Monthly Archives: January 2017

Ford and Walmart Partnership to Reduce Dealership Usage

I just read an article on Car and Driver that it is still taking me a bit of time to process. Maybe I’m getting slow in my old age, arghhh.

Walmart and Ford Help Car Buyers Steer Clear of Dealerships – was if anything an interesting read.

The article first points out the obvious – and that Ford paid people some good money to do a survey to find out that 83% of people want to spend less time in stealerships, I mean dealerships.

This statement – well, I have to say is really obvious. What the survey didn’t say was why people don’t like spending time in the dealerships.

You know, I think it is because everyone who works at Ford no longer has to go a dealership to buy a car. My family has bought two cars in the past three years. The problem is not the place of the dealership. It is not even the car salespeople. It is the “Finance Manager” – who came in both times with a hard sell for everything that wasn’t the car. “Nitrogen”, “Extended Warranty”, and who knows, maybe they will bring back “undercoating”.

I don’t want to see this person. You have after products you want to potentially sell? Give me a sheet of paper with a grid. Name of product, description of production, cost of product and a check box or two. You know what, not a piece of paper. Screw paper. A tablet. And every time I add something or remove it update the price and the payment per month.

And do us all a favor and fire all the “Finance Managers” at all the stealerships and make something that should be enjoyable as buying a new or new to me car – be just that – enjoyable.

Or you know what – people might welcome renting driverless cars instead of every owning a car again and your car sales functions at the dealerships can go suck it. I mean be unemployed.

Car Ownership

Sometimes you own cars and you keep them for a decade or more. Sometimes cars are only in your life for a short time. In the not too distant future it is possible that we won’t own cars and we will use cars as a service.

After my 2001 Honda Accord EX Coupe was finally put down I had my sister-in-laws Corolla. I don’t remember the year. It was much newer. Owning and driving the Toyota Corolla on a daily basis was nightmare. Well, a nightmare if nightmares are boring and lacking power. It was an ok car. Nothing to write home about.

Then I purchased the 2009 MINI JCW Clubman. It was an awesome car. When the air intake for the turbo didn’t blow off. The acceleration without the turbo was anemic at best.

The problem was that I kept hearing about a lot of people getting in to accidents in their MINI Coopers. And then I was in an accident in my MINI. In afterthought I think the car was too small that it began to suffer from things that happen with motorcycles – in essence – people couldn’t see it. Certainly, the woman that hit me didn’t see me.

It was repaired; however, circumstances change and a max 4 person car no longer suited my needs. At the time I thought there was a chance I would be carrying not only my 4 kids but two other kids and taking them out places and so a Honda Pilot made sense.

I like the car. It does what it is supposed to do. It drives well on bad surfaces, carries people. It isn’t particularly inspired in design. The music interface has much to be desired, but it works and you get used to it over time. It does make me take my eyes off the road a bit too much so I am extra careful.

The 2013 Honda Pilot EX L is a nice vehicle. While it isn’t much to write home about it is much better than the Toyota Corolla that I had once driven daily.

However; the biggest problem with the Honda Pilot is that we own a Honda Odyssey. A 2014 Honda Odyssey Elite.

One year newer – but the Odyssey is a much higher line and virtually everything is better. Not just things like electronics – but the design of a minivan is (sadly) far superior to the design of a SUV – even when both have the same engine, same transmission and likely share a large number of other components.

All that being said most likely I will be keeping the 2013 Honda Pilot for some time to come – probably exceeding the 11 years I owned the 2001 Honda Accord EX L and the 1992 Honda Civic LX that I had owned for 10 years before that. It has been a tumultuous time for my car ownership.

I don’t regret the MINI that I owned. It was a nice fast car. It was also expensive to maintain. If I had known how much I would have just gotten a used BMW 3 series – as the maintenance costs the same (virtually). The rough ride on the small car was not exactly enjoyable. I like feeling the road (which I can do even on my Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot), but I don’t like having the road jammed in to my butt as if I was riding on the transmission on an old Camaro which I did while I was in high school.

Hopefully, I will make it out to the 2017 New York International Car show this year – and take lots of pictures of lots of interesting things – and I will post them up here.