Fed Up With MB Dealers, so.....

GregE240

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This Saturday, I'm test driving a Lexus LS430.

After the scandal that was my 10 minutes in a CL500 (MB-Direct), and main dealers either not phoning back or cancelling at the last minute, I telephoned Lexus, who could not have been more helpful.

So, I've got the Lexus for 3-4 hours this Saturday. I've been in one before, but never driven one.

Lexus will get a freshly Zymol'd 500SL outside their showroom for a few hours.....
 

fuzzer

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GregE240 said:
This Saturday, I'm test driving a Lexus LS430.

After the scandal that was my 10 minutes in a CL500 (MB-Direct), and main dealers either not phoning back or cancelling at the last minute, I telephoned Lexus, who could not have been more helpful.

So, I've got the Lexus for 3-4 hours this Saturday. I've been in one before, but never driven one.

Lexus will get a freshly Zymol'd 500SL outside their showroom for a few hours.....
Nice cars :) if you drive it you will buy it :)


take some cd's for the mark levinson sound system and watch those motorised air vents ;)
 

mark.t

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Went to look at a Lexus 300 :D ....as I turned the key the steering wheel moved :eek: ....gave a little hum as it did :) ...that's great I said ....don't worry if you buy it we will put it right ...WHAT'S :crazy: wrong with it I said .....to noisy he replied :cool:
 

A-AvantGarde

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mark.t said:
Went to look at a Lexus 300 :D ....as I turned the key the steering wheel moved :eek: ....gave a little hum as it did :) ...that's great I said ....don't worry if you buy it we will put it right ...WHAT'S :crazy: wrong with it I said .....to noisy he replied :cool:
LOL, too noisy - that's a classic.

I remember the first time I drove a Lexus, a 1992 LS400, damn was that nice. One question though...

...why can't the Japanese get dashboard / trim plastics right i.e. less plasticky?
 

ddentrec

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GregE240 said:
After the scandal that was my 10 minutes in a CL500 (MB-Direct),
I quite agree. When I asked the salesman for a weekend drive in a B-Class he said 'No' we can't do that for 'security' reasons. 'But you can have it for 30 mins and no more' they said.

Funny thing is that they then loaned me a new A-Class for week whilst my wife's C-Class is in for (more) warranty work.

But VW are the same: 30 mins in a Touran. That's all-no more.

Toyota offered her an Avensis Verso for the weekend (200 mile limit) and Ford offerred a Mondeo estate for the whole day (100 mile limit).

Says it all really: MB can sell cars all day without customers even needing to have a proper test drive.
 
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Rory

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ddentrec said:
Says it all really: MB can sell cars all day without customers even needing to have a proper test drive.
I've seen that comment on another forum too (more about BMW and Audi than MB). I don't think it's true - they're all trying to increase volumes and sometimes some models are on allocation etc, but most models are freely available.

I was treated courteously but half-heartedly by my local MB dealer, and they too, would only let me drive for 30mins. I said that was useless - I do 30K/yr and wanted a car for a couple of days. In the end I cheated a bit and, although I was opting out of a company car, I got our fleet manager to request an MB Corporate demo. They drove a literally brand-new C220CDi Estate 200 miles to my house, left it for 3 days, then picked it up again.
The trouble is that this facility isn't accessible to private purchasers. Honda do the same thing, and I had an Accord too, but some people in Honda head office denied the facility existed! Ford will let anybody do it, I believe.
 

Dieselman

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Rory said:
Ford will let anybody do it, I believe.

That's because they are trying to give the car away but people keep returning it....
 

Dodger

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ddentrec said:
When I asked the salesman for a weekend drive in a B-Class he said 'No' we can't do that for 'security' reasons. 'But you can have it for 30 mins and no more' they said.
I test drove a CLK55 for my folks a couple of years ago. The dealer only gave me 20 minutes. But then again, that's all I needed. :devil:
 

GrahamC230K

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I quite like the look of the LS430 and the perfroamnce is pretty impressive.
 

scotth_uk

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:) Lexus are good. Very good indeed, and I doubt that you'll be sorry.

In Australia, Japanese cars are respected to a higher degree that they are here. Never really understood why the UK doesn't like Jap cars. Mind you, I've seen some of the Jap company's cars built here in the UK and that could contribute to the bad rep.... ;-)

Anyway, something entertaining. When Lexus opened up their customer experience centre in Brisbane (Qld), over 50% of the MB sales staff defected immediately. I've spoken to a few from time to time at social events and they are so glad the moved across. Better cars, less hassle, more money, happier customers.
 

Rory

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scotth_uk said:
Anyway, something entertaining. When Lexus opened up their customer experience centre in Brisbane (Qld), over 50% of the MB sales staff defected immediately. I've spoken to a few from time to time at social events and they are so glad the moved across. Better cars, less hassle, more money, happier customers.
That would indicate that there's nothing wrong with Mercedes people, it really is a Mercedes culture thing - and that's very difficult to change.
 

jeremytaylor

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scotth_uk said:
:) In Australia, Japanese cars are respected to a higher degree that they are here. Never really understood why the UK doesn't like Jap cars. Mind you, I've seen some of the Jap company's cars built here in the UK and that could contribute to the bad rep.... ;-)
I think it's something like lack of heritage, character, call it what you like, together with some dodgy plastics, graphics, coupled with the fact that, to me, they look like they're designed for an obvious facelift exactly 3 years from launch.

