Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shopping for a green car

I've been holding out to buy a Chevy Volt or some other kind of PHEV vehicle.

My wife's car is starting to need to be replaced, so I went shopping for vehicles yesterday.

First stop was Ford, where I was interested in a Fusion hybrid. So far, the 2010 models are not in. The dealer informed me that they will only be getting two of them, and that one is already sold. Of course, they tried to steer me toward a non-hybrid vehicle. I was disappointed.

Next stop was Honda. They had some new 2010 Inisight hybrids in. I got to drive one, and I liked it. The ride is a little "sporty", and the back seat headroom is limited, but I liked how the seats folded down to create a nice cargo space. When I sat down to discuss price with the dealer, he informed me that they have zero ability to negotiate price; "there are no incentives offered by Honda." They didn't want my trade in. Basically, I was told to gfm.

However, they could negotiate on the higher priced Civic hybrid. But that's not what I wanted so I left disappointed.

It sounds like auto dealers are willing to negotiate on their gas suckers, but not on the green cars that I want to buy.

I was also told that the hybrid 'tax credit' dropped from something like $3400 to $1700 on April 1. So it sounds like the government isn't willing to continue providing an incentive to buy highly efficient hybrid vehicles.

This whole experience just underscored my frustration with trying to buy a greener vehicle. With sales of automobiles dropping by half on a year-over-year basis, I would have hoped that I would have been treated differently, and that they would have offered me a car that I want to buy.

I've decided that now is apparently not a good time to buy a new car. I'll just continue driving the 2000 Dodge Caravan Sport another two years or so, and save the money. I won't be saving the economy or the automobile industry, but I'll happily be returning their "gfy" attitude.

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