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Recently a customer came to us at Freeman Grapevine and asked, “Why is car buying so difficult?” I understand why she asked that, it can be very challenging, and can be as equally frustrating for both a customer and the dealer, but it doesn’t have to be. As an insider, let me explain why,
There are three main components to buying a car: price, trade in and financing. Let’s review each.
This should be the easiest part of the car buying process. When a customer researches a car, and inevitably gets quotes from multiple dealerships, they should compare apples to apples. In other words, you want to make sure you’re comparing the same vehicle with the same equipment and options. A simple way to do this is to make sure the MSRP’s are the same.
As a salesperson, the hardest question to answer for a customer is “what’s your best price?” I’ve told my sales people to show customers the invoice when asked that question. This shows what the dealer paid on that car. Most good dealerships will gladly show you the invoice so you know where their numbers are coming from. You should calculate in any rebates, as well as a small profit, which all dealers are entitled to make. It’s that easy.
If you’re trading in a vehicle, you’ll want top dollar for it. Determining the trade-in value isn’t an exact science. The year, make, model, condition and mileage all factor in to the equation. Most customers research their vehicle’s worth on Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) or NADA Guides (www.nadaguides.com) to give them a ballpark estimate before bringing it to the dealership.
The last piece of the puzzle is financing. A customer’s credit score is the biggest component of this. Whether you have a good financial history including paying off creditors on time & every month, your monthly income and how many outstanding balances you have, all affect your credit score. A dealer’s relationship with its lenders is also important. If they work with several lending institutions that offer a variety of financial programs depending on a person’s credit, can make the difference between going to one dealership or another.
A tip if you’re credit isn’t as great as you’d like: the higher down payment, the better.
Of course this is the process in a nutshell, however, it really is this easy. There is no reason buying a car should be stressful, or uncomfortable. In fact, buying a new Buick, or GMC from Freeman Grapevine will be one of your most pleasant car buying experiences ever. Trust me. We know how to take car of our new Buick and new GMC customers.
At Freeman Grapevine, we take child safety very seriously. As a Dallas Fort Worth car dealer, it is our responsibility as much as it is yours to provide safer solutions for children while they are in your Buick, or GMC.
Let me first start by saying that in the late 80’s automakers began installing airbags in cars for safety reasons, and there’s no doubt that over the past 30 years airbags have saved thousands of lives.
However, it is important to note that airbags are designed to protect average-sized adults…not young children. I know we’ve all heard it, but airbags can pose a serious risk to children who ride in the front seat.
In fact, according to research conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “children exposed to airbags during a crash are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury”. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “children under the age of 13 are safest seating in the back seat of a car”.
The following are some safety guidelines for children riding in a car.
Infants seated in a rear-facing safety seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car that has an airbag – When the airbag engages, the force of the airbag is directed right at the infant’s head as it comes out of the dashboard.
Children seated in a forward-facing child should not be placed in the front seat of a car that has an airbag. – Again when the airbag engages, the child’s head is in the path of the airbag as it emerges from the dashboard.
Remember for children 13 and under: The safest place to be in a car is the back seat.
For children ages 13 and up riding in the front seat remember:
All children should wear a lap/shoulder belt.
Move the front seat as far back as possible from the dashboard.
Make the sure the child doesn’t lean forward.
Have the child sit upright against the seat at all times.
Note: Engineers are constantly improving airbags to improve safety. Known as 2nd-generation, or de-powered airbags, these airbags are still NOT designed for children. Children are best protected in the rear seat.
The Children Hospital of Philadelphia has put together a great video on airbags and keeping children safe.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here. If you’d like to see us, Freeman Grapevine, just stop by and we’ll look and some really safe and very kid friendly vehicles for you and your family.
For those of us here at your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC Dealer, Freeman Grapevine, who have, or have had loved ones overseas, this weekend is both special and heartbreaking.
