NEC Dealer vs Manufacturer confusion

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Vanman, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    OMG the more I find out the less I understand! :(

    I’ve been visiting and emailing a few dealerships, just trying to set up some contacts and speed things up on the big day(s) and I thought it was all going fairly well … until I started trying to find out which models would be on display at the show. Here is the way one of the conversations went over the course of a week.

    “Hi – can you tell me if you’ll be taking Van A to the show?”
    “I’ll find out” …
    “No we won’t, but there will be one on the Van A manufacturers stand and we’ll be on there too. We’ll have Van B on our stand though and it’s pretty similar and good”
    “Great, I’ll see you at the show!”
    “Erm probably not as I’ll be on a different manufacturers stand”

    OK I get it that the Manufacturers sub-contract their stands out to the Dealers but what does that mean to me? Does it mean if there are x4 sales people on a stand that they will all quote exactly the same price or could I get 4 different offers on the same stand? If the manufacturers goods are also sold on one of the Dealers stands could I get a different offer there or is there in fact no room for negotiations at these shows, is it all a stitch up?!

    Is it worth taking the phone number of a dealer close to me who won’t be at the show and ringing them to say – “The best offer I’m getting here is £xxx could you match that and throw in a 100w solar panel?”

    What about the importance of local dealers? Should I get to the show and ask the sales people to line up spaced at a distance proportional from how far they are from where I live? I can see that ending well ;)

    Help – please explain how this all (or any) works!! (y)
     
  2. Louis

    Louis Funster

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    Solar panel & a battery!
     
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  3. Spidey

    Spidey Funster

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    I think if you go to the dealer's stand you are interested in asking they can quote on any vans even if they haven't got the model at the show. So you could look at all the models on any of the stands and then head to the dealer you want a quote from. On the manufacturers stand you could ask for a particular salesman. As far as bargaining goes i would ask a few dealers, better done at their own stands, and play one of the other. Then ring your preferred local dealer to see if they could match it. Well thats how i would do it, but i know what you mean the sales people could be from all over.
     
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  4. Wombles

    Wombles Funster

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    As I understand it with Chausson the manufacturer pays for the stand & has a few of their own French staff there plus normally manufacturer includes extras on motorhomes bought at the show normally with a retail (bit inflated) value of £1000-£1500. The UK dealers who are stockists or suppliers of their motorhomes send staff to man the stand & sell as many as they can of their allocated stock. Each dealer chooses what allocation of which models they want but once they have sold out they aren't usually bothered / can't offer a deal on that model. It's good to find out early which dealer stocks which of the model you are interested in then get the best deal you can from each but keep in touch with them as some models sell out fast! If you agree a sale ask for it to be held for 24 hours to "cool off" & check the finer details of the model online as sometimes the sales staff don't know their products! The motorhomes on display are already "bought" by whichever dealer chooses them & this is a way to get a new model relatively quickly although they should put any show damage right before collection from their dealership - in the case of Chausson the manufacturer meets this cost. Other manufacturers may do this differently. UK dealers have sales staff on several stands because they usually stock multiple makes of motorhome. Hope that all makes sense - we have bought from the Show before & we should be there for a couple of days so if you need any help just PM :)
     
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  5. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    Thanks Spidey. I'd sort of thought (if I'd thought about this bit at all) that the same purchase price and offers would be available to all dealers - certainly those actually at the show. I'm now thinking that the 'show specials' are probably only available on the Manufacturers stands and although the other Dealers may be happy to try and bid on models they might struggle to be competitive. The ones not even at the show doubly so.
     
  6. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Don't dismiss the benefits of buying from a dealer who is not too far away as fair chance you will be visiting.

