: New Member - Almost New Owner



SpudRacer
10-05-08, 09:29 PM
As stated in the thread title, I just registered for the forum. And please don't take this as a post from a troll. I really tried to be a CTS owner but the dealer and GM experience drove me to an Infiniti G35X.

Here's the story. We've got side load garage bays and my wife's primary car was a 2006 Merc R500. She's always had trouble docking the land barge. Our other two cars are a 2006 Volvo XC90 and a 2008 Honda S2000. Since she won't drive a stick, her domain was the two SUV's neither of which was a cinch to park. In addition to the garage, she is generally the one visiting supermarket and other retail parking lots where a smaller car has an advantage maneuvering and parking. So, in early Sept, I decided to heed my wife's complaints and look around for an alternative to her R500.

We made a list of cars with a significantly better turning circle than the 40 ft of the Merc. We set a limit of 36 ft as something that would provide a noticeable difference. The cars that made the list were the CTS, Infiniti G35, BMW 335, Lexus IS350.

I really wanted to like the CTS. We have a Caddy dealer about 5 miles from our house right next door to the Honda dealership where I bought my S2000. The convenience was a definite plus. Add to that GM employee pricing that became available in Sept and the great reviews the CTS had received and the Caddy sort of floated to the top of the list. A final consideration was the state of the economy and GM's current situation. I feel they are finally turning out some excellent product and had no problem skewing our decision their way to help out a domestic manufacturer. Then I ran into "the wall".

I did a quick "build" on the Caddy website and then did an inventory seach of local dealers to locate a likely car. The next day I e-mailed our local dealer to set up a test drive. Their internet saes guy got back to me via e-mail and asked me to give him a call that day. When I called, I was told he wasn't working that day. That's it, end of conversation. The "lady" on the other end just hung up. So, I wrote the guy another e-mail explaining my attempt to contact him. Two days later, he got back to me and told me he was indeed working the other day and asked me to call again. No explanation or apology for the "mixup". Weird! When we finally connected by phone, we set up an appointment for the next Saturday morning.

My wife and I arrive, spend a few minutes in small talk, and then take a 2009 CTS out for a drive with the sales guy along. It took the sales guy about 30 minutes to bring the car around for the drive. Apparently, the story was that it needed gas and he couldn't find the key for the on site pump. Uh huh. We take it home to try the garage on for size and then head back to the Caddy store. Before heading out we had tossed the used car group the keys and paperwork on the R500 so that they could do an appraisal while we test drove. When we get back, he wants to sit down and start the offer process. We tell him that because of the delays and time we've already spent, we're late for an appointment to drive an Infiniti. The truth!

So, the Caddy sales guy is polite, says he'll e-mail us an offer on our R500 that day, and off we go to the Infiniti store. I should mention that we had the distinct impression that every employee at the dealership was depressed. It was like being at a wake.

What comes next is astonishing. We never received an e-mail, or a phone call, or a contact of any sort from the Caddy dealer. We were well qualified buyers, not kids. We're in our early fifties with superior credit. The guy saw our house. We went to the trouble to have them evaluate a trade-in. We picked a specific car out of his inventory to deal on. He knew we were for real. And yet, there was absolutely no follow up on the test drive. None! Ever!

Next, before we made our buying decision, I went to the GM/Caddy website and sent them a message with my e-mail address and phone number letting them know what had happened. Guess what the response was? Nothing! Ever!

My takeaway.....
GM must not be in such bad shape after all
Their customer service sucks before the sale
I do not want to find out what service is like after the sale
GM deserves their current place in the auto market


We bought a 2008 Infiniti G35X two weeks later for about $3K less than the CTS with employee pricing. Over the two weeks between the test drive and the purchase, the Infiniti salesman kept in contact but was respectful of our time took his cues very well. Not too much contact, not too little. Just enough to close the deal. Sorry GM, I tried to be a customer. The car was very nice. Sales and customer service was pathetic.

Is this a common experience with GM and it's dealers? Do they know how to sell premium product to customers at that end of the market? Sadly, after this experience, I don't hold much hope for their ultimate survival.

yatesd
10-05-08, 10:29 PM
I had the exact opposite experience. I was focused on an AWD vehicle which would get better gas mileage than my SUV. The Infinity never made the cut due to the poor gas mileage. My short list was the 2009 Audi A4, BMW 328xi, and the CTS.

