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SLK55/Infiniti M45
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Discussion Starter #1
Just got back from the Mercedes dealership in San Francisco, that was by far the worst experience I've ever had with a dealership. The salesman was a complete and utter jerk (refraining from using more colorful language here), and at the end he flat out called me a liar and all but kicked me out of the place.

Why? Becuause I wouldn't buy his SLK55 on the spot after test driving it for $10k over MSRP.

Um, am I crazy here, or is the dealer correct in trying to rape the customer for $10k over sticker? I've already got one dealer offering the car at $2k under MSRP, and one dealership in LA is talking about invoice price.

I'm seriously reconsidering whether an MB is right for me. When I drive in to the Lexus dealership (in any car, not just the SC430) they treat me like royalty.

I'm just still stunned by this experience. I've test driven literally hundreds of cars and never been treated like that.

I wasn't there for a joyride (I have a 700hp Corvette Z06 for that), I was there to find out whether the car was right for me or not.

As for the SLK55 itself, not bad. Didn't seem like 100hp over the SLK350, the soundsystem was excellent (a surprise), the nav system was pretty horrible, handling was great, ride quality very good, ergonomics not as bad as they seemed in the SLK350 I drove. Overall a nice car, but I'm just not sure if it's right for me yet.

I'd love it if it had a good nav system, bluetooth, and adaptive cruise control. An SL55 is an option, but I can't understand why the car is well over 4000lbs.

Hmmm.
 

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2005 SLK55 AMG
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Call back and ask to speak to the Sales Manger, don't leave the details, just that you have a serious issue you need to discuss. Leave a call back number if necessary. If no callback within 1-2 days. Call and ask to speak to the General Manager.

It is unfortunate, that happened. But the SM or GM can't work on it, unless they have "evidence".

Worst case, you will find out they deny/defend the salesman and then you know to never go again or recommend that dealership to anyone.
 

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SLK350, BMW K1200LT
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Strange breed, car dealers - I've never been sold a car in my life, - I've bought them. I find it strange that you way up all the options, decide what you want't to buy, then some stranger tells you 'wonderful choice Sir, but would'nt you like this that & the other', then they get commission for you going to them, and telling them what you want. Trying not to sound toooo snobby, if they could afford the wheels we are driving, they would'nt be working saturdays and sundays !! - Why can't we just buy directly from the manufacturers???
 

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slk55amg
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Posting looks fishy. I never heard any MB dealer in the world offers slk55 for invoice price. [?]
If you already found dealer offering invoice price, why don't you buy from there and forget about the dealership handled you badly? Then, you will be the ONLY one getting slk55 at invoice price in this forum... maybe in the world [:D]
Even if you don't like slk55, you can make money by selling it as used car as soon as you buy from that dealer. [|)]
 

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SLK55/Infiniti M45
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Discussion Starter #5
Now that I've cooled down a bit, I should also paint the other side. The dealership in Redwood City just tossed me the keys to a SLK350 and let my wife and I take it for as long as we wanted. That's what got me so interested in the car in the first place. (But they didn't have a SLK55 to try).

I think I'll try the SLK55 once more elsewhere, and if I like it enough and can get a great deal I'll go for it. If not I'll keep the SC430 for a bit longer and special order an XLR-V. (Drool, 440hp supercharged V8, HUD, magnetic suspension, adaptive cruise control, beautiful interior, YUM!)

I don't believe that dealer in LA will give it to me for invoice, but we're talking $1k or so over invoice instead of talking $XXXX off MSRP.
 

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2005 SLK350 2011 GLK3504X 2006 ML350(selling when GLK arrives)
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Dozer42 - 3/10/2005 8:37 PM

Now that I've cooled down a bit, I should also paint the other side. The dealership in Redwood City just tossed me the keys to a SLK350 and let my wife and I take it for as long as we wanted.
You must mean Belmont...had my own experience there and wound up elsewhere...[xx(]
 

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2007 ML320 CDI - Silver/Ash
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Dozer42 - 3/10/2005 11:37 PM

If not I'll keep the SC430 for a bit longer and special order an XLR-V. (Drool, 440hp supercharged V8, HUD, magnetic suspension, adaptive cruise control, beautiful interior, YUM!)

I don't believe that dealer in LA will give it to me for invoice, but we're talking $1k or so over invoice instead of talking $XXXX off MSRP.
Since you are keeping the SC430 Lexus (which is more of a luxury hard top convertible), it now seems that your looking for another hard top convertible: either the the SLK 55 or Cadillac XLR-V.

Below is a link to a very recent article regarding General Motor's and Cadillac's problems. If you really like the extra's offered by the XLR, by all means, go for it.

For myself, I would never purchase another American car again. I like American trucks, but cars are another story.

And those who think Benz is having problems, this article should prove interesting reading too.

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=8180
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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Thank god the Swiss dealers are relatively cool people.
 

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SLK55/Infiniti M45
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Discussion Starter #10
Not keeping the SC430.

I'm keeping it for now, until I find another retractable hardtop, but it's being sold too.

