Last post on Apr 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM
You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
What is this discussion about?
Ford Flex, Car Buying, Car Leasing, Wagon
#37 of 211 Re: Flex Limited - South Florida [fipps]
May 15, 2009 (9:43 pm)
Well, with X-Plan pricing, you at least know the maximum you should consider paying. You may also qualify for an additional $250.00 in rebates if Ford offers them in your area under the X-Plan.
On that particular vehicle, there's about $1,200 in holdback to the dealer, so you've got that much negotiating room until you hit the theoretical best conceivable deal. However, those usually only occur when you find the combination of a motivated dealer at the end of a sales period and they're willing to let the vehicle go for the sake of "moving a unit".
You may also consider purchasing an ESP from them, using the guide at www.fordwarrantys.com as a guide to your maximum there too. There are incentives for dealers that make selling warranties worthwhile for them, and your interest in purchasing one may compel a dealer to reduce the sale price further if they otherwise might not. In this day and age, it should take a hard soul to not allow a dealer any profit whatsoever, so you have to decide for yourself what a reasonable profit might be, keeping in mind that both Ford and its dealers are going to be subject to competing with manufacturer's who didn't have the forbearance to make the kind of tough choices and investments Ford did, who also (thanks to our government) don't have to trouble themselves with paying them back either. This may be a time when driving the dealer as close to the wall as possible may have unintended consequences down the road. And no, one purchase won't make the difference; but, like choosing to vote, if nobody chooses to exercise his right first as an individual, there's never a chance of positively influencing the outcome.
You may be able to compel them to cede another $500 off of their otherwise-best deal with a commitment to a "then and there" purchase, checkbook in hand which caters to both parties' needs and interests. You can also go the "other way" of feigning interest in waiting for a 2010 model, or custom ordering one from a dealer who will give you the same terms on a 2010 configured exactly as you want, including the features that aren't available on the 2009. Some people are reporting deals closer to the "dealer net"; but without special circumstances, I suspect they might be for particular vehicles the dealership might suspect to be harder to move. At the end of the day, you're going to have to weigh how much of that difference is worth your continued time and effort and, of course, getting the specific vehicle you want.
Best of luck!
#38 of 211 Re: Flex Limited - South Florida [madlock]
May 16, 2009 (7:34 am)
About your point regarding the 2010 models. Do you have any idea what the price on those will be? Also, what are some of the options coming out on the 2010 model that '09 models don't have?
#39 of 211 Re: Flex Limited - South Florida [fipps]
May 16, 2009 (11:14 am)
Nothing in particular, but I think it might be reasonable to expect any price changes would be in the customer's favor.
As for features, there will be an option for the 3.5L Eco Boost engine, and advance photos seem to indicate the 2010 may be equipped for the sensors that make possible Parking Assist, BLIS, and/or Adaptive Cruise. Those are features that will be available in the MKT, so it's not entirely unreasonable to suspect they'll be part of the 2010. BLIS would likely be included with the Limited and maybe the SEL, but the other's would probably be options similarly priced to the 2010 Taurus and MKT. At least that's my know-nothing best guess. It could sure use a telescopic steering column, but I have no idea if that's in the works or not.
It would be nice if the hardware and smarts for those electronic features could be up-fitted to the 2009. I sure plan to find out eventually.
#40 of 211 Flex Shopping/Buying Tips
May 16, 2009 (12:38 pm)
Here are some quick notes that may be useful to those shopping for a new Flex.
To determine the vehicle's "dealer invoice" price, multiply the base price by 92.5% and any options by 85%. Add $700 (or $775 depending upon the date of manufacture) in Destination Charges and $700 for the dealer's regional marketing and advertising fee, and you've nailed "invoice" within a few dollars for any vehicle on the lot without having to resort to the web and any of the many available vehicle cost calculators.
Dealer "holdback" (or the amount the dealer receives from Ford after selling the vehicle" is 3.5% of MSRP. If you purchased a $40,000 vehicle "at invoice", an additional $1,400 of "haggling room" exists to the point beyond which the dealer would be selling the vehicle at a loss.