As we wait for our soldiers to make their way back home, we anguish everyday they are gone hoping for their safe return. Most come back to us and that joy is immeasurable. However, some do not, and that pain is equally immeasurable. Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. Don’t lose sight of that this weekend as you spend time with your family and friends. Remember, there are tens of thousands of families across the United States who don’t barbecue, or go to they lake…they sit patiently awaiting for their loved ones to come home.
Freeman Grapevine salutes all of the brave men and women of our Armed Services for their continued defending of Freedom and Democracy. We also thank equally the families of those soldiers for their selflessness in offering their sons and daughters to fight with Honor to defend Truth. We will not forget your sacrifice.
The Memorial Day rush has already started. Well, maybe not actually started, but I can guarantee that all of us here at Freeman Grapevine are thinking about what we’ll be doing this weekend. Either going out to spend the weekend on the lakes, headed to friends and family for a great cookout, taking the family out camping or any number of other activities, chances are you are going to be on the road during one of the most dangerous times of the year.
AAA said 37.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more, or about 1 percent more than last year — an estimate derived from a national phone survey of 1,500 adults. More than 80 percent of those travelers will take road trips, while another 10 percent will fly. The remainder will be packed into trains and buses.
Keep in mind that over this three-day weekend, though, an average of 161 people are killed in car accidents in the U.S. per day, 40% due to drunk driving. With that in mind, local law enforcement will certainly be out cracking down.
All of us at Freeman Grapevine, we want all of our Dallas Fort Worth Buick & GMC customers to stay safe this weekend. There will certainly be more people on the road, including you an your family, so stay aware and don’t drink and drive. Wouldn’t it be great if DFW could have a holiday weekend with no Driving/DWI related injuries? You can make that happen.
Manufacturing one of America’s best selling crossover vehicles with 3rd row seating, the Enclave, can certainly pile on the pressure when it comes to making any changes for the new model year. It’s not simply changing a color here, or a contour there. Nor is it as drastic as laying down a blank sheet of paper and doing a total redesign. Great care has to be taken when making any change. Especially to a vehicle that already has proven it’s worth in the marketplace.
According to Motorauthority.com, addressing most of these issues fell to lead sculptor at GM Nick Barkley, who worked on the original as well as the latest 2013 model. In addition to manipulating full-scale clay models, much of Barkley’s creative work is done in the digital space with three-dimensional modeling programs.
“Buicks have been some of the toughest work I’ve done because they are so sculptural,” said Barkley, a designer at GM for 12 years. “There are so many concave and convex forms. To make an organic, hand-shaped look show through the forms is both difficult and rewarding.”
Asked to name the most-challenging element of the Enclave’s design, Barkley immediately pointed to the traditional waterfall grille that went through countless looks before a final form emerged that met both the design team’s standards and manufacturing capabilities. He notes that the production version remains true to the earliest clay mockups.
When it comes to the Buick Enclave, the design of which is never truly completed. The same can be said for every other model in Buick’s line-up as well. There is a yearly ebb and flow of design ideas. Some of which actually make it to the final production version of the vehicle, while most end up on the cutting room floor. That is the constant desire for Buick to be a consistent leader in automotive design and production value. It’s is Buick’s drive for excellence and setting trends that are not easily duplicated, or copied. Hence, this is the reason why vehicles like the Enclave is America’s best selling crossovers.
I invite you to come and see for yourself the truly unique and inspired design work that you get when you purchase a Dallas Fort Worth Buick from Freeman Grapevine.
I think we’ve all firmly come to grips with the advancements of technology. I know Freeman Grapevine has certainly opened our arms to technology. Ever since the release of the personal computer in the early 80’s, they’ve only gotten smaller, faster and more useful. In fact, when I see someone who doesn’t have a smart phone I wonder how they made it this far without one?
For those of us who do have smart phones and are information junkies, like myself, I give you the top 5 automotive apps fore your new, or used Buick, or GMC that no driver should be without.
For just $2.99, iPhone users can download the iGasUp application and have updated gas station locations and fuel prices at their fingertips. The app gives users the 10 closest gas stations based on the phone’s current location. iGasUp boasts a network of more than 110,000 filling stations across the U.S. Once a driver uses his or her iPhone to pull up the closest 10 gas stations, the information can be sorted by cheapest or closest. The prices are updated frequently and each has a time stamp that indicates the freshness of the price. Users can then plot their course to the filling station of their choice by using the interactive Maps found on the iPhone.
