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Re: Audi loses a sale to BMW

In a message dated 9/19/98 ejfluhr@austin.ibm.com (Fluhr) writes:

<< The problem with the Audi dealers was the attitude of "here is our price;
if you do not like it, then take a hike, don't try to haggle over it". 
While I can certainly understand the affect of market supply and demand
on pricing, there is no need to be obnoxious about it and upset the
customer.  From what my friend said, both dealerships had lots of A4s
on the lot, so it isn't like the dealer was having a hard time keeping
cars in stock.  He felt it was price gouging, rather than true supply
versus demand issues. >>

What you describe is "dealer mark-up" that is done by most car dealers for
*any* car that is high demand/low availablity. This is the case for both
enthusiast cars and "appliance" type cars that are in high demand and is
nothing new at all. (The adnoh craze of the 80's, the release of the Miata,
and most recently the new beetle all come to mind as cases in point.)

AoA *can* step in and do something about this if they choose to. Porsche Cars
NA announced there will be very stiff penalties against their dealerships if
they try to "price gouge" new Boxsters when they were released. (Hence a used
Boxster market with cars that sell for vastly more than new for those who
don't want to wait a year or more.) I have a feeling AoA should do the same
for the new S4 and TT but doubt they will. The A4 is the most popular model of
Audi ever in the US and the dealers all know they are in a seller's market.
Stopping them from "price gouging" will not be an easy thing to do. It is
acceptable practice for all brands and models, excepting the Boxster AFIK.

The part I find most interesting is the fact that your friend was able to walk
in and buy said wmb 318 <gag> without any trouble implies that the wmb is in
less demand which is actualy a good sign for AoA. (And a bad omen for those of
us who enjoy rapid depreceation and good deals on used Audis.)

In a way Audi lost no sale since there was certainly another buyer willing to
step up to the plate and be "gouged" since price is determined by what the
market will bear. As long as demand exceeds supply this will be the case.

Mike Veglia
87 5kcstq