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Cadillac ATS Picture and Appearance Forum Discussion, Back In The Day in Cadillac ATS Forums; Back in the day, car purchasers would go into the dealer and the salesman would write up the order based ...
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    carguy2015 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Back In The Day

    Back in the day, car purchasers would go into the dealer and the salesman would write up the order based upon what the buyer wanted. If I recall, it took about six weeks waiting for your new car to be delivered after the dealer entered the order.

    Nowadays, it seems that method of car buying is a thing of the past. Dealers pre-order models with colors and options for their inventory that they think will sell and potential purchasers buy off the lot. If a particular dealer doesn't have exactly what you want, chances are he can trade with another dealer who has a car that fits your wants and needs.

    So here's my question: Who has actually sat down at a dealer and placed a factory order for exactly what they wanted as opposed to buying a car off a dealer's lot?

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    neuronbob's Avatar
    neuronbob is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back In The Day

    I bought my CTS-V wagon exactly that way. I sat down at the dealer and ordered exactly what I wanted, and it appeared st the dealer six weeks later. A touch over six years later, I still have my piece of American automotive history.

    My daily driver, my dealer swapped with another dealer for, but it was exactly what I wanted.
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    artscadillac is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back In The Day

    In the 70's + 80's I ordered 5 new cars in a row. Then in the 90's, I had Eldorado ETC's that were easy to buy off the lot, with
    very few options. I ordered a 2007 CTS and got it in 3 weeks. They must have been building that color when the order arrived.

    I wanted to order my ATS, but I settled on the Luxury on the lot, because there is no guarantee that the deal will be there 6-8
    weeks later. With off the lot buying, we have to compromise, but we know that the rebates and rates are, so if they are good,
    a special order will likely cost us more, especially if it's a higher trim level also.

    Dealers may also discount the car more to buy it off the lot and lock in the sale now.
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    Phantom14's Avatar
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    Re: Back In The Day

    I was on the other side of the desk at a GM store for 7 years, and put together factory orders for a good number of trucks, Solstices, Volts, Camaros, & Corvettes. Waiting times ranged from 8-12 wks., depending on which model was being ordered and what part of the model year it was. Prior to 2009, we could submit an order for almost anything and it would get built in a reasonable/predictable amount of time. After, however, GM changed their order processing system and we always had to wait longer to get allocation - even for a guaranteed 'sold' unit. It didn't help that Canadian orders were always a lower priority than those from within the States. I remember waiting up to 4 months for something - maybe a Camaro ZL1 when it first came out - by which time the customer was threatening to cancel the deal because we were too optimistic with our ETA for the car.

    Nowadays, it seems that method of car buying is a thing of the past. Dealers pre-order models with colors and options for their inventory that they think will sell and potential purchasers buy off the lot. If a particular dealer doesn't have exactly what you want, chances are he can trade with another dealer who has a car that fits your wants and needs.
    This is an accurate assessment. As long as you're in an urban/metro area where there are lots of other stores, the odds of finding something close to what you want are decent. You'd better also hope that, unless the other store is dying to get rid of what you want, the dealer you're working with has a piece of inventory that the other dealer wants in return! I recall numerous occasions where we found something 'perfect' at another dealer, but the deal fell apart because we couldn't satisfy the other end of the trade.

    It's true that every dealer prefers the instant gratification of an immediate sale, and depending on the model/time of year, will often bend over backwards to sell something out of inventory...or that demo that the owner's wife has been driving...lol. Unless it's a popular low-volume car (high-performance/special edition), there's really no reason that your 'deal' on a factory order can't be as good as something on the lot. We always made our orders subject to rebates/financing that were in place at the time of delivery, which were never 'worse' than when the order was made.

    If you're buying a truck to suit specific needs or a unique/desirable/possibly collectible car that you intend on keeping for a long time (CTS-V wagon is a great example!), a factory order is still a great way to go. You're assured to get your color, your options, your wheels - everything you want, nothing you don't. As I always advised clients, the most expensive option you can buy is regret.
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    carguy2015 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back In The Day

    Quote Originally Posted by artscadillac View Post
    In the 70's + 80's I ordered 5 new cars in a row. Then in the 90's, I had Eldorado ETC's that were easy to buy off the lot, with
    very few options. I ordered a 2007 CTS and got it in 3 weeks. [B]They must have been building that color when the order arrived. /B
    Here's another bit of trivia fact from back in the day: As unbelievable as it may sound, in the late '60s and early '70's, you could order whatever color you wanted -even if it was a competitor's color! If you wanted a color from Ford's or Chrysler's or AMC's color palate, it could be special ordered (CPO - Central Processing Oder) and the factory would paint it that color!

    I know this to be a fact for Chevrolet Division. Whether or not other GM divisions did the same I don't know.
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    Re: Back In The Day

    Quote Originally Posted by carguy2015 View Post
    Here's another bit of trivia fact from back in the day: As unbelievable as it may sound, in the late '60s and early '70's, you could order whatever color you wanted -even if it was a competitor's color! If you wanted a color from Ford's or Chrysler's or AMC's color palate, it could be special ordered (CPO - Central Processing Oder) and the factory would paint it that color!