    Martin
     
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  7. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    part of the selling dealers profit on the van comes from an allowance for handling any warranty issues. This is why most dealers dont like taking on warranty work for vans they did not sell. an important thing to remember when deciding on which dealers offer is best.
    show offers look very tempting but if your chosen dealer is at the show you can often negotiate the same deal in their showroom during the week. I did this and saved a trip to the show itself. the dealer put it through as a show deal so it counted to their sales figures for the manufacturer
     
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  8. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    Thanks for explaining that. (y) I've read it several times until most of it has sunk in ;)

    Part of our problem is that the 5.4m vans we are looking at are rarer than hens teeth, some models requiring a 600 mile round trip to the nearest dealer who has one and some just not to be found in the UK. It's not helped in that many of the Manufacturers only have x4 dealers, one in Belfast, one in Perth, one on the south coast and if we're lucky one in the Midlands (only a 300 mile round trip ;) )

    I'm beginning to feel that show offer price is about the best we can hope for. I am already more up to speed on the new models than some of the sales people so checking and re-checking spec. is unlikely to happen, the logistics of it all are too messy. We'll stick with plan A - view on Tuesday and hopefully order on Wednesday. We don't want a van until March/April so it's unlikely to be the one on display.

    Thanks too for the offer of PM support, I'm not sure it'll come to that but comforting to know there's a 'phone a friend' option :)
     
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  9. Wombles

    Wombles Funster

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    @Vanman Just because your choice of model is limited don't feel that you just have to take the price on offer (even though it may include manufacturers extras) as it is just a starting point & they need your money on that make of motorhome to add to their sales targets! Tell them the other ones that you are interested in (from other dealers) & bluff that you have been offered some great deals (be vague about details but confident) elsewhere but would prefer to buy from them at the right price - it's like a game of poker! If they can't do much discount ask what extras they can include, any after sales servicing & accessories. It's a fine line between annoying them & convincing them that you are a genuine buyer - they will act as your new best friend to get the deal & a genuine salesperson seems to be very rare & the one we knew (we didn't buy from him) selling a quality German brand gave up his job after the tactics he saw at the NEC :( If the salesperson is smiling all the way through then the deal isn't the most he/she can offer & agreeing a cooling off period after signing is normal.
    If the discount on buying the display model is enough & they will repair any damage & make it all like new (new carpets, mattress etc) & are happy to able to use it as a display model on their forecourt in the meantime they may agree a March collection date with a deposit. If you are concerned about availability or keeping to a budget this might be an idea.
    With regards to timescales suggest that when you get down to your short list (either now or an urgent one at the NEC) you put out a request on this forum for feedback from members who have bought the same make or from the dealerships you are considering. Again sales staff will tell you the date you wish to hear but in reality it may be much later - Moto-trek is one extreme example of this as discussed at length on here.
    The best way to get a deal is to import but if buying in the UK then we have found the NEC October Show to be the best place & time to buy a new motorhome but it does take nerves of steel to negotiate the best deal! Would be great if Funsters who wanted to buy at the show all got together & as a group offered out their potential large order - that would be great buying power (y)
    We only plan on looking this year as our current favourite the Globecar Summit 640 (great new bathroom design) is not coming to the UK but we were only meant to be looking three years ago too when we bought our Chausson so who knows?!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
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  10. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    Thanks Big1 (y) I have since been told (by a Dealer) that they have to do warranty work at a reduced rate for the Manufacturer, so they are in effect subsidising any warranty work that they do. No wonder they are not overly keen on doing anybody else's! Unfortunately we still have 6 vans to see and the only chance of seeing them, realistically, is at the NEC. If we are going to buy it needs to be then too as the dealers are all 100's of miles away. I could make a mini holiday out of travelling there for warranty work but viewing and negotiating costs are becoming silly. There are still 7 vans in the frame and the only way to choose between them is for Mrs Vanman to try them out.
     
  11. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    Thanks again Wombles (y)

    Although I am not a poker player, or trained negotiator, I do know that we will have options on other vans - we are unlikely to be after just the one at any price and if push comes to shove I am prepared to walk away and buy something off a forecourt in April, even with the grief of having to find such a thing, imported even :eek:

    Pray tell more ...