Right now we'll have on the market:

700hp supercharged Corvette Z06 http://www.dozer.com/z06
2002 Yamaha R1 http://www.dozer.com/r1

Soon the 2003 Lexus SC430 (http://www.dozer.com/sc430-2.jpg), and then her Accord V6 will go up there...

Replacing all of the above with an Infiniti M45 for her, and the SLK55 or XLR for me...
 

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2007 ML320 CDI - Silver/Ash
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Dozer:
Your cars for sale look great.
Great choice on the M45 for her.
Hopefully you get to liking the SLK 55 over the XLR - no comparision between the two in my book.
One is a German missle, the other is an American Luxury Liner that still clings to the Detroit Baroque style of luxury. [:)]
 

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SLK55/Infiniti M45
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Discussion Starter #12
Hmmm, I'm more comparing it to the XLR-V, which should be significantly faster than the SLK55.

I don't know why, but the SLK55 I drove just didn't seem that fast, even after stepping out of my SC430.

I'd like to try another one, but need to find another dealer in the SF Bay Area that'll let me test drive one.

There's a whole lot of things I like about the XLR-V, but I also don't want to wait a year to get a new car.
 

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There are some things that GM has placed into the XLR which are not available in the SLK.
HUD, Adjustable Suspension, etc.
These are interesting options.
You are interested in the XLR V series. Like the SLK 55, the V series is Cadillac's first attempt at an upmarket, more performance oriented car. Trying to mimic MB's AMG models.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
However, in this instance, assuming a customer is paying top dollar and a premium for the V, will the same hold true on the resale?
We are pretty sure that the SLK will hold it's value well, but a Cadillac?
 

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SLK55/Infiniti M45
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Discussion Starter #14
No, you're absolutely correct in the statement that the Caddy won't hold it's value as well.

In fact, I'm banking on that.

If I can get the car for $10k off MSRP, and lease it for 2-3 years, I don't care what it's worth at the end. When I go into the deal I'll know what residual they're using and the cheaper I get the car, the lower the lease payments will be. (Current residual on the XLR is 66% at 24 months, 58% at 36 months, 57% at 39 months).

XLR sales are HORRIBLE right now. There's tons and tons of 2004 XLRs left on dealers lots, and GM cut production in half. I test drove one last night and the dealer all but begged me to take it home for $10,000 off MSRP (leftover 2004, 117 miles).

Why are sales so bad? I have no idea. It's a fantastic car and is completely loaded for $76.5k, there are no options except XM radio. And if it's being sold for $66k? Sounds like a heck of a deal.

Now if I can snag the same discount on the XLR-V, I'll have one heck of a barnstormer with 440hp at 3600lbs. Beautiful interior, all the awesome goodies I want, and a pretty low lease payment.

<Rant mode on>

Some people are asking: Why leasing? The most important benefit for me is that you only pay tax on the lease payment, and NOT on the entire vehicle, and when we're talking about $50k-$90k vehicles, that's a HUGE difference.

With my Corvette, the original owner paid $5k in taxes, and sold it to me with 688 miles. I paid another $4k in taxes. When I sell it (with 8500 miles) the new owner will pay another $5k in taxes. I can't stand the bloody government making $15k off that car in the first couple years when GM didn't even make that much on it! It is SO wrong to pay taxes multiple times on the same vehicle. It's a severe penalty for wanting to switch cars every few years, and leasing will avoid this.

Heck, I got the SC430 about a year ago, $5k in taxes. If I sell it this month I'll have wasted over $400 a month in taxes alone.

</rant>
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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Dozer42 - 3/11/2005 4:18 PM
Why are sales so bad?
Probably because the looks don't cater to the masses. I personally think it's one of the ugliest convertibles around...

Anyway, the XLR V version is not supposed to have the foldable hardtop, so I don't see why it should be compared to the SLK (or SL for that matter).

Design wise, this car doesn't hold a candle to any AMG model made (just my personal opinion) :\
 

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Shini:

Wow, did not know that the XLR V will be fixed roof.
Talk about killing it before it even comes out.
Why would anyone at GM attempt to take the XLR's most important design elements - the vario roof - off the car when you order the V series treatment???
This seems kind of crazy. MB was able to keep the vario roof the the high performance SLK 55.
The loss of that roof on the XLR will take an already slow selling product and just about kill it IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No no no, the XLR-V will most certainly have a retractable hardtop, just like the regular XLR.

Here's the real scoop on the car, my apologies if this is too far off topic, but I do see it as competition for the SL55.

"I've have just come from talking with the owner of my dealership and I have authentic news from the Cadillac party in Jacksonville.

Four thousand XLR's for 2005 and 700 to 750 of those will be V's. This will be an exclusive club by his words.

440HP supercharged linked with an all-new 6 speed automatic tranny that feels like a B&M hydro. He says, "You cannot feel it shift." I think I'll be the judge on this one.

Two tone interior done with leather seating surfaces and suede on seats and door panels. A softer look in the cockpit. Just
what that means could be anyone's guess.

