Tale of the unexpected

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dryce, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Dryce

    Dryce MB Enthusiast

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    SWMBO set out to buy a used R171 this weekend.

    Local MB dealer seems a bit confused as to what cars they actually have in stock and where they are. Phoned before hand to check they had a car SWMBO was interested in. Arrived and no sign of car and they knew nothing about it.

    Excellent. Just what I wanted.

    They did have another pricier and newer version in a colour I dislike with a basic spec. But SWMBO was almost tempted - but the merry dance began on whether they'd value her car before she totally committed to buy.

    This is the 'joy' of buying without finance. They really want to build a monthly plan. We just want to know the gap that needs to be filled.

    I guess it sort of ended up with them being goaded into valuing her car because we wanted to know how serious they were and they were embarrassed for us to walk away without some attempt at diplomacy given that we're past (long and distant past) customers.

    The bit that gets me is how graceless every almost interaction we've had with MB Glasgow has been since Stratstone took over.

    So with SWMBO in a slightly down mood we drive off and while passing the dark side dealership nearby she requests visiting privileges. Me, I can't be fussed (Actually replace fus with ar and it would be more accurate). But I defer and we park. It's late in the afternoon close to closing. And what the hell - the dark side has nothing to buy that SWMBO would want because it has to be a two seater with a metal folding roof.

    Initial walk round the dark side warehouse and it's busy with staff moving cars and there's a two year old Z4. Nobody is paying attention to us and then I make a revelationary mistake. Somebody opens boot of said Z4 and I spot folded metal roof. (The revelation). Shortly thereafter I brought it to the attention of SWMBO (The mistake).

    But not to bother it's a manual and I point out to SWMBO that something like 90% of Z4s sold will be manuals as opposed to SLKs which will be almost all autos. She checks with passing younger salesperson who says no - they have no automatics and the car we're next to is the only one stock.

    Hooray. I'm free. We exit. And as the Z4 was next to the door we're out and almost back at our car.

    Before disaster then strikes.

    An older member of the sales team has spotted the Dryce escape manouevre and walks out after us. After some pleasant discourse with SWMBO about what she's after is determined to find her an automatic to try. They don't have one locally but he can get one within a few days.

    Meanwhile as the dealership is closing I'm figuring he'll want to brush us off with a "I'll get back to you".

    Worse he's already determined her purchasing and financing strategy and decides her car should be valued to see what he can do.

    Whoa. This isn't right.

    For the last three years years I've depended on MB Glasgow Approved Used being my allies in ensuring the SWMBO doesn't change cars. I've been able to tell her what her spending limit is and even drive her in without fear that I'd actually have to go through with it.

    Stratstone have unwittingly and unfailingly guaranteed that I look like the good guy .... every time.

    Even the Porsche Centre obliged us on not one but two occasions - on the first at their old location at Westerton they were apologetically too busy to talk to us. Then this year they were quiet and apparently didn't want to be disturbed so simply ignored us. (Which was very nice of them as I hate Boxsters).

    But BMW broke *my* rules and didn't try and mess with SWMBO's mind with an approach we haven't experienced since she originally bought her MB. Actual engagement with customer. Find out what they want and how much they have to spend. And start trying to actually work a deal. No BS. No merry little dance. Treat the prospective customer like an adult and talk straight. Say 'no' when you have to and listen when the customer says 'no'.

    That's simply not fair.

    So this evening I've been stuck, at the behest of SWMBO, learning about E89s and specs and colours and wheel options and 6 pot inline lumps and M Sport packs and lack of cruise control and automatic dimming mirrors and other 'standard' MB stuff that are treated as options plus those evil run flat tyres.

    The defection isn't guaranteed. But it's close if they turn up with a suitable car (they think they have one). At the start of this weekend I never imagined that the decision would be anything other than juggling one R171 against another R171 depending on age, price, colour, spec.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  2. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Enthusiast

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    Great story, I laughed all the way through......:):)

    Ask them if they will let you have an executive car to drive to go and see the little roadster (because you want a new car too) and do your research first to see what 171's will be on route away from the moron local MB dealer......??

    With options sometimes SWMBO's can be easily confused??
     
  3. Satch

    Satch MB Enthusiast

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    It is just so dreaful when something like that happens. This very weekend my usual "well we will not be seeing them for a while......" expectations were shattered when my mother in law and her idiot second husband failed to provoke a pointless shouting matches with SWMBO over non issues.

    In fact they were perfectly pleasant. Really quite disturbing
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. grober

    grober MB Master

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    J R WEIR Perth branch has a stunning Obsidian black SLK 200K SPORT just in that the moment 15,000 miles £16,495 2007 they don't look any better than this version. Have a look on the MB used cars website.
    ps be quick it won't be there long!
     
