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Discussion Starter #1
Oh yeah, we now have that shiny new Volt in the garage! I will share my story and with any luck it will mesh positively with yours when you embark upon the acquisition path. Taking the long road, my first forum post on the subject was in early March. Back then I was literally formulating a plan with four tasks on the table (the car, the power company, the home circuitry and the EVSE). The latter three were sequential in a practical sense and came to fruition in late April. My EV decision was slower and came to be the Volt (beating out the FFE). That concerted purchase path then took the following shape:

With brisk sales, low GM incentives and the warm sunshine of spring, market pricing for the G2 product was/is not ideal. In vivid contrast to my prior G1 post, the G2 is the diametric opposite of a buyer’s market. Price wise, it’s a jungle out there. With that in mind, my first step was to thoroughly survey AutoTrader (200 mile radius) for my desired vehicle (loaded). Irrespective of color to boost sample size, my spreadsheet contained 13 vehicles.

Per AT, the spreadsheet entries were simply ad price and MSRP. The former is not to be believed because dealers invariably post enticing low values containing all manner of non-applicable incentives. The MSRP (sticker) is valuable because it’s the ultimate monetary description of the car. In the end, AT serves as a valuable (1) vehicle locator and a nuanced (2) pricing source.

Dealer #1. Using the lowest ad price of my 13 cars to drive a starting benchmark, I made an appointment and took a 50 minute drive. My intent was a test drive and to secure a written OTD quote; getting my feet wet in the process. Following the drive I sat across from the salesman and spoke to his AT advertised price. He advised the posted price was for GM Employees. Oh really? I advised my disappointment in driving 50 minutes to find that out. He then conferred with his manager and provided a formal quote giving me the GM Employee incentive price. He did not have my color but I now had some solid price perspective (that benchmark). I might add, ahead of time make sure your salesperson has a charge on the test-drive vehicle (disgracefully, this car did not; a two-time occurrence for me).

Dealer #2. Another drive; this time 70 minutes toward my color. Two other locations also had my low-popularity color, so plenty of future-drive buyer leverage going in. The salesperson gave me a price. I shared my Dealer #1 story. He asked for my bottom-line price and documented same on a signed piece of paper. He then took the (Fargo) walk to his manager.

The manager swung in with a flourish and flashed a price higher than mine. I rejected it and flashed my spreadsheet, briefly explaining the content. Be aware -- these folks are total strangers to you and a spreadsheet (or facsimile) subtly demonstrates to The Man that you (somewhat) have your act together. It’s a potent tactic that should be timed appropriately. We made the deal at my asking price. As we wrapped up I pulled out my (no myth) $1000 Private Offer, and made sure it was incorporated into a printed summary of our purchase agreement. Few people at the dealership had ever seen a PO, including my salesperson. I took delivery after the May 31 PO expiration but the paperwork was back-dated (FYI). Nine arranged days later when I drove away -- everybody was happy.

So, what exactly was the monetary deal? And how much fun would this post be without the numbers? For talking purposes I exclude all fees & taxes. The sale price was $37004 ($39930 MSRP). That sale price becomes $29504 with the full federal future tax credit applied. Two years ago at this time Ms. Kingfish effectively paid $26600 for her MY2014 (identically equipped, minus Safety #2 & NAV). The price gap between the two model-years/vehicles becomes $1904 with the PO applied. It’s a gap that reflects myriad differences of course, but a magnitude I am extremely happy with.

Ultimately I hope that my singular personal experience lends some perspective to yours in a paid-forward kind of way. Bottom line here -- us Volt geeks need to hang together. I wish you much good luck.
Regards,
TheKingfish
2014 Brownstone Metallic / Pebble Beige Leather-Suede / purchased April 2014
2017 Citron Green Metallic / Jet Black Leather / purchased June 2016
 

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Congrats! Seems some others were having difficulty getting a deal in your state so perhaps you paved the way for them...
 

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I will someday be acquiring a Volt, and will do so here in Michigan, but I'll be buying used so of course the process will be different. Regardless, the spreadsheet tip still applies!

I've only seen one Gen 2 in the wild and it was blue, but if/when I finally see a Citron Green copy I'll wave to you...nevermind that I have no idea what part of the state you're in, but odds are it will be you because I'm sure there won't ever be very many!

Congrats and enjoy the car!
 

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Congrats on your new purchase. If you are sold on GM and are likely to buy one in the future, consider getting a GM BuyPower card to collect rebate rewards towards your next one. 5% back for the up to $250 to year, then 2% of everything afterwards with no redeption limits or expiration means that if you are disciplined enough to put all of your regular expenses on the card and pay it off each and every month, you can get much more off than whatever you can negotiate plus the PO. Plus, every few months they send you a $750 limited time bonus to try to push you over the edge. But if you let finance charges and interest kick in, it's a horrible deal.

my last two GM cars each had an extra $3600 off from this. So my G1 premium with $44K MSRP ended up at $21K with state sales tax, title, and license after fed tax credit, GM card rebate, state rebate (program now suspended because the IL government is broke), end of year incentives.

The only other suggestion is to usually wait until well after the car model year, but that's not possible with a volt today. It would mean waiting until Jan-Alril 2018 to buy a 2017 volt.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for your feedback. I’m just chipping back in with two small items regarding MSRP. I actually came to also analyze my 2016 deal by way of comparing it to my 2014 MSRP, since those numbers are inherently and correctly sized to different vehicles. In 2014 the sale-price divided by MSRP was 90.8 percent, while the latest was 90.2 percent. Obviously very comparable, but it also quantifies the deal relative to any and all others (apples to apples.......i.e., math is your friend).

The last is a more subtle learning point; one I came to better understand in the process. My MSRP was $39930, and that represented a vehicle outfitted precisely the way I wanted (loaded but no lighted smart-phone charging station, no wheel locks, etc.); no extraneous options. During the course of my search I encountered MSRPs up to $40835 and came to realize that any amount greater than $39930 would have the effect of pushing me toward things I didn’t want ($). So, very wisely recommended here on the forum, it pays to know exactly what you want -- so as to secure a best-price relative to that minimum MSRP.
Regards,
TheKingfish
2014 Brownstone Metallic / Pebble Beige Leather-Suede / purchased April 2014
2017 Citron Green Metallic / Jet Black Leather / purchased June 2016
 
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