Could dealers benefit from an ethics code? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-28-2016
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Could dealers benefit from an ethics code?

Consumers more willing to shop at a store with posted document, consultant says

The car business still has a trust problem.

Even though the majority of dealerships do right by their customers, a few bad apples can generate negative headlines that blanket the industry with nagging stereotypes about dishonesty, said Max Zanan, president of auditing firm Total Dealer Compliance.

Those stereotypes can shape perceptions. In a July survey of more than 200 consumers, TDC found that nearly 65 percent of them believe the business practices of U.S. car dealerships are not ethical.

“It’s decades of certain failed practices that left a negative impression on consumers,” Zanan told Automotive News. “Even though there are so many good dealers out there, the overall stereotype of the sleazy used-car salesman persists in the consumer’s mind.”

But Zanan thinks dealerships can counteract this perception by showing consumers they’re serious about ethical business practices. One way to start, he says, is for dealerships to display a code of ethics in their showrooms and on their websites.

Among those surveyed by TDC, more than half of respondents indicated they would be more likely to shop at a dealership if a code of ethics was clearly displayed.

Zanan said TDC randomly visited more than 100 dealer websites and found none had a code of ethics posted. In most cases, Zanan said, the stores he works with don’t have a code at all.

What should the code say?

It should make clear to consumers that a dealer advertises in an “ethical and nondeceptive manner,” Zanan said.

“Dealers spend a lot of money hoping to bring that consumer into the showroom. It’s mission critical to bring that consumer into the showroom legitimately without resorting to deceptive advertising,” he said. “If you look at [actions by the Federal Trade Commission], they are aggressively going after dealers that are engaged in deceptive advertising. That would be the first step.”

Zanan said a store’s code of ethics also should state that vehicle walkarounds will be conducted in an honest fashion. Consumers should know that they won’t be misled by salespeople who exaggerate a vehicle’s features and capabilities.

Dealers don’t have to draft a lengthy document, either. Zanan said stores can use the code of ethics from the National Automobile Dealers Association website and tweak it to reflect their business models.

Respect the code
Here's why dealerships are urged to display a code of ethics on their walls and websites.

• Nearly 65% of consumers believe that U.S. car dealerships' business practices are not ethical.
• More than half of consumers are more likely to shop at a dealership if a code of ethics is clearly displayed.

Source: Total Dealer Compliance survey of more than 200 consumers

Having a code of ethics is one thing, but it’s useless if staffers aren’t trained to follow its principles.

In addition to sales techniques, Zanan said, stores need to educate their employees on ethical practices.

Zanan said: “Consumers are more willing to shop at the dealership that clearly displays a code of ethics. It gives them a certain comfort. That comfort is a good starting place to change that perception of car dealers that consumers have.”
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#2 Old 08-28-2016
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Originally Posted by Berliner Heckflosse View Post
Consumers more willing to shop at a store with posted document, consultant says

The car business still has a trust problem.

Even though the majority of dealerships do right by their customers, a few bad apples can generate negative headlines that blanket the industry with nagging stereotypes about dishonesty, said Max Zanan, president of auditing firm Total Dealer Compliance.

Those stereotypes can shape perceptions. In a July survey of more than 200 consumers, TDC found that nearly 65 percent of them believe the business practices of U.S. car dealerships are not ethical.

“It’s decades of certain failed practices that left a negative impression on consumers,” Zanan told Automotive News. “Even though there are so many good dealers out there, the overall stereotype of the sleazy used-car salesman persists in the consumer’s mind.”

But Zanan thinks dealerships can counteract this perception by showing consumers they’re serious about ethical business practices. One way to start, he says, is for dealerships to display a code of ethics in their showrooms and on their websites.

Among those surveyed by TDC, more than half of respondents indicated they would be more likely to shop at a dealership if a code of ethics was clearly displayed.

Zanan said TDC randomly visited more than 100 dealer websites and found none had a code of ethics posted. In most cases, Zanan said, the stores he works with don’t have a code at all.

What should the code say?

It should make clear to consumers that a dealer advertises in an “ethical and nondeceptive manner,” Zanan said.

“Dealers spend a lot of money hoping to bring that consumer into the showroom. It’s mission critical to bring that consumer into the showroom legitimately without resorting to deceptive advertising,” he said. “If you look at [actions by the Federal Trade Commission], they are aggressively going after dealers that are engaged in deceptive advertising. That would be the first step.”

Zanan said a store’s code of ethics also should state that vehicle walkarounds will be conducted in an honest fashion. Consumers should know that they won’t be misled by salespeople who exaggerate a vehicle’s features and capabilities.

Dealers don’t have to draft a lengthy document, either. Zanan said stores can use the code of ethics from the National Automobile Dealers Association website and tweak it to reflect their business models.