I became very fixated on the Audi A4, researched it to the hilt, participated in a half day of track time sponsored by Audi, and even started wearing the Audi hat. ;-)

Anyway, once the local dealer got their demo units in we stopped in to look at them. No one wanted to help me! The receptionist paged for a sales person twice. Finally someone agreed to talk with us....but when a different customer came, they passed us on to someone else! I realized that to really be happy with the A4 I would need to spend at least $40K and since it was a new model the dealer couldn't even promise us any specific configuration.

That same day, I stopped by the Cadillac dealer and was blown away. The sales rep brought a car out quickly, was about 2 notches better on the professionalism scale, and introduced us to the owner. The CTS exuded luxury compared to the Audi, BMW, Lexus, and MB that I drove (ironically at an Audi sponsored event). I was a proud new CTS owner in less than a week.:thumbsup:

omegafiler
10-05-08, 10:40 PM
Is this a common experience with GM and it's dealers? Nope
Do they know how to sell premium product to customers at that end of the market? Yep.

I'm sure you already know the answer to those questions. Having a bad dealer experience is certainly not GM specific. I've dealt with many GM and non-GM dealers. Some go out of their way to make you happy (and make a sale), while others act as if they're doing you a favor just by talking to you.

I blame the dealership, sales rep, or owner of that dealership - not the manufacture of the vehicle they're "selling."

Personally, I had a great experience with my dealer when I bought my CTS. Probably best I've had so far with any dealer/manufacture.

SpudRacer
10-06-08, 07:24 AM
LOL, even Infiniti owners on the Infiniti forum complain about the gas mileage. It wasn't much of a concern for us as my wife drives only 5-7K miles per year. Also the $3K I saved at purchase time will put a few gallons of gas in the tank.

SpudRacer
10-06-08, 08:13 PM
I'm sure you already know the answer to those questions. Having a bad dealer experience is certainly not GM specific. I've dealt with many GM and non-GM dealers. Some go out of their way to make you happy (and make a sale), while others act as if they're doing you a favor just by talking to you.

I blame the dealership, sales rep, or owner of that dealership - not the manufacture of the vehicle they're "selling."

Personally, I had a great experience with my dealer when I bought my CTS. Probably best I've had so far with any dealer/manufacture.


Certainly the dealer was an unpleasant surprise. And that wasn't GM's fault. But, I was equally surprised that when I elevated it to Cadillac with a "contact us" e-mail on the corporate website, I received the same complete lack of communication! It would have been nice to receive at least a "sorry about your bad experience" note or the offer to hook me up with another dealer. Instead, there was dead silence. As in "we could care less".

Perhaps I've been spoiled by Volvo, Mercedes, Honda, and Infiniti but GM's was the rudest response I've ever encountered when trying to hand someone more than $40K. Sadly, I don't think I'd chance another encounter with them. For me, GM lived down to the stereotype of domestic manufacturers.

Too bad, the CTS seemed like a nice car and I was ready to give it a chance.

Mystical_Ice
10-06-08, 11:57 PM
it's got to be a dealership issue man.

over the last few years, my experiences at cadillac dealerships (of which there are several in houston) have either been a pleasure, or outrageous.

sorry GM didn't sell you this time. give them a go in a few years :(

ejguillot
10-07-08, 03:09 AM
Certainly the dealer was an unpleasant surprise. And that wasn't GM's fault. But, I was equally surprised that when I elevated it to Cadillac with a "contact us" e-mail on the corporate website, I received the same complete lack of communication! It would have been nice to receive at least a "sorry about your bad experience" note or the offer to hook me up with another dealer. Instead, there was dead silence. As in "we could care less".

Perhaps I've been spoiled by Volvo, Mercedes, Honda, and Infiniti but GM's was the rudest response I've ever encountered when trying to hand someone more than $40K. Sadly, I don't think I'd chance another encounter with them. For me, GM lived down to the stereotype of domestic manufacturers.

Too bad, the CTS seemed like a nice car and I was ready to give it a chance.

Name Names! Who was the Cadillac dealership? Who in that dealership did you deal with?