The Next Generation FCA Salesman

SpeedyV

New member
HOWEVER - I think that reason the 12" will be a non-negotiable is solely due to the fact that the freakin' price is already so high, why not pay an extra X amount more.
It's not so much about price for me, although I can appreciate that argument. It's the total package...an understated exterior, the comfortable but luxurious "jeans and boots" interior of the Longhorn, and the latest technology throughout (i.e. the infotainment system, of course, but also eTorque, air suspension, safety features, etc.). Time will tell, but this could be a big win for FCA.
 

UN4GTBL

Moderator
I drove a Longhorn the other day with the 12” screen and it was a bit much for me. Too many options and configurations while driving. I’d probably get used to it after having it for a while, but if I bought one I think I’d go with the 8.4” screen.

The rest of the truck looked fantastic. The Longhorn is a beautiful truck inside and out.
Yeah I feel the same way. Being that the 12" does not offer a new function (aside from splitting the screen) it truly is a gimmick. A very sexy gimmick.
I'm a sucker for such gimmicks.
Yeah, it's a gimmick to me too.

The 8.4" screen gives you more buttons (like for heated/vented seats, etc) and still looks good, but I suspect for resale value, the 8.4" will start to look small eventually.
 

Jared B

Site editor
Staff member
Yeah, it's a gimmick to me too.

The 8.4" screen gives you more buttons (like for heated/vented seats, etc) and still looks good, but I suspect for resale value, the 8.4" will start to look small eventually.
I noticed that after driving trucks with both as well, I always use the hard buttons in my current truck, it would take a bit of getting used to using the screen for those functions. For some reason I'm still really stuck on getting it though, if I wasn't I could save probably 15k by getting a Sport and be completely happy with it.
 

BobbiBigWheels

Active member
I noticed that after driving trucks with both as well, I always use the hard buttons in my current truck, it would take a bit of getting used to using the screen for those functions. For some reason I'm still really stuck on getting it though, if I wasn't I could save probably 15k by getting a Sport and be completely happy with it.
Once a Sport lands I think it will provide a great value proposition to our clients. I still believe the Sport trim, without a 12", will be the #1 selling trim for us.
 

UN4GTBL

Moderator
I noticed that after driving trucks with both as well, I always use the hard buttons in my current truck, it would take a bit of getting used to using the screen for those functions. For some reason I'm still really stuck on getting it though, if I wasn't I could save probably 15k by getting a Sport and be completely happy with it.
I really wish that my heated/vented seats had real buttons in my Cherokee
 

SFCR

New member
With the 5 year plan by FCA now out, I have been thinking more and more about FCA's clear deviation from its current position in the market, and how it will affect my livelihood - selling their product.

Since the loss of the Patriot/Compass twins, Chrysler 200, and Dodge Dart, FCA had left us dealers with no sub-$20,000 CAD new product to offer our very price/budget focused clientele. Even the Dodge Grand Caravan, which once offered a Canada Value Package for $19,998, is now over $23,000, 3 years later. We had heard for a while now how much Sergio Marchionne was focused on margins with our product, and that the removal of this excellent cost-to-entry actually saved FCA millions. Now it is clear that FCA is very much determined to be a "high-end" brand.

How does that affect us sales people?

In my locale, our sales are dominated by Ram trucks and Jeep product. To put it into perspective, of 117 units sold, 40 were Ram 1500s alone. Our average transaction per Ram 1500 was between $35,000-$55,000, including pre-owned Rams. Totally reasonable, and nothing we are not used to. Where I get a bit anxious is staring at a $80,650 MSRP 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie in my showroom currently. This 6 figure loan, which after taxes it nearly is, is not appetizing to the dealer, or the public. It is, however, a clear indicator of where FCA wants to take its brands.

Jeep has always sold at a premium price, and they can, there is a clear defined competitive advantage that Jeep offers in Off-Road capability. Ram has started to convey their differences, however, as a salesman I always thought they have missed the mark. Where Ram is truly different than the competitors is ride quality. No one else uses coil spring suspension in the rear, and I would like Ram to really lean on the fact that we sell the quietest riding, best daily driving, and best interiors on the market. The product is worthy of the $80,000+ CAD tag, however, the market may not know why.