They just do nothing for me.
 

glojo

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scotth_uk said:
I've spoken to a few from time to time at social events and they are so glad the moved across. Better cars, less hassle, more money, happier customers.
Did you in all honesty expect them to say anything different?? There is NO Lexus dealership in the whole of South Devon, so I cannot comment on whether they are good or bad.

Toyota\Lexus far outstrip ANY car manufacturer regarding recalls, they can teach DaimlerChrysler a thing or three about managing the PR problem.

Buying a car is a personal thing and each to their own.

One man's Lexus is another man's Triumph ;)

John
 

DieselE

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GregE240 said:
This Saturday, I'm test driving a Lexus LS430.

After the scandal that was my 10 minutes in a CL500 (MB-Direct).....
When I was planning to buy my W211, MB Tamworth allowed me the use of a 320CDI for four hours. Admittedly I had to wait three week for the demonstrator to become available but it does show that some dealers do it. Bearing in mind some of the earlier comments, this was my first MB purchase and a private one so I had absolutely zero influence.
 

Rose Chap

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glojo said:
There is NO Lexus dealership in the whole of South Devon, so I cannot comment on whether they are good or bad.
Apart from the one in Plymouth...
http://www.lexus.co.uk/dealer_finde...=uk&SearchMethod=selCity&SearchValue=Plymouth
Or Exeter...
http://www.lexus.co.uk/dealer_finde...ry=uk&SearchMethod=selCity&SearchValue=Exeter

:)

I grew up in South Devon and I remember going to the Plymouth dealership with the parentals when they were looking at an LS400. Thankfully, they did the decent thing and bought a W124 instead.

Andy
 

glojo

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Rose Chap said:
I grew up in South Devon and I remember going to the Plymouth dealership with the parentals when they were looking at an LS400. Thankfully, they did the decent thing and bought a W124 instead.

Andy
Like I said no Lexus dealers in South Devon!!

Plymouth is in West Devon and Exeter is East Devon. In travelling time both are well over an hours travelling from my h\a and this can be even longer in the busy summer season.

The Toyota dealer in South Devon is actually our old Mercedes-Benz Dealer and I cannot recommend the owner highly enough. The site is smalll and not allowed to carry the Lexus franchise, but the service is very much old school where everyone is extremely helpful and above all friendly .

To keep the playing field level there is no longer a Mercedes-Benz dealership in South Devon and that is costing them big time. BMW are taking away customers by the score.

John
 

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Rose Chap said:
Yep, those Toyotas are good cars... ;)
I don,t think that lumping together all the marques that a corporation makes gives a good impression of quality of one particular make. I agree you shouldnt lose sight of the fact but, some of the last Mercedes MLs were made in Austria in a subcontractors factory along with Chrysler Voyagers and Jeep Grand Cherokees, Does that make them Jeeps? dont answer that! :rolleyes: The Mercedes C class is made in South Africa does that mean the're German or African? :confused: Its true many new models share platforms witness the ford focus, mazda3, and Volvo S40, but different dealers and detailed fiddling with suspension, body and power plants can make them very different cars to own/drive. :) Even within one manufacturers range of cars there will be good and bad models for a variety of reasons. :crazy: I feel the best way to assess a particular car is at individual model level. Which manufacturing plant/ country are they made in. How long has the model been in production or had major revisions. Consumer surveys, owners forums YEAH! :cool: and how the motor trade views a particular model are all useful indicators also. Toyota were aware of the "stigma" of having a mass manufacturers name on their cars and set up an entirely separate network to combat this perception. A downside of this does mean that their geographical coverage is poor in the UK tho. The overwhelming evidence would appear to indicate satisfied customers. Maybe they have a secret weapon with which they manage their PR problems. Its called customer service! OOPS forgot the other major factor in ownership experience and thats the quality of your local dealer which can make a big difference to the perception of a model.
 
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Satch

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I agree it is often not good enough but varies by dealer and the Sales people. Both my wife and myself had test drives of about a hour each arranged in three different models over about a week.

The better dealers and their sales staff take a longer view and are prepared to invest some time in prospective clients but it is give and take: we were able to do this midweek and I very much doubt that it would have been practicable to get that at weekends.

However, this was not from an MB owned dealership. The first two dealerships I went to to sniff around and get info were offhand beyond belief. Saint Jeremy C. once wrote that some MB staff in the UK were actively engaged in Class War. I began to think he was right.

But the sales person who arranged things at the third (non MB owned) Dealership was a very pleasant lady of a certain age who had none of that empty self importance so often found in the Motor Industry. And she immediately understood that whatever I thought or wanted absolutely nothing was going to happen unless SWMBO was happy, and on her own terms. ;)
 

Rose Chap

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glojo said:
In travelling time both are well over an hours travelling from my h\a and this can be even longer in the busy summer season.
The roads certainly do get busy when the grockels arrive I'll give you that, but I had no idea it would take an hour+ to get 30 odd miles! I'd blame caravanners... ;)

I've never been poorly treated by an MB dealer, but then most of my exposure to them has been from a servicing angle rather than as a new car purchaser. I did toy with the idea of buying a new shape SLK and the dealer concerned wasn't exactly amazing, but then that was the winner of "Worst MB Dealership of 2005 Award". Jaguar were very nice and friendly when I was thinking of buying a used XJ8, so I wouldn't have any hesitations about going back there.

The worst dealer network I've dealt with has been those belonging to Volkswagen. Every single experience I had with a VW dealer was dreadful, and their customer service was utterly, utterly, utterly dire.

A friend of mine had a Honda S2000 and he reported that his dealership was as nice as nice could be - seems to be something the Japanese manufacturers are good at.
 

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