Working with Kia dealers, even in this modern age of car shopping, can be an exercise in futility. Attempting a deal on a Kia Stinger in Florida, a state that is notorious in my experience, for bad dealers, could have been a nightmare. But sometimes things don’t always go as expected. Here’s how I pulled off a deal in two unusual places.
A while back, I wrote a post explaining how the Kia Stinger may have a tough time reaching customers due to a dealer network that is, for the most part, stuck in the old ways: playing games and offering lousy deals.
After that article was published I got a handful (and I do mean a handful) of emails from various dealers across the country explaining how they don’t operate like the other stores, and just want to offer folks a good deal without the hassle. These stores are obviously smart and have adapted to selling cars in 2018.
One particular email came from Bruce, the general manager of Grieco Kia of Delray Beach . Needless to say, I was pretty surprised that a Kia dealer in Florida was trying to do things right. He told me to reach out anytime if he could ever be of service in offering a new or used Kia at a great price.
Sure enough, I got a customer in south Florida who not only was looking to lease a sporty sedan, but was also in the unfortunate situation of having a credit score that was not so great. He told me his FICO was somewhere in the 620 range, and he had already spoken with a few dealers in his area who gave him quotes that sounded absolutely insane. One BMW store told him he could lease the new X2 for almost $750 a month. This is why America is in trouble, everyone.
But this client needed a car. He recently had his Mazda6 totaled in an accident and needed something soon. He was in a tough spot between the timing and the credit score, and while he could bring in a co-signer to help with the approval process he preferred to handle this on his own.
After going to a Hyundai dealer and checking out the new G80 only to be jerked around he came to me and said he was willing to settle for something like a Toyota Camry with a V6, since the reasonable discounts and Toyota’s historically good resale value should make for a decent lease. Still, he preferred something a little nicer if we could make the budget work.
Running lease numbers on a customer with less-than-perfect credit is a challenge. Often it’s like tossing darts at a board to see which cars would come back in the ballpark, then refining those quotes that are close. All of my BMW and Mercedes contacts came back with numbers that were way too high. The Audi dealer made a reasonable offer but it was on a car that was pretty basic.(Before you judge my client too harshly, remember the luxury companies are often the ones with the most aggressive lease deals.) Even the Camry came back in the mid $500 per month range.
Figuring it was a long shot, I contacted Bruce at Kia of Delray Beach to see what he can do on a Stinger. The client thought the Stinger was really cool, but figured there was no way to get the numbers to work.
Immediately Bruce kicked me back a quote on a Stinger with three possible quotes given the customer’s credit profile, a worst-case scenario, a best-case scenario, and something in between. Even his worst case scenario as almost $150 per month cheaper than the Camry and the Kia had an almost identical MSRP. The customer scored his car and was amazed how easy the whole process was.
The moral of this story is good deals—and good dealers!—can be found in surprising places. And while some brands have a reputation for old-school sales tactics, if you find a car you really love it’s worth putting in the work to find the store that will give you the right deal.
Maybe Kia dealers aren’t so bad after all. Maybe.