I am 71 years of age and have purchased a dozen+ new cars over my lifetime, the last three here in the Virginia/Maryland area. None of my buying experiences with any of the dealerships I have ever worked with have been pleasant, and overall, a less than transparent obstacle course of hidden fees, charges and “hard sell”. As we flew out of Asia this past March 19th, I started signing in to varied internet car buying services to start the process of getting a better deal on a Mazda CX-5 through their buying services, rather than walking into a dealership upon my return, “cold turkey”. We chose the Mazda CX-5 due to its safety features, comfortable and quiet ride, semi-luxurious interior and because it was rated one of the two top compact SUVs.
Brown’s Alexandria Mazda was the closest Mazda dealership to us here in Alexandria, but my past car buying experience has led me to believe the best deals are across the river in Maryland from the much larger dealership chains due to the volume of their sales. True to my experience, a larger dealer in Maryland came back with the best offer. So, I started emailing Brown’s Mazda’s product specialist, Mr. Anthony Arthur, who I found to be professional, personable, transparent, and very importantly, not pushy. He advised me that they did not have the exact CX-5 model on their lot that I really wanted, so he offered me the closest they did have to what I wanted, bringing the their offer closer to Maryland’s.
Then Brown Mazda’s GM for Sales, Mr. Chad Lewis telephoned me to talk about the deal to get a better understanding as to what I wanted. We spoke for about twenty minutes and I found him very congenial, but professional and focused and in the end, he told me that they were bringing the exact vehicle model I wanted up from another dealership in Virginia Beach without a deal agreed between us yet!
The next day the Dealership G.M., Mr Steve Forsht, called to tell me they now had the exact car in stock and asked what it would take to put me in the driver’s seat. I also found Steve very congenial as well, down to earth and a “regular guy”. I came back with some figures that were close to the deal in Maryland, and what I wanted from Brown’s Mazda for trade-in on my vehicle. He came back with “done” and even threw in a couple accessories at no cost!
The True Car website that lists sold vehicle pricing in the general area, ranked my final purchase price in the Top Tier Excellent Price category, with less than 17% of vehicles sold in that category; as well as my trade-in value in the highest category! So, if I could have gotten a better deal across the river, it wouldn’t have been by more than 1%, so who cares. I bought my car from good people, the dealership I will be getting it serviced from, only via e-mail and three telephone conversations with no hard sell tactics and in record time! Add to that, their Finance Manager, Mr. Bob Shehata, who is the person you meet after a sale is agreed upon to sign the legal financial paperwork and push extras, simply asked me if I was interested in an extended maintenance plan. I said I wasn’t and that was it. Bob was also just as “regular” and as transparent as Anthony, Chad and Steve before him, and with no “hard sell” tactics.
Brown’s Alexandria Mazda’s logo of “Buy Happy” ....is true! They really do want you to Buy Happy. The best advice I can give you if you want to do as well as I did, is research, research, and research so you know which exact model and accessories you want, your vehicle selection’s MSRP price, compare Browns Mazda’s reduced pricing against True Car values as to what others are paying and be as reasonable and as sincere as they are in your interaction with you!
Do yourself and favor. Get your best quote in writing, then bring it to Brown’s Alexandria Mazda to see how close they can come. They might not always be able to match the “big boys” across the river, but they will come close, are closer to home, and genuine people.