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We all know how wide the gulf can be between automakers' marketing claims and customers' experience at the retail level. Our buddy, "Balitmore" Phillip, who spent last weekend shopping for a car, shares his experience. Yes, Big Three, before you hurl a cash-guided lawyer into our airspace, we know it's just one man's experience, and should be treated as such. Still, it's, you know, interesting.

I was shopping for a car all weekend in the Baltimore area The ford dealership offered me employee pricing, and dropped from 34k to 24k +tag & Title on a new Explorer, pretty much matching the price of a Chevy Trailblazer. Problem is, the financing they offer at the dealerships have the APR jacked up to between 6.9% and 8.9%... I still think the $7500 cash back at 0% financing was the way to go.

Don't forget, the deals are shaping up to be one of the most fruitful gimmicks of the century, a way for automakers to reduce their reliance on rebates. Consumers aren't exactly the winners here.

Big Three Adopt Employee Discounts, Mostly [internal]