    I know this to be a fact for Chevrolet Division. Whether or not other GM divisions did the same I don't know.
    I heard similar stories from some of my more 'experienced' customers, although it was usually about powertrain options - and they weren't entirely wrong (see about Yenko, maybe most famously, among others). The stories often involved the dealer doing an engine/parts swap after the vehicle had landed...entirely plausible for the 60's & 70's, I guess, when Nickey, Yenko, Baldwin-Motion and others were making a name for themselves in hot rod circles. A few times, it took some convincing to establish the fact that no matter how much money they wanted to spend, we couldn't wave a magic wand to make GM put the biggest possible engine in the smallest possible truck. The modern equivalent of GM's COPO (Central Office Purchase Order) program would be the Fleet and Specialty Vehicles departments, but long-gone are the days when you could sneak in an order to throw a 'Corvette engine' into some other car.
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    carguy2015 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back In The Day

    [QUOTE=Phantom14;17669210]I heard similar stories from some of my more 'experienced' customers, although it was usually about powertrain options - and they weren't entirely wrong . The modern equivalent of GM's COPO (Central Office Purchase Order) program would be the Fleet and Specialty Vehicles departments, but long-gone are the days when you could sneak in an order to throw a 'Corvette engine' into some other car.[/QUOTE

    Yeah, those were the "good old days". Sounds like we have a few things in common. Even back in the day, COPOs weren't that much different than today. As you pointed out, COPOs were generally associated with the likes of Yenko, Baldwin, etc. but if the truth be known, COPO cars back in the day as they are now were simply "special order" cars or any cars that you would not likely find on a show room floor.. Taxi cabs, fleet cars, and any other specialty cars were all COPOs as they are today. It's just that us gear heads didn't give a damn about taxi cabs and fleet cars so COPO had a special meaning.

    Back when the Yenkos, Balwins and ZFranks were making their marks (not to mention those "other" guys like Mr. Norm and later Carrol Shelby) factories were deeply entrenched in muscle car wars and willing to do (within reason) whatever it took to stay on top.

    Thanks for your reply.
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    CadillacGM is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back In The Day

    Funny that you mention that, today that would be considered bespoke treatment while in reality it should still be the norm. Haven't had that experience at any dealerships in the past decade.

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    Re: Back In The Day

    Never have, and never will. It’s just not worth buying a car brand new in my opinion. Though there is something to be said for spec’ing and ordering one exactly the way you want it, and knowing you’re the first to drive it. Still I only buy cars CPO or used, and I am extremely particular so finding exactly what I want can be very difficult. But it’s always out there and you’ll find it if you’re patient/flexible enough.

    It’s annoying how carmakers package certain colors with certain features, etc these days. Makes it very hard if you really want one thing but really don’t want something else, but to get either one of those things you have to get both. The way the ATS was packaged really changed a lot in 2016 or maybe 2017. And around that same time they also started only selling premium models with the 3.6, whereas before that a premium could have either the 2.0T or 3.6. Makes no sense to me, I assume they do it to save money somehow.
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    Re: Back In The Day

    Quote Originally Posted by SaveTheManuals View Post
    Itís annoying how carmakers package certain colors with certain features, etc these days. Makes it very hard if you really want one thing but really donít want something else, but to get either one of those things you have to get both. The way the ATS was packaged really changed a lot in 2016 or maybe 2017. And around that same time they also started only selling premium models with the 3.6, whereas before that a premium could have either the 2.0T or 3.6. Makes no sense to me, I assume they do it to save money somehow.
    GM's terrible for that, and especially with slower-selling models. "It looks like nobody's going to miss some of these options, so let's just pull them out. That model's sunsetting in a couple of years anyway..."

    Speaking of packaging certain features together, I saw what might be the worst pairing on the new Chevy Blazer. No matter what, a sunroof is only available in a package with a wheel upgrade (not a la carte, no Sun-and-Sound pkg.). In the mid-level trims you have to go from 18" to 20" to get the sunroof, which maybe for $2300, sounds like a reasonable 'add' for most shopping in that range. However, on the top 2 trims you're forced to get a $2500 package that includes 21" (up from std. 20") wheels to get the sunroof...that just seems wrong, especially on top of a $45-50,000 base MSRP. Not to mention that even after $45K, you still need a $3600 package to get a memory driver seat and nav/8-spkr. Bose stereo. A 1-up-from-base $33,500 FWD 4-cyl. model does not come with heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, or an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Yes, pricing on the Blazer is a very contentious subject...lol...the sales numbers will be interesting.
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    SaveTheManuals is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back In The Day

    ^Wow, that seems crazy. Well not seems, it is crazy. That thing is a disappointment anyway to me, it should have been a more rugged SUV instead of just another crossover that looks like everything else. Already forgettable. And as you said, freakin expensive.