Four driving modes, regular, sport, aggressive driving and one more that takes everything off and makes you the pilot.

No color changes for the V, but he believes there is one for the regular XLR in a dark color, but didn't get much info on
that.

Fender flares are bigger and bolder to accommodate 18's up front and 19's on the rear.

Four, what he believes to be 3" exhaust round tips, with 3"pipes all the way to the headers"
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, the latest from the manager at the dealership is:

"Mr. Rockefeller, I would like to know that our policy and procedures were followed"

Here's my reply and theirs (long):

From: Bill Rockefeller
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 13:04:41 -0800 (PST)
To: "Ash Zaki"
Cc: "Rich Fox" , [email protected]
Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco - Contact Us

Yes, black was an acceptable color to me IF the price were right. My first choice is Firemist Red, but I could certainly go for the black if it were a better deal.

I was quite clear with both Katie and Allen that I had other vehicles I wished to sell before committing to the purchase of an SLK55. Currently between my wife Madhuri and myself we have 4 vehicles, I do not wish to make it 5 and would like to sell some of those off first, while special ordering a vehicle to my exact specifications.

During the test drive not even 2 miles were put on that car, where it had already received 72 miles at the factory according to the tag on the car (even though the odometer read 49 miles). The mileage put on that vehicle is insignificant, my treatment by your salesperson is not.

Let's be very clear here, it is never, under any circumstances, correct to call a potential customer a liar and tell him to leave.

Never.

Ever.

What he did was very very wrong, and he should be fired for that. If he was one of my employees, he would have been terminated already.

I'm still considering the possibility of purchasing an SLK55, and could've taken that one off your lot that day if the price were right, but I don't see any reason to pay a premium on a vehicle in a color that wasn't my first choice and especially not from a dealer who calls me a liar.

So now you've not only lost a sale on that car, you've also lost a sale on special ordering a car for me, and you've lost the business of everyone who hears about this experience.

As the owner of an internet service provider, and being a 'car guy', I come in contact with literally hundreds of people every year, many of whom ask for advice about cars. You can bet your dealership on the fact that each and every one of them will hear about this experience, just the same as I tell them how excellent the service has been from Stevens Creek Lexus,.

The entire reason my company was founded was to provide proper customer service. My business partner and I found that there was a total lack of customer service in the ISP industry 10 years ago, and we started NetWizards, Inc. To this day we've spent virtually no money on advertising, 99% of our business comes from customer referrals. It's the success of this business that allows me the luxury of purchasing any vehicle I wish, and if you still insist that 'your policies and procedures' were followed, and that they include calling a customer a liar and asking him to leave, if you still think that's ok, then we can just call it a day and go our seperate ways.

Current vehicles in the stable:

700hp Supercharged Corvette Z06: http://www.dozer.com/z06
2002 Yamaha R1: http://www.dozer.com/r1
2003 Lexus SC430: http://www.dozer.com/sc430-2.jpg
2002 Honda Accord V6

William Rockefeller
Vice President
NetWizards, Inc.
http://www.netwiz.net

--- "Ash Zaki" wrote:

From: "Ash Zaki"
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 10:27:34 -0800
Cc: "Rich Fox"
Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco - Contact Us

Mr. Rockefeller,

My name is Ash Zaki, VP and General Manger, let me start with an apology for any misunderstanding and how you perceived your experience here at Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco, however, we do have a policy of limiting test drives of exclusive models to those only serious about purchasing one.

Our practice is to demonstrate the vehicle, inform you of the pros and cons of owning such a vehicle and inform you of our price, which generally speaking is below market, if you still want to purchase the vehicle or place an order for one subject to a test drive, then we proceed with the test drive.

As to the reason of such policy, you being a buyer of high performance automobiles, I am sure you understand that, most people would not want to purchase one that was used for joy rides.

Mr. Rockefeller, I would like to know that our policy and procedures were followed, if you can take the time to answer the following for me I would truly appreciate it, were you informed of the market price of the SLK55 prior to test driving it? and was Black an acceptable color for you? did you like how it drove?

Thank you for you time and input.

Ash Zaki

----- Original Message -----
To:
Cc:
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 2:39 PM
Subject: Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco - Contact Us

> Topic: General
>
> The following client has submitted a message:
>
> Mr. William Rockefeller
>
> Street Address: P.O. Box 2027
> City: San Mateo
> State: CA
> Zip Code: 94401
>
> Feedback:
> I just got back from your dealership and that was by far the worst
> experience I've ever had at any dealer. I have never been treated so badly
> in my LIFE!
>
> Your salesman Allen Bock should be fired immediately!
>
> After the test drive, he flat out called me a liar and told me to leave.
> Simply because I wouldn't buy the SLK55 on the spot for $10,000 over MSRP.
>
> I'm going to be formally complaining to MB USA about this horrible
> experience and do everything in my power to see that that rude jerk never
> works as a salesman again ever. His behavior was completely inexcuseable.
>
> Right now I'm considering whether a MB is the proper car for me or not
> with how badly I've been treated.
>
 
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