While it's not unheard, buying a vehicle at "dealer net", is the holy grail haggling and highly unlikely unless you happen to find a dealer that's cash tight with excess aging inventory or it happens to be near the end of an incentivized sales period "moving a unit" may mean more to the dealer than cash profit.
Ford offers several fixed-price "plans" for eligible customers. "X-Plan" is a discounted price for eligible employees of Ford business affiliates (or Ford shareholders) that is 93% of (or a 7% discount from) MSRP. For all but a very few vehicle combinations, the X-Plan price is approximately $100 below "invoice"; and because it's so easily qualified for, it should be the maximum any buyer should consider paying as the dealer simply plugs in the X-Plan price and that's that.
A and Z-Plan pricing is for Ford employees, families, and retirees and constitutes an 11% discount from (or 89% of) the sticker price. (So start chatting up that attractive parts clerk) While relatively few people qualify for either of these, it's also the price that's offered during "employee pricing" promotions. It pretty-much equates to buying the vehicle at the "dealer net", plus .5%, a tremendous deal by anyone's standards if you can get it.
Rebates and incentives are also tremendously important, especially when they're as large as Ford has been offering for the Flex. Most people are eligible for at least $3,000 in customer cash OR 0% APR financing, but some states (Michigan) are offering as much as $4,500 AND 0% financing through Ford (to qualified buyers). The key is knowing which rebates and incentives apply to the location where the vehicle will first be registered.
In addition to "customer cash back" rebates, Ford also offers certain "affinity" rebates to members of particular organizations like military service members, recent graduates, and left-handed cocker spaniel breeders. Ford also offers "Conquer" rebates for those trading vehicles of a certain make and/or vintage.
Finally, each "Plan" type can have its own additional incentives. For example, X-Plan buyers in PA are eligible for an additional $250 in cash back. These too vary from state to state, and it's essential to know which, if any, are being offered where the vehicle will be registered to ensure you know the best possible price you qualify to obtain.
ESP warranties can also be easily negotiated. Because dealer's don't have to keep them in inventory or outlay money to stock them, warranties can be a tremendous profit center for dealers. Also, because you can buy a Ford ESP warranty from any dealer, regardless of where you purchased your vehicle, they're much easier to negotiate, even though they don't have a traditional window sticker to look at to know what the "maximum" should be.
Fortunately, some dealers have taken to offering ESP warranties for sale on the internet, and they're even publishing their prices. Unlike the "we'll beat any other offer" game where no dealer will be willing to actually put their deal in writing, you can walk right in to the F&I office and lay out the price you can pay to buy the warranty elsewhere and give him a chance to beat it. Even the strictest dealers would be foolish to let the opportunity pass, as they know they've got the option of making a few extra dollars or not. Incredibly, some won't; but that's just as fine, unless you want to finance the cost of your warranty too. You can just go to another dealer who is willing to make the few dollars the other dealer doesn't want.
A great place to obtain warranty prices is www.fordwarrantys.com. Of course, you could just decide to buy from them, as they've been good enough to go out on the limb of committing themselves to offering a very fair and reasonable price. Even if your vehicle dealer won't beat the warranty price, you can negotiate VERY worthwhile extras like a first-day rental option if they'll only match the competitor's offer. Because you can buy a warranty from any dealer, and redeem any unused portion of the ESP at any point, there's really no disadvantage to locking in the best deal when you know you've found it, or holding-off until you're sure you have.
Of course, there are a thousand other useful and helpful hints and tips to buying a car, but these are what I've discovered in my long search for a Flex; and they managed to serve me pretty well. I hope they prove just as useful to someone else; and, of course, your mileage may vary.
#41 of 211 Re: Flex Shopping/Buying Tips [madlock]
May 17, 2009 (7:35 am)
Currently looking at an AWD '09 Flex Limited in Silver w/o two tone roof. Options include: 1) Vista Moonroof; 2) Family Entertainment DVD; 3) 6-passenger; 4) Nav; and 5) Remote start.
