View Full Version : Bought a new 2008 Dodge Charger

05-03-2008, 04:23 PM
I know some of us here are car enthusiasts so I thought I'd post this.

The MSRP for this car in the SE plus trim was around 25k. Dodge then took 1725 off for the SE plus package. Then they have a 2,000 rebate. The base price of the car minus the 1725 is 23,420. The dealership took 430 off to get down to 22, 990. Minus the rebate the car is at 20,990. Invoice on the car is 19,969. They were trying to tell me that's what they paid but I know they pay wholesale to get the cars on the lot.

In the end I haggled and bartered enough to get the car for $1,500 under invoice. It took me from 10am to 3pm to wear the guys down enough to get them to do the deal but I finally got what I wanted. I was shooting for 19,990 which is not unrealistic since it's only $1,000 off the base MSRP. I just told them that they were not investing enough to get the car into my driveway and that $430 out of their pockets was just not acceptable. In the end I was only asking for them to add 585 to that figure to bring the grand total to 1,000 off the car which is like 4.2 percent of the car's value. They finally gave up haggling with me and we did the deal. I got the car for like $18,420 after the subtracting the trade-in value for my car.

So is $1500 under invoice a good deal or should I have pushed for more?

Mario F.
05-03-2008, 05:23 PM
EDIT: Let me rephrase...

At that base price, why didn't you consider the SXT? Granted you probably couldn't lower it that much. But wouldn't it be worth the extra bucks? I don't know what extras that SE was packing though.

And what color, btw? Tell me it's black? Tell me you didn't get the striped yellow, hehe.

I'm not a big fan of American brands, I have to confess. Biased most probably. But Dodge is an exception.

05-03-2008, 07:51 PM

Type in your options and figure out what the car is worth.

05-03-2008, 08:00 PM
That thing got a hemi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyrcP5utXt4&fmt=18)? :p

Far better dickering than I can do, Bubba.

05-03-2008, 08:01 PM
He stated the MSRP in the original post, he's just wondering if he haggled enough...

Anyway... 7-8% under the invoice is pretty good in my opinion. Nothing to complain about and to say whether or not you could haggle farther at that point would depend on the salesman. Some might go lower, but many would not.

05-03-2008, 08:20 PM
Good for you for sticking to your guns.

Picture please...

05-03-2008, 08:21 PM
Nice, bit big :)

You should have got a Pontiac G8 -- nothing like an Australian car!

05-03-2008, 08:29 PM
No it doesn't have a Hemi. However it is basically an SXT with the 3.5 HO V6 and other options. Dodge obviously cannot sell the SXT so they created the SE plus which is a base SE with just about the same exact options as an SXT. To entice buyers they deducted 1795 off the SE plus which brings the car down from the SXT 25k range to the 23k range. So it is essentially a highly modified SE. But the MSRP for the SE base is 21995 according to Edmunds and the invoice is 19969. In the end my total loan value was about 500 to 1k over the actual MSRP for a base SE.
So we have a modified SE for less than the base price of a base SE. I think that is a good deal.

Part of my haggling power comes from having been in the manufacturing industry as an auditor. Every time the salesman would throw some pitch I'd be like yeah....that takes about 35 more minutes on the assembly line which amounts to nothing and yet they want to charge 3k for that extra 35 minutes when labor and materials don't even come close to the 3k they want out of it. It's insane what they charge for extra options when in the factory it usually comes down to installing an extra module or wiring harness.

For instance most cars that do not have traction control are actually traction control ready. The ECM and software are usually ready for it and the speed sensors are on the wheels since ABS uses them. So installing traction control on a car really comes down to adding the control module and hooking up the wire harness that is just sitting around in your car unused. But most if not all of the components are already there. This is true for about90% of the options that come on a car. The reason is it takes less time on the assembly line and it is less confusing for the assemblers if all they have to do is add a module here and there. It really is amazing though how much the factory sticker price changes for said add-ons when in the factory scheme of things they really don't amount to squat. Factories make big bucks on extra options b/c they take almost no extra time on the line and yet they can pitch it that the option is sooooo much better on a car that has it than on one that does not. In reality it probably wouldn't cost near as much as they charge to order the missing modules and install it yourself.
The module sure won't cost 3k and you won't have to put 3k of labor into it to get it working. It's a well known sales pitch in manufacturing and for the most part, it works very well.

That's why I don't get all googly eyed about this option or that option. They also showed me the motor and as a former auditor I could see clear evidence of corners being cut. Composite (more like plastic but composite sounds more high tech - it's really plastic) intake plenum, cheapened interior, rubber air intake tubes (steel mandrels and a lot better), cheap fasteners on interior pieces and trim, cheap and ineffective air intake filter housing - also located in the hottest part of the engine which completely robs horsepower. Lots of corners being cut and yet they raise the price not lower it. Material costs are high but they don't justify cheapening the interior and engine yet raising the overall price. So the components are actually cheaper than before and they justify the price increase by resorting to their favorite excuse of rising materials, labor, and benefits costs.