Respect the code
Here's why dealerships are urged to display a code of ethics on their walls and websites.

• Nearly 65% of consumers believe that U.S. car dealerships' business practices are not ethical.
• More than half of consumers are more likely to shop at a dealership if a code of ethics is clearly displayed.

Source: Total Dealer Compliance survey of more than 200 consumers

Having a code of ethics is one thing, but it’s useless if staffers aren’t trained to follow its principles.

In addition to sales techniques, Zanan said, stores need to educate their employees on ethical practices.

Zanan said: “Consumers are more willing to shop at the dealership that clearly displays a code of ethics. It gives them a certain comfort. That comfort is a good starting place to change that perception of car dealers that consumers have.”
Words posted on a wall are just that, all talk but no action. These high end dealers d-g-a-d about ethics, just how much profit they can make. What makes it worse, they throw a greedy a** bs middleman salesman in the mix working off of commission and pressured to make sales. Car sales industry- the biggest government controlled racket of all times
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#3 Old 08-28-2016
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Things will not change as long as there is horse trading system. Dealers can price what they want and discount what they want and offer you what they want for your trade. This all ways leave it open to did the customer get the best deal or did the dealer get the best deal and as long as this happens people will question the dealer ethics. Yes there is the sale person who can tell you bad info to make a sell or for lack of not knowing what he is selling. The old saying customer beware applies here.

The service department is another area that the tech or service manager can create bad image due to trying to sell services or not knowing what they are doing and keep changing parts until they find the bad part. Dealer service department many times point out items that are still good but near it's live cycle to replace but it is your option to say yes or no. The dealer want the extra sell and also want you to have a tip top shape car. You can decide what level you want your car. My dealer suggest items to replace due to age and my indy says do not fix it until it is broken. It is me that decides which I follow.

Not saying all dealer are good and honest as there are some bad apples out there.


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#4 Old 08-28-2016
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I do not understand why we still need Mega Dealers and Mega Showrooms with Miles of Inventory.The trend is going towards on line ordering for almost anything. Jag is opening Show Rooms in malls so is Tesla. The Dealers really could cut down there inventory with smaller Show Rooms with just say 1 or 2 models each on the floor for a test drive or a test sitting. Maybe have 3 or 4 Centers to storage inventory load it on the truck and you got your car in 48 Hours. Mini Cooper is a good Example you built/spec your car the way it makes you happy and in 6 weeks your new Mini is at the Dealer for pick up. Write a Check or do the financial Paperwork and off you go in your brand new MINI.

click on the link below.
What to Expect When You're Expecting a Mini-Cooper

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/25/bu...oper.html?_r=0

It would makes sense to have smaller buildings and maybe increase the Service Centers. IMHO
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#5 Old 08-29-2016
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I understand cost is a key driver into having megasupadooper stores.

As a customer looking at potential purchase I have no intention of going to Audi nor MB locally.
The first impression they made has stuck.

I never looked for a piece of paper on the wall, never will.

Should I decide on a new car I'll be using online and the dealer that gives best deal.
I will not even be inside a dealership to look for that piece of paper.

A good product,
Decent customer service (doesn't have to be excellent, just decent),
A decent price.

Not rocket science, unless you're driving the car industry standards, apparently.
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#6 Old 08-29-2016
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my other vehicle is a Tesla model X....a good purchase experience...its no wonder the dealer's associations dont want them to sell directly....dealers add NOTHING positive to the purchase experience, and they know it.....


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#7 Old 08-29-2016
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Originally Posted by Avel Du View Post
I understand cost is a key driver into having megasupadooper stores.

As a customer looking at potential purchase I have no intention of going to Audi nor MB locally.
The first impression they made has stuck.

I never looked for a piece of paper on the wall, never will.

Should I decide on a new car I'll be using online and the dealer that gives best deal.
I will not even be inside a dealership to look for that piece of paper.

A good product,
Decent customer service (doesn't have to be excellent, just decent),
A decent price.

Not rocket science, unless you're driving the car industry standards, apparently.
Ya I do all my shopping on Cargurus now We saved $5000 on my wife's new GLC 300 and they even delivered it 400 miles away to us for free. I might be persuaded to buy new again if they did away with the middle man chronyism, but I am quite happy with sloppy seconds
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#8 Old 08-29-2016
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Originally Posted by rhartson View Post
my other vehicle is a Tesla model X....a good purchase experience...its no wonder the dealer's associations dont want them to sell directly....dealers add NOTHING positive to the purchase experience, and they know it.....
Tesla was actually going to try to sell directly to the public but the legal organized crime organization stepped in (US gov.) and told them they can't do that. Think about all the money the gov. would lose if the middle man racket wasn't established.
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