One of the benefits of internet car shopping is the ability to “build your own car” and often the next step is to special order that vehicle to get exactly the vehicle you want.
For many people, there is a thrill in shopping for a new vehicle. You would visit the car lot and choose your best color and the vehicle that has the features and options you wanted. In the past several years, all major auto manufacturers have been reducing the number of manufactured cars that are sitting on dealership lots. Without the overabundance of vehicles, there isn’t a need to post high rebates just to entice potential shoppers just to move inventory more quickly.
Nowadays, many manufacturers are limiting the on-hand dealership inventory which forces impulsive buyers to select from a smaller set of potential vehicles. However, if you visit a manufacturer’s website you will often see a section devoted to “building your own vehicle”.
The “build your own” page first lets you select the model and the trim level. Then, you can select the exterior color. You can click on the interior colors and fabrics and see photos that represent that specific layout. Then, you can select the engine, the wheels, transmission and so on. On the interior front, you can select the type of electronics (remote start, entertainment, Bluetooth, navigation) and other special equipment. The site will let you see the cost of the specific item versus the cost of bundling the items into a special package which might include that item.
Anyone searching for that perfect right truck may want to spend some time on the “build your own” site. Nowadays, if you have specific needs on a truck, such as towing capacity, fifth wheel tow package, trailer brake controller, four-wheel versus all-wheel transmission, limited slip versus locking differential, then you should take the time to research what’s available.
Often on a “build your own” website it will allow you to see the suggested list price of the vehicle before rebates and research to see if there are any vehicles in your area that are similar to the one you just built.
However, sometimes a very specific build of a vehicle will mean that few, if any, similar vehicles exist. Sure, you could wait for one to be built that magically meets your needs – but realistically, that may never happen. Oftentimes it just makes sense to find a dealer that’s willing to let you order the vehicle just as you want it built.
For most domestic manufacturers, a dealer can take a non-refundable deposit, say $1,000, and order the vehicle you want built just for you by the factory. The turnaround time can be in a month or two – it depends on how many total units are being built of that make and model.
For example, it’s one thing to build a new model Mustang GT just the way you want. It’s entirely different to want to specify exactly what you want in a Shelby Mustang Super Snake or a top-of-the line Corvette ZR1. Sometimes special models are limited to a few hundred units, so it drives the price up tremendously to special order. Sometimes those special vehicles are only built with few customer-selected options.
Once the vehicle is ordered, a dealer will verify the exact specifications that you wish. They will keep you informed on the build of your desired vehicle as the weeks progress. A vehicle identification number is created once the assembly line is ready to start building your vehicle. They will let you know when the finished vehicle will be delivered. Once it arrives, be sure to take your time to look over the vehicle to ensure that everything was assembled correctly. Then you can finalize the payment for the vehicle and drive home knowing that you’ve got a one-of-kind specially-built vehicle.
Finally, when you are placing your order, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the dealership is willing to negotiate a lower list price. Sometimes a dealer realizes that once you have placed an order, you are more than likely going to buy the car. They don’t have to worry about advertising it or worry that it will linger on the car lot for months before someone buys the car.
For many shoppers, if they are shopping for something special, a dealer will look over the area inventory to find a vehicle that most closely matches what a buyer is looking for. Often a buyer can find a close enough match that can be brought in within a few days. But for those who are certain of what they want, then special ordering it can be “just what the doctor ordered!”
Source: Bob Hurley Ford
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