    I did kind of ask for that a few posts ago - the reviews section of the forum is like a ghost town. Hardly anyone seems to have a 5.4m van (1x Pilote FV owned up) and if I just ask what Rapido are like all the Hymer people will shout - not as good as Hymer, all the Brits will shout it's not British and everyone else will vote for their brand regardless of whether they make a 5.4m van lol. I've all but given up on getting a van within daily travelling distance so other than having one or two 'preferred dealers' that have been helpful, it'll be whoever has the right van at the right price. :unsure:
     
  12. Spidey

    Spidey Funster

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    It is worth asking on the forum about different makes, there might not be anyone with that layout but the quality of the manufacturer is worth noting. Also dealerships etc if you have a choice between a couple. Good luck with it all.

    We were very nearly going to buy at the show this year, but found a new van we liked in June and bought it. :)
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Very. You are 99% certain to need warranty work. Could be trivial, could be major. The last thing you want is to be driving 300 miles to the supplying dealer.

    You may have a closer franchised dealer but you try and get them to do you warranty work !

    >> Hardly anyone seems to have a 5.4m van

    Ours is 5.6 ish. No longer made, Burstner 530A. But I have noticed quite a few new vans over the last months which seem a similar size or even shorter. Being ancient I can't name them, but they are out there.
     
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  14. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Buy a German van they don't have the stupid restive warranties, they have pan European warranties you can take them to any dealer in Europe for warranty work. Buying German vans in the UK is normally financial suicide we have just ordered out 3rd Hymer from Belgium.
     
  15. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    Happy New MH! (y):)
     
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  16. Vanman

    Vanman Funster

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    Thanks @hilldweller Unfortunately our one 'local' dealer sells Hobby and the Vantana model has been counted out, so after that it's much of a muchness. 100m, 200m 300 miles it's still going to be a bit of a bind so I'll probably make a holiday out of it! As it's a brand new PVC I'll probably try and spend 4 or 5 days in the vicinity of the dealership when we pick it up - to allow the teething problems to emerge.
     
  17. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Ho Lenny

    People keep taking about pan-european warranties which is great in theory but I have read of a lot of people who say it doesn't work in practice as you can't force a dealer to do your warranty. We have recently spoken to a dealer for a German brand and he said "yes you could buy in Germany but dont come to us for warranty"

    So does it work, not just one enlightened dealer down south but truly pan-european.

    Martin
     
  18. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Hymer stance is the dealer responsible for warranty work is your supplying dealer and the dealer nearest your home address however you can take it to any Hymer dealer. With my last Hymer I had a problem when in Germany (van bought in Belgium) I called in at the nearest dealer only too happy to help. I have had warranty work done on my van by my local dealer 20 miles away without problems only too happy to help, even though I bought in Belgium.

    A friend had to have his Alloy wheels changed (wheels were UK made what do you expect:)) on his Carthago, local dealer got the wheels but wanted to charge him for fitting as they didn't get the full rate from Carthago for warranty work. He complained to Carthago afterwards dealer couldn't have been more helpful. They just try it on hoping you will cough up or go away, Hymer, Carthago, Hobby etc., when a dealer takes on the brand they have to agree to warranty work under the pan European agreement.
    Some years ago I had a Hobby caravan I bought in Germany no problem getting warranty items sorted in the UK.

    Even if you do have a problem the 10 - 20 thousand you save buying abroad more than covers a few trips back to Germany.

    Far easier to get a van you brought in Germany sorted under warranty in the UK than it is to get a UK van you brought in the north of UK sorted in the south of the UK.:D

    Point of interest when we bought our first Hymer the supplying dealer in Belgium was closer to us than the nearest UK dealer.
     
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  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Once again I'll offend all the happy PVC owners in here, but...........

    Over the weekend at the Malvern Caravan Show where there were many new and used MHs I used these words to my wife "Why on earth would anyone pay that for a PVC when you can see what is over there at the same price in a C Class". The extra 18" of width inside makes a huge difference to comfort.

    I was looking at £44k of PVC as I said it, and we had just been sat in £39K of luxury ( not new but very low mileage ) which was the difference between one of those Japanese hole in the wall hotel rooms and a Hilton suit.
     
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  20. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    We have thought about them, when you look at them they look great they have managed to cram so much gear into a small space but then you think about extend trips the biggest drawback is lack of storage space you would need a trailer.
    Now we have had an A Class with a big garage couldn't go back just ordered a bigger one.
     
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