes life easier for the management and salesperson.
Let's assume an average Lexus GS350 MSRP's at about 53,000.00. Let's say Edmunds shows that the average price paid for that identical dealer is $51,000. But let's say the customer says he wants a better deal than the average customer. So, they take another 500 off the price which makes the customer happier. There is still a profit of 2000+ on the car for the dealer, and negotiations were pleasant instead of causing hate and discontent.
Of course, there are so many people using sites like Edmunds prior to purchasing a car that it is almost impossible to make big profits on cars today. It's volume that is important to a dealership now for the above reasons. Many managers and sales people tell me that customers are starting to come into the dealership offering "invoice" for the car and not a penny more. Those are the most difficult customers to deal with because they are inflexible. A dealer cannot sell all his cars at invoice - he'd be out of business in less than a year. He can sell some cars at invoice, and even a few below invoice, but it's the average net profit that management looks at.
Dealers know that they are not going to sell a Toyota or a Lexus for MSRP. So why not cut to the chase. Consumers are smarter now because of sites like Edmunds and Forums like this.
Just thought you might find this interesting, Kevin.