Trapster displays your location on a map using the iPhone’s WiFi location capabilities. Reported speed traps, which users enter into the Trapster’s network database, pop up along your route. Trapster’s settings allow users to setup their iPhones to give voice alerts of approaching speed traps and the dynamic radar feature compensates for a driver’s speed and direction in radar to relay accurate warnings. Signal cameras and police traps show up on the display as icons for easy recognition.
With a network of more than 330,000 users worldwide, nearly two-thirds of those being iPhone owners, the Trapster network has reported more than 5 million speed traps worldwide as of November 2011. It seems that Trapster has replaced the CB radio as the best method of radar detection — with the exception of illegal radar detection devices. And it’s free, too.
Here are some of the things that INRIX Traffic can do (even without the $24.99 upgrade):
Incidents: A list of traffic events, updated via the Internet, which may affect the route you plan to take. These include accidents, crowds at major sporting events, convention traffic and other tie-ups reported by members of the INRIX Traffic community.
Comparative Traffic: A map of the local area with traffic density marked out in color-coded lines that tell you which routes have light traffic and which routes are bumper to bumper.
Predictions: A timeline that allows you to project traffic for the 15-minute interval during which you plan to be traveling.
There are several other traffic apps available for the iPhone, but INRIX Traffic has a solid community of users reporting conditions and, if you use the app, you join that community too. If what you see on the road doesn’t agree with what you see on the app, you can report the mistake with the click of a single on-screen button.
The free GoPoint app works with the GoPoint cable (which costs $100, but can be purchased online for less) to plug into your car’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. This is the sort of thing that your local mechanic will do using a piece of equipment that cost thousands of dollars, but your iPhone can do it for the cost of a cable and the time you spend downloading an app. Some people would consider that a bargain.
What sort of information can the GoPoint app extract from the OBD port? Well, if you already know that your car is experiencing some kind of problem — for instance, if the Check Engine light is flashing — the GoPoint app can give you the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) for it. These are standardized codes and the GoPoint app will define them for you in plain English. Unless you’re a mechanic, you might not be able to deal with the problem itself, but you’ll know what to expect when you take your car into the shop and can verify that your mechanic isn’t just inventing expensive problems that will cost you a fortune to fix.
Oh, yes — once you’ve purchased the GoPoint cable, there are additional apps that work with it, not just from GoPoint but from third-party developers, so that you can do things like monitor your fuel economy in real time.
Parker for iPhone
This app gives you a rooftop view of the local street situation and tells you where the parking places are. With the cooperation of the Departments of Transportation in several major cities, including New York, Dallas, Los Angeles and Boston, the San Francisco company Streetline has installed electronic sensors in selected neighborhoods to detect whether parking places are occupied or empty. This data is broadcast to a central location and can be accessed via the Parker app.
Parker for iPhone has a wealth of features, as well as a built-in tutorial to show you what they are and how to use them. They include the ability to choose a city and an area within that city that has parking sensors, a map showing a numeric count of the number of open spaces within a specific area, color coded icons on that map to point you to blocks with the largest number of open spaces, and a special display showing the fee charged by meters or commercial parking garages at the place where you want to park. In some instances, you can even pay for parking directly from the app. And once you’ve started a meter ticking, Parker will not only time it for you and remind you when it’s about to run out, but will use your iPhone’s built-in GPS to predict whether you have enough time to walk back to your car before the meter expires. If you drive much in major metropolitan areas, Parker can make your life easier and save you from a lot of frustration when you need to get out of your car and walk.
We’ve come a long way from the personal computer taking up and entire desk to fitting in the palm of our hands. Sometime I wonder what I’d ever do without my magic little phone.
There are thousands of beneficial apps out there. Can you suggest any others to Freeman Grapevine that would make our customer’s driving lives easier?