Why I’ll Never Buy a Toyota from Heritage Toyota Catonsville in Baltimore, MD

Why on earth would anyone even consider buying a Toyota? Well, call me stupid but I did the incredible thing, I did some research and then visited the Heritage Toyota Catonsville, Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore, MD.

I’m looking for a 6-8 seater, comfortable for 6 six adults, not 4 adults plus some carrots. So naturally I came across the Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, and all the other junk out there.

I’ve Bought New Cars Before

Yeah, we’ve been through it often enough. You know how it is, all “stealerships” out there are the same. You enter the dealership and they will stick on you like flies on feces. Don’t make the mistake and give them your phone number. You’ll receive ten phone calls daily and wished they were robocalls. And yes all the pressure sales tactics, we know. I run a business, too, but there is a reason why car salesmen (and -women) have such an extraordinary reputation as being, let’s say, of minuscule trustworthiness. However, this post isn’t about the salespeople. In fact, the gentleman today did a great job. No lies, no deceptions, I was relieved. I still had to pull each “fact” out of his “nose”, so to speak.

This time the dealership was a little different.

The Dealership, or Should we say Stealership

So you enter the dealership, it says “showroom” and guess what: there are no cars on display. All they had were three outside. OK, I get it. Decades ago when I was a child, the grass was greener and everyone had a job. So the big guys thought, “man I don’t like this mess. You need to screw with the people to make some more money”. Then the USSR and China opened their borders and the big billionaires came up with a great plan: Let’s screw all Americans by closing the factories, including the important computer chip industry we just created, and move it to Taiwan and China, then import the stuff back here and charge the defenseless American people even more for the same stuff they made themselves just years earlier. No wonder Biden is sooo interested in “defending” Taiwan from the evil Chinese.

So “there won’t be enough chips to meet demand for years to come”, so the Toyota gurus on site this morning.

What is going to stay for much longer are their sneaky tactics.

Sneaky Tactics

So you enter the dealership and all you see are cubicles. There are no cars to sell but dozens of people work there. Doing what, may I ask?

I call for a quote for a very simple car configuration and all I get are cryptic responses, via email as well as on the phone. I get it, they want to lure me into their store. So I thought, “let’s waste some valuable time this morning” and went there.

Soon enough, after almost half an hour talking and looking at used cars because there were no new Siennas, we finally got to peel the onion. Can we finally reveal the top secret: How much does the damn car cost? OK and then he said I need to ‘reserve’  it first. What? I give you the short version:

You need to (sort of) buy (aka ‘reserve’) the car, wait 6-8 weeks (!), it comes in your name. And, wait, here’s a minor detail, you must pay $2,000 to ‘reserve’ it. So you basically have to buy it in order to get to see it. Granted, the money is refundable if you change your mind. Good. I haven’t done it to tell you how easy and quick that would be. But that’s not all my friends.

So finally back at the salesman’s office, one of the dozens and dozens of offices in there, I kept pressing. How much for the car, exactly, with taxes?

The Nuclear Bomb: $5,000 / $10,000 “Markup”

He tells me there is a $5,000 “markup”. I studied business for eight years, I know what the word means. But I had to ask him six times over to explain what he meant. Not because he didn’t explain it well, no I thought my mind and ears are playing tricks on me.

The MSRP is $35,285 (or so) according to Toyota’s website. Then the stealership adds their arbitrary “surcharge” of a whopping $5,000! This means you need to pay another $5,000 extra on top of the manufacturer’s recommended price.

OK, then he shows me a list of all the models and their “markups”. While he went away to confirm with the main office that another idiot just entered the dealership and sits at his desk right now, I had a look at the paper. The Sienna was listed with $10,000 markup! So I asked, “but you told me $5,000 a minute back” and he said “that’s correct, it’s $5,000 now”.

I Made a Dealer Language Translator. Check this

In plain English this is what happened today: Do you want to buy a Toyota? You idiot! Then you must pay a $5,000 to $10,000 penalty.

OK, so the “markup” is like the stock market. You want the Toyota real bad, the markup goes up. If you want the car really, really bad, the markup goes way up. One can only guess: what happens if you need the car really really really bad?

That’s when I thought, I was wrong! Perhaps all those cubicles aren’t offices in there. Perhaps they are glory holes. Perhaps for those ladies and gentlemen, who really, really, really, really need a car, right now.

Perhaps those people come in and ask for a new Toyota like this, I took a picture because “a picture says more than a thousand words”, they say:

Disclaimer: The offer in the image above is not to be taken seriously. Do not call with counteroffers. I want my behind to remain a virgin. That’s why I don’t buy a Toyota.

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