I'm going through USAA and they give me quote of $37,500.00 with the $3000 incentive program. MSRP on the car is $43,345.00 and invoice is $40,443.00. Sales tax in CT is 6% or ~ $2400.00 and there are also the other assortment of fees.
This is a cash transaction and I'm thinking of saying if we can do it for $40K or less (with all fees and taxes included) we have a deal.
What does everyone think about that deal - good or do you think I could leverage the cash transaction part for a bit more off the price?
#42 of 211 Re: Flex Shopping/Buying Tips [idmd]
May 17, 2009 (9:20 am)
If you intend to purchase the vehicle through USAA or any other fixed-price buying plan, negotiating is pretty-much irrelevant, as that's the purpose of the plans to begin with. Regardless of what the taxes and fees happen to be, the USAA price seems to be invoice plus $50.
The "cash" portion of the transaction means nothing. If anything, it would serve to make the proposition less attractive to the dealer given that they profit from the financing they offer too. And without knowing what the "assortment of other fees" happen to be, it's impossible to know what kind of deal you're proposing.
#43 of 211 Re: Flex Shopping/Buying Tips [madlock]
May 17, 2009 (9:24 am)
Thanks for the reply. The other assorted fees are tag, title, etc and add up to maybe a few hundred. The biggy being the tax ~$2400. To me the 40K seems fair. It is essentially the USAA quote +$2500 to cover tax, tag, etc. If they said it was going to be $40100.00 that's not a deal breaker. I just want to be in the ball park.
Also, I'd imagine in today's economic climate the concept of getting all your money upfront may play a bigger part than in the past especially as 2010 are getting to ready to roll out and these car companies need cash now to stay afloat. They may make more on dealer financing but they still have to wait for that money to come in.
#44 of 211 Re: Flex Shopping/Buying Tips [idmd]
May 21, 2009 (5:18 am)
Agree with the previous poster - paying cash is not going to motivate them to make a better deal. When you finance, the bank will pay the dealer in relatively short order, say 30 days. Plus, they get a commission/portion of the APR. You say the 'car companies need cash' - you're not dealing with the car company, you're dealing with the dealer. They/their bank have already paid the 'car company' for the car you're purchasing.
I always line up my own financing before purchase, but I always give the dealer a chance to meet/beat the rate, as I know that financing is a profit center for them.
#45 of 211 Re: Flex Shopping/Buying Tips [idmd]
May 27, 2009 (1:12 pm)
I just purchased my 09 Flex Lmtd AWD last week. My financing experience reflects the comments of madlock. The size of my cash down payment (over 30%)had almost no effect on the dealership. In fact when I told them I was planning on financing thru my credit union they practically threw what I would call a 'hissy fit'. In fact I nearly walked away from the deal. In the end cooler heads prevailed and the deal was saved. I'm not writing this to scare you away from Ford or the Flex. I did a lot of research before I purchased this vehicle and I think this is a great product. However I am writing this so you and others can use my experience to your benefit. I would leave the financing discussions until the very end of your deal making if possible. They may ask how you intend to finance but you should provide a more generalized statement, in my opinion.
In the end my Flex had an MSRP of $41K, less $4500 in rebates and approx. $2K redux due to Xplan pricing. I ended up with an OTD price of $36K for a Limited AWD, Panoramic, Two tone roof, rubber mats, and DVD.
So far I am loving this car. Good luck ...dano
#46 of 211 Re: Flex Shopping/Buying Tips [dano72]
May 27, 2009 (1:32 pm)
Hey Dano and whomever else wants to reply...
Quick questions (as you've bought what we want almost to a "T")
1. Why did you finance through your credit union if Ford offers 0% financing?
2. How did you get the x-plan pricing? Are you a share holder or Ford employee (or friend/family member is?) I'm trying to get my hands on a PIN # so we qualify for that. Don't know if just buying a share of stock will qualify me - and if so - how long do I have to wait to get my PIN # from Ford if that's protocol? (And is one share enough to qualify me? And if so - why doesn't everyone go out and buy one before buying a Ford?) Sorry - went off on a tangent of questions...