  5. finisterre

    finisterre Active Member

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    way better than the SLK

    2.3 is reputed the best.

    SWMBO is a fine woman and please congratulate her on her choice.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Dryce

    Dryce MB Enthusiast

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    Looking for a car under 2 years - pref under 18 months.

    There's quite a few about at over 2 years.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Dryce

    Dryce MB Enthusiast

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    Didn't realise until the unplanned visit that they were 2.5l 6 cylinder rather 2.0l 4 cylinder.
     
  8. finisterre

    finisterre Active Member

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    The 4 cl is only on the older E85.
    Which the Mrs has and she gets 38mpg-

    The E89 is more comfy, more SLK like.
    They are tending towards each other I think.

    edit - wrong again - they have added a 2 litre version this year -
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  9. OP
    OP
    Dryce

    Dryce MB Enthusiast

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    6 pot 2.3i has been dropped and they're going for 4 pot 2.0l turbo route.

    All about meeting those headline CO2 figures I guess.
     
  10. gIzzE

    gIzzE MB Enthusiast

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    I was leant a 30i sDrive recently and it is a pretty amazing car, I managed 5.6 seconds to 60mph using an app on the iPhone, I tested it as I couldn't believe just how quick the thing was.

    The guy across the road has just bought one too, his is a 59 plate, 11k miles in black with the most gorgeous cream/stone leather against black dash and carpets, and he has DSP sound, Nav, internet, heated seats, xenons, comfort pack (which is auto dipping mirrors and a few other bits) and it cost him just under £24k.
    He said he could have bought a 23i (which is the 2.5 litre straight six instead of the 3.litre) for £21k, but thought he would get the bigger one.

    All in all a very, very impressive car, it feels like it spins on its rear axle and where ever you point it it just goes no matter what speed you are carrying.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. st4

    st4 Banned

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    Good post but very indicative of MB Glasgow. BTW I've been invited to a VIP sales event thing in September. Is it worth a few of us meeting up and going?
     
  12. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    Great post!!
     
  13. Beetnik

    Beetnik Active Member

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    Both good cars but quite different and depends what SWMBO wants - I have an SLK and my son has a Z4.

    SLK is a tourer and has a degree of comfort absent in the Z4. The Z4 is more fun to handle and more of a sports car but the comfort factor is very different.

    We've just done over 2.5k miles round Europe in the SLK at up to 400 miles a day - arriving at our destination feeling fine. 90 miles from the Lakes to home in the Z and arrive back aching and feeling as if my *rse has been dragged along the road.

    So short trips and sporty - BM but if it's a comfortable cruiser she's after I'd recommend the Merc.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. gIzzE

    gIzzE MB Enthusiast

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    I found the new Z4 really comfy, not something that you could say about the old one which was a real bone shaker!!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Dryce

    Dryce MB Enthusiast

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    We visited MB Edinburgh as well. Different style. Less brash.

    Maybe the Stratstone approach works well with some prospective customers but not others. Selling is a tough business and they wouldn't be there if they were not closing deals.
     
  16. st4

    st4 Banned

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    I was virtually ordered out for asking about C class estates. I was told to go to webuyanycar.com to value mine and to look on the web for a car I liked.
     
  17. MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    Ah, it all used to be so different before the war...
    Stratstone's premises at 27 Pall Mall became a popular rendezvous for the growing list of wealthy and famous customers, particularly as a butler served champagne at a given time each morning.
    It all went downhill after that, resulting in the loss of their royal warrant when the company changed hands in 1982. Their flagship showroom in Berkeley Street, where up until the early 1980s Lord Montagu could be seen every now and again collecting a new Daimler Double Six, is now a branch of Sainsbury's. You can still get champagne there, but somehow it's just not the same...
     
    Mattns, Pontoneer and st4 like this.
  18. OP
    OP
    Dryce

    Dryce MB Enthusiast

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    So obviously next time you change you'll go straight back to them ......:rolleyes:
     
  19. MarkP80

    MarkP80 Active Member

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    From my personal experience, I would agree with Beatnik's comments regarding the contrasting styles of the two cars. MrsP also tried a Z4 and really didn't like it, far too harsh for her (although again, it wasn't the latest model). The SLK has a distinct MB feel about it, solid quality, and a degree of comfort.
    Dryce, I'd really suggest a back to back test drive if you are really considering the Z4, just to make sure it's what your Mrs wants.
    Cheers,
    MarkP
     
  20. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell MB Enthusiast

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    Have to say my Brother had a Z4M. It was rather fast, but felt like a go-kart, I could not live with it. He could most of the time - although a journey in the depths of winter on a hangover did test him somewhat.

    It goes to show what a good dealer can do though. I've spoken to a few Stratstone dealers over the years, but have yet to become a customer of one. Don't generally like the people or their tactics.
     

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