The actual reason for American cars manuf. being in the red now is a complete lack of good high tech engineering on parts. No one wants to buy a car that will be in the shop 20k to 30k later but that's exactly what you get on most American cars. It's usually not the assembler's fault nor the assembly process but the part itself. No amount of quality checks and factory internal quality audits can ever beat an inferior part. If you put inferior parts on a car or machine they will fail and make the machine appear inferior. Outsourced parts usually have many problems and b/c they are out-sourced the factories lose control on the quality. Only so much can be inspected at the factory gate and the rest is found out in the field. American car manuf. have the technology and ability to produce very good cars but the mindset of the management must change. In the past they would rather cut a corner here and produce an inferior product if they could get a large volume of them out the door. This mindset kills a company. Quality must be first while also being tempered with volume. You can't produce 5 cars a day b/c of elongated quality checks and yet you also cannot produce 500 lemons a day. It's always a balancing act between volume and quality. Toyota and some other foreign manuf. seem to have found a way to produce volume with quality.
If the push is always volume, quality suffers. Most factories now are moving to a pull type system where they 'pull' defects off the line and fix em instead of pushing them out the door which inevitably ends up in the consumers hands.

Mario F.
05-03-2008, 08:37 PM
Nice, bit big

You should have got a Pontiac G8 -- nothing like an Australian car!

Ouch! That must hurt. ;)

Speaking of Australian cars, Used to drive an Holden Astra back in Adelaide. The thing drove like a tin can on a string. Granted, it had been designed by Opel. Guess Holden couldn't have find a worst European maker.

Which brings the question... has Holden finally stopped looking outside for bodywork?

05-03-2008, 09:04 PM
> Which brings the question... has Holden finally stopped looking outside for bodywork?
Yes, sort of. They seem to take the American shapes... Ie over-sized everything. But the front-wheel drive 'poor performance' cars are still mostly Eurpean influenced, Opel is long gone :). The only thing that comes from here, ground up is the Utes.

By the time I can legally drive a V8, I'll be able to have the Maloo ute :) (pic: http://images.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2007/112_0712_07z+holden_HSV_maloo_r8+front_three_quart er_view.jpg)

You can see it sort of looks American, "light sport pick-up truck".

What other cars did you look at Bubba? Out of curiosity... Or did you just want the Dodge? More importantly, what did you upgrade from?

05-03-2008, 09:46 PM
We upgrade from an '02 Monte Carlo. We didn't look anywhere else b/c no one else really has anything we liked. Most of our 'shopping' was online and my wife just wasn't going for anything else. Since I used to be UAW I still feel loyal to them and won't buy a car not assembled by UAW or CAW. Perhaps it's an old fashion closed minded approach but I have many friends that are UAW and many others that are out of work due to lost biz. The least I could do is buy a car built by them in these hard times. Not every typical union worked in the USA is a lazy ignorant fool just trying to screw the company at every turn. Most are very hard-working quality driven people that care about the products they are assembling and take great pride in what they do.
There is a huge disconnect between the factory floor and what is perceived by those on the outside. Moral of the story: Don't believe everything you hear/read.

I did some recent figuring and the dealer cost of the car was this according to the carbuyingtips site.

Invoice - dealer incentive - holdback.

According to Edmunds the base invoice is 19965. Keep in mind we bought an SE plus which is not listed on Edmunds but is a step above the base model. The factory rebate would deduct 2,000 from that. Edmunds says the manuf. to dealer cash is now about $400. I'm not sure about the factory holdback but it cannot be much.

Dealer cost of the car:

Invoice: $19,965
MSRP - 23,420 - 430 = 22,990 MSRP (after dealer took 430 off the MSRP).
Estimated dealer cost: 19965 - 2000 - 400 = 17,569.

My Purchase price before tax: 18,420.
Dealer profit = 4.7%

Fair dealer profits are usually in the range 3% to 5%. So I didn't take food out his kids mouths or money off his check as he claimed I was doing. I was actually making sure they made a fair profit and yet also gave me a fair deal. You can just imagine what the profit would have been had I paid MSRP - rebate. They would have made nearly 10% profit. That's taking food out of my kid's mouth.

05-04-2008, 05:47 AM
Don't ever buy dealers' sob stories about making money on the sale. They get it back in spades in scheduled maintenance and service. They also get bonuses for volume.

05-04-2008, 09:15 AM
I actually just bought a car too, Bubba. :) Being a student, however, I didn't buy anything brand new. I bought a used 1999 Honda Civic. It's been kept in really good condition by its previous owner, and it only had 108k miles on it, which is great or 99 Civic. It can get at least another 100k on the engine (most likely 200k more knowing Honda cars). I love Hondas.

So you chose the Dodge mainly out of loyalty then? I much prefer Honda or Toyota.