This is a tale of two dealerships: Motor City Powersports in Bloomfield Hills and Honda Suzuki of Warren.
Both dealerships had the bike I wanted, which was new but a model year old with manufacturer incentives. Warren’s website price was $500 lower than Motor City’s, but Motor City permits test rides, which its competitors do not. I decided to visit both.
At Warren, the website price was posted on the bike. I was greeted by a friendly and low-key Jeff. He asked me some pointed questions to ensure that I was looking at the right bike for my needs, and then answered all of my questions. I asked him for an out-the-door price, and he came back in two minutes with a price that was the sum of the website price plus freight plus sales tax. No pressure, no nonsense.
At Motor City, the prices are not posted on the bikes. The sales person had arranged for my test ride and he had the bike ready for me. After the test ride, we sat down to discuss price and he put together a number based on the STICKER price. Surprised, I responded that I thought he should start with the price being advertised on their website. He claimed that he didn’t know about the sale price because “no one told me,” which I thought odd because (1) you would expect that sales people would know about special deals and (2) at least he would have checked for incentives since he’d known for almost a week that I was coming in to see the bike.
So he recalculated the out-the-door price, which was significantly higher than even the $500 premium to Warren’s. I then showed him the Warren website, which resulted in his almost-cliché trip to the sales manager’s office to discuss it. After ten minutes he came back to me with a price that was still almost $300 higher than Warren’s price because it was stacked with all sorts of add-ons, e.g., documentation fee, etc. I was prepared to pay $50, or even $100, more to Motor City because the test ride had real value to me, but no test ride is worth $300, especially when I had to ask three times just to get that price. I told him that I needed to think about it and he came at me with the classic, “What can I do to get you to buy this today?” Ugh.
I went back to Warren and got Jeff to throw in a set of saddle bags at a discount, and we did a deal. I asked Jeff if they could store the bike for me until Spring since it was too cold outside to ride it, and he responded that he couldn’t store it but would be glad to deliver it, which he did two days later. I asked him how much gas it had in it because I would need to add Stabil to the tank for the winter, and he responded that the tank was full and he had ALREADY added fuel stabilizer for me since he knew it would be sitting until Spring. Wow!
My buying experience at Warren was great in every respect and it would be pleasure to give them my business in the future, hence I give them FIVE STARS.
Because of Motor City’s lack of (1) transparent pricing, (2) sales staff knowledge, (3) willingness to compete on price, I award them only TWO STARS. However, their policy of permitting test rides is of value, so I’ll give them an extra star for that: THREE STARS total.