Chrysler sales for us is simple - ex-rental Chrysler 300s, and a client comparing Pacifica to Sienna or Odyssey. The Pacifica is an excellent product, however, in no way shape or form does it being a "Chrysler" help itself. For us Canadians, an all-new Grand Caravan with the Pacifica grille swapped for a Dodge one would sell better.

We don't sell Fiats, but then again, neither does our autogroup's Fiat dealership.

I have come to the conclusion that our sales people need to be retrained to prepare for the shift in market focus by FCA. We are not a mainstream brand anymore, as we do not offer pricepoints that the mainstream can afford. I feel this will only worsen. We are going to be a lifestyle/luxury brand, and frankly, I do not know if dealers are ready for this change. Only time will tell.
Having been a previous FCA dealership employee, you make some good points. I have noticed that prices are climbing, but it seems that FCA quality is better. I own a 2016 Challenger Scat Pack and love the car. I've also driven RAM trucks and I was certainly impressed. One thing I do know for sure that would help you guys is significantly increasing the quality of service received in the service department. The quality of customer care in parts and service will help some of the coming changes for sales professionals. It's tough to make a sell when the customer has already been negatively influenced by poor quality service. I live near the North Carolina coast, and believe me, the quality of the service department at my local dealership is among the worst I have experienced as an employee and as a non-employee customer. They do have some good technicians, but many others are an insult to FCA. Incompetence and having a poor attitude I believe are the main causes. With these issues added to the many indicated in this forum topic, it can surely make an uphill battle for FCA sales personnel.
 
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Jared B

Site editor
Staff member
Having been a previous FCA dealership employee, you make some good points. I have noticed that prices are climbing, but it seems that FCA quality is better. I own a 2016 Challenger Scat Pack and love the car. I've also driven RAM trucks and I was certainly impressed. One thing I do know for sure that would help you guys is significantly increasing the quality of service received in the service department. The quality of customer care in parts and service will help some of the coming changes for sales professionals. It's tough to make a sell when the customer has already been negatively influenced by poor quality service. I live near the North Carolina coast, and believe me, the quality of the service department at my local dealership is among the worst I have experienced as an employee and as a non-employee customer. They do have some good technicians, but many others are an insult to FCA. Incompetence and having a poor attitude I believe are the main causes. With these issues added to the many indicated in this forum topic, it can surely make an uphill battle for FCA sales personnel.
I agree wholeheartedly, the service experience with FCA is hands down pretty much the worst I've experienced with any brand by far. Whether that's a dealer only thing or is due to pressure coming down from FCA on dealing with warranty stuff I don't know.
 

Ryan

Moderator
Staff member
I agree wholeheartedly, the service experience with FCA is hands down pretty much the worst I've experienced with any brand by far. Whether that's a dealer only thing or is due to pressure coming down from FCA on dealing with warranty stuff I don't know.
They are much more lenient than GM on warranty stuff, in a way that benefits both the customers and the dealership. I can’t relate them to any other brand experiences, obviously.
 

AlexB

Active member
They are much more lenient than GM on warranty stuff, in a way that benefits both the customers and the dealership. I can’t relate them to any other brand experiences, obviously.
That's interesting..... You mention before the process of making claim with FCA was more problematic than GM....have there been changes since Manley took power?
 

Ryan

Moderator
Staff member
That's interesting..... You mention before the process of making claim with FCA was more problematic than GM....have there been changes since Manley took power?
No, not that I’ve noticed. How long ago did I mention that? It could have been after a particularly difficult claim. :p But I can’t remember a time when I found Chrysler warranty harder to deal with than GM.

Either way, GM’s system is just extremely convoluted and outdated. I don’t know if I mentioned this here before, but it only works properly on Internet Explorer which isn’t even being developed anymore. I use a Mac so I have to go to a different computer to submit GM claims. I’ve tried Safari, Firefix, Chrome, Opera, and a handful of other random browsers in compatibility mode. None work right. And GM doesn’t allow loaner car reimbursement unless you partner with a rental car agency. The closest one is an hour away from our dealership so that’s impractical.

Chrysler did recently implement SmartWarranty, I think early last year, which gives dealers more permission to self-authorize stuff if they have high enough scores in four areas: fixed first visit rate, warranty claims paid on first submission, days to submit a claim, and whether techs have met minimum training requirements. If you have a good FFV rate and net MTR, you’re a Plus dealer. If your warranty claims are submitted correctly so they pay the first time and you submit them in a timely manner, plus have a good FFV and met MTR, you’re a Premium dealer.

