Understanding options Featured

5:57am EDT May 30, 2003
Today's consumer has many options in the luxury automobile market. But as important as the vehicle options are, the choice of dealership is perhaps more important.

There are obvious considerations when looking for a place to buy a vehicle, such as the cleanliness of the facility and the appearance of the sales and service staff. Often overlooked is the ability to reach top management, including the owner. Can he or she be reached with a phone call?

But looking past the first impression, other factors will make the ownership experience unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Key points to consider:

Manufacturer recognition. All manufacturers have standards for their franchised dealers as well as for the individual employee. These are based on quantifiable measures of customer satisfaction in sales and service. Look for awards prominently displayed.

Professional sales associates who are able to facilitate the entire transaction without the constant interaction of various layers of management.

An accommodating service department, which offers complimentary pick-up and delivery of a loaner vehicle for routine maintenance and service work. Some offer light maintenance on a mobile basis.

Training. The dealer should be supportive of advanced education for service technicians and sales staff. In addition to your service adviser, your technician should be accessible to answer your questions.

The search for a luxury automobile should be a pleasant experience. Ask colleagues and business associates about the reputation of various dealers you may be considering.

If you require extra treatment, such as delivery to the home or office, surprise delivery for a birthday or anniversary, make sure the dealer will enhance this experience for you.

Source: Classic BMW/Lexus