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    Re: Back In The Day

    BITD... I ordered an 84 Monte Carlo SS in June which was the cutoff for orders. Back then you almost had to order each item as there were very few pkg's. In my case, all Monte SS's were built about 90 miles north of me in Arlington, Texas and I still got charged full shipping price. They wouldn't let me do a factory pickup.

    Went thru the dealer swap dance when I bought my 17 Scat... Made the deal for color and options for plan A and plan B. Both deals fell thru. Ending up get my original color/options plus the dynamics pkg (Hellcat wheels and brakes) for the original agreed price. Swapped the 14 ATS & 10 Challenger and walked out of the dealership for a tad over 6 large including tax/title/lic.

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    jeffroeson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back In The Day

    I did!!!

    Placed the order for my 2013 ATS at the dealer on my birthday, Jan 09, 2013 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME) and waited until it was under butt on Valentines Day (my sweetheart of a car), just over five weeks of waiting.

    There was no way I would accept anything other than an order to the factory.

    N it's still under my butt...........69K miles later!!!
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    carguy2015 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back In The Day

    Congrats!

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    CadManXII is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Back In The Day

    I've had only two new cars. The first was a 1978 Cadillac Seville that was purchased off the showroom floor. It wasn't a particularly heavily optioned example, but had a sticker price higher than the fully loaded Fleetwood Brougham parked next to it. All the items that were popular options on other cars, even Cadillacs, were standard equipment on the Seville, but it had what I wanted and what it didn't wasn't important. For example, it didn't have leather or cruise control. When friends noticed this and asked why I bought a new Cadillac without then, I explained that not long before I purchased it, I'd been notified that I was being transferred to Oahu, Hawaii for three years. "Where in Oahu am I going to have the opportunity to use cruise control long enough to make it useful?", I'd ask them. Also, it's likely to be parked in the tropical sun all day, every day. "Do you want to have to sit on leather that's been baking all day at 140 degrees when you get in the car to drive home at the end of the day?" "Good points" they'd reply. So it was driven from Newport, R.I. to San Diego within two weeks of my taking delivery and then spent the next three years in Hawaii. It still had less than 30K on it when we returned to the Mainland. I kept the car another three years before trading it in on the only other new car I've owned, at which time it had only 55K on the odometer. Because of that I was allowed more than half of what I actually paid for it, not an unacceptable depreciation rate. The new car was a 1984 Pontiac 6000 STE, which was an ordered car. In standard form it was even more thoroughly equipped than the Seville. The entire option list consisted of only four items: color, upholstery type (cloth or suede, no cost choice), sunroof (extra cost), and radio delete, if the standard equipment top of the line Delco system wasn't good enough for you. I selected black over silver and grey cloth. I'd sat in a suede upholstered example at the car show and thought it was like sitting on velcro. Easily sliding your butt across it just wasn't going to happen, and from my experience with the Seville, I'd come to appreciate the advantages of fine quality fabric upholstery, so I unhesitatingly specified that. The salesman did his best to get me to include the extra cost sunroof. He tried to persuade me with "On nice days, a young guy like you should be driving around with the windows down and the sunroof open." To which I replied "On nice days I'll take the t-tops and back window off my Corvette and drive that." Checkmate. He had no counter argument. Besides, we were nearly at the $15,000 out-the-door point already, prior to applying the trade-in allowance for the Seville. One must draw the line somewhere. The deal was signed and the order was placed at the end of March. The car was delivered just before the middle of May, exactly six weeks later, as promised. Car and Driver magazine included the 6000 STE on its Ten Best that year, which I heartily agreed with. I kept it ten years and drove it 150,000 miles. It was very reliable, as was the Seville. i consider them both to be among the best cars I've owned. That Seville was my second Cadillac. My first was a 1938 Sixty Special that I'd acquired inexpensively a year previously that was in need of a complete restoration, which I intended to do. I've since owned ten others, numbers XI and XII now share my garage. XI is a Polo Green with black interior 1993 Allante that just turned 29K on its odometer Sunday afternoon. XII is my Coast Silver 2015 ATS Luxury 2.0 T (with sunroof) that replaced IX, a 1998 DeVille Concours, and took up residence in January. It will turn 40K this week. I've performed a few upgrades and am already in love with it to the point that I consider it the best car I've ever owned (and that includes two Rolls-Royce motor cars; a 1958 Silver Cloud and a 1999 Silver Seraph, owned concurrently).

    I became a motorhead in the early Sixties, when Cadillacs and other big cars typically got no better than 15 mpg overall (my 1965 DeVille convertible (number V) was good for about 12, downhill with a tailwind). I never thought I'd live to see the day when a Cadillac delivered 20 mpg around town and 30 mpg on the highway, but here I am, enjoying every minute of it.

    BTW, I'm of Irish heritage and have been to Blarney Castle and kissed The Stone, so, if you didn't already suspect, it is very difficult if not nearly impossible for me to tell a short story. Thanks for bearing with me.

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