Aside from that, no noticeable changes. GM has really cracked down though. If a GM claim has to be sent to corporate for authorization, expect about 10 days of waiting for a response. Then they will find something they want changed so you’ll have to resubmit and wait 10 more days. I really noticed GM getting strict in the past few months. There’s a consensus among all of us at work that DealerConnect (FCA) is much easier to work with than GlobalConnect (GM).

I’ve been doing the warranty stuff for right at a year now. There are a lot of things I’ve learned recently that seemed hard to deal with at first.

I do like GM’s policy calculator, which lets them opt to pay part of a loyal customer’s repair. However because of the policy calculator, they have removed the option for a complete goodwill repair, apparently, while Chrysler will still let you goodwill something as long as you have a good explanation.
 
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AlexB

Active member
No, not that I’ve noticed. How long ago did I mention that? It could have been after a particularly difficult claim. :p But I can’t remember a time when I found Chrysler warranty harder to deal with than GM.

Either way, GM’s system is just extremely convoluted and outdated. I don’t know if I mentioned this here before, but it only works properly on Internet Explorer which isn’t even being developed anymore. I use a Mac so I have to go to a different computer to submit GM claims. I’ve tried Safari, Firefix, Chrome, Opera, and a handful of other random browsers in compatibility mode. None work right. And GM doesn’t allow loaner car reimbursement unless you partner with a rental car agency. The closest one is an hour away from our dealership so that’s impractical.

Chrysler did recently implement SmartWarranty, I think early last year, which gives dealers more permission to self-authorize stuff if they have high enough scores in four areas: fixed first visit rate, warranty claims paid on first submission, days to submit a claim, and whether techs have met minimum training requirements. If you have a good FFV rate and net MTR, you’re a Plus dealer. If your warranty claims are submitted correctly so they pay the first time and you submit them in a timely manner, plus have a good FFV and met MTR, you’re a Premium dealer.

Aside from that, no noticeable changes. GM has really cracked down though. If a GM claim has to be sent to corporate for authorization, expect about 10 days of waiting for a response. Then they will find something they want changed so you’ll have to resubmit and wait 10 more days. I really noticed GM getting strict in the past few months. There’s a consensus among all of us at work that DealerConnect (FCA) is much easier to work with than GlobalConnect (GM).

I’ve been doing the warranty stuff for right at a year now. There are a lot of things I’ve learned recently that seemed hard to deal with at first.

I do like GM’s policy calculator, which lets them opt to pay part of a loyal customer’s repair. However because of the policy calculator, they have removed the option for a complete goodwill repair, apparently, while Chrysler will still let you goodwill something as long as you have a good explanation.
Its on that "other site", but I found it :Richard Palmer been promising "Richer" RAM Pricing by 2018 since GM Merger push

GM sounds like Sears....needing old software to run applications.
 

Ryan

Moderator
Staff member
Its on that "other site", but I found it :Richard Palmer been promising "Richer" RAM Pricing by 2018 since GM Merger push

GM sounds like Sears....needing old software to run applications.
I stand by the policy calculator being a good idea. It seems they are using it to phase out goodwill though.

I’ve really been able to dig in and learn a lot about the Chrysler warranty system. Haven’t with GM. I can’t find any good resources to help with it other than a 400 page guide of their policies and rules, which doesn’t really help much until someone from GM references section 12.0937.1638A as a reason to deny a claim. Lol

I noticed GM becoming more strict around the time of the corporate layoffs. I think they may have consolidated their warranty support staff and they are now overworked.
 

AlexB

Active member
I stand by the policy calculator being a good idea. It seems they are using it to phase out goodwill though.

I’ve really been able to dig in and learn a lot about the Chrysler warranty system. Haven’t with GM. I can’t find any good resources to help with it other than a 400 page guide of their policies and rules, which doesn’t really help much until someone from GM references section 12.0937.1638A as a reason to deny a claim. Lol

I noticed GM becoming more strict around the time of the corporate layoffs. I think they may have consolidated their warranty support staff and they are now overworked.
GM crackdown sounds like classic Mary....hence SNL got it right
 

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