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Maybe this info is a little late now that SRT8's are finally arriving but I felt it necessary to have this info here for reference for those with questions about the SRT program.

In order to help shed some light on the subject you will need to see the entire picture and hopefully this information will help to do that. The SRT8 puts Chrysler in a unique position for several reasons. The SRT division is committed to finding the ideal balance between two dynamics in the retailing of their vehicles. For one thing, they have made it clear (at least to those of us in the dealer circle) that the SRT division is primarily focused on keeping demand high by producing only the highest quality production vehicles using race-bred technology. This means that any vehicle that becomes designated as an SRT product will contain refinements and comforts like the original mass produced versions along with the adding the latest in high tech, high horsepower power plants. That being said, they are also well aware of the fact that if they overproduce any of these vehicles, they loose much of the mystique (and consequently value) of producing them in the first place.

In simple terms the SRT vehicles are low production, high output vehicles which are built for the purist.

I’m sure to most of you this is no secret but, it’s important that you understand this because it has a direct impact on how and why these vehicles are sometimes difficult to find and furthermore, why it seems some of the dealers have trouble with their orders.

So far then, we know SRT is a great vehicle and they will be limited in production to maintain hype, value and desirability in the modern day muscle car market.

SRT and Daimler Chrysler know exactly what they are doing to the retail market but perhaps what many of you may not realize is that they know too, exactly what they are doing to the dealer network also. They have been masterful at creating desire for these cars in the consumer market and this in turn creates a reason for the dealers to want these vehicles to sell. Having said that, every dealer wants these cars because their customers are asking for them and because they are SRT, you simply don’t find rows and rows of them lined up on the dealer lots, like so many other within the inventory. Can you imagine 5 rows of Caravans and another 5 rows of 300 SRT8 or Magnum SRT8 next to them? I can tell you one thing, there would be no such thing as an SRT8 forum if this was the case.

Y’see, this is all in the plan for SRT. On the heels of some of the largest auction prices ever seen for domestic muscle (and don’t get me wrong here, I am in no way making a comparison to 60’s muscle), they see the value in creating desire in the market to drive up demand and maintain excitement levels in certain models. Doing this also produces sales in regular vehicle lines too. It brings people in to see what all the excitement is about and by doing so, creates interest in regular mass produced vehicles along the way.

By grand design, SRT is a way of cross platform marketing that works very well to sell not only limited production SRT’s but several different vehicles made by Daimler Chrysler.

So now we understand that the manufacturer has created this demand in the marketplace which in turn puts pressure on the dealership network to deliver the SRT cars. This car is limited production every year and if there are (for example), only 100 cars produced in Canada but there are over 500 dealers this obviously creates a problem for approximately 400 dealers or more. In fact, many dealers will receive two or more (and I’ll explain that…just keep reading) which magnifies this problem at the dealer level.

Hmmm…now we have only say... 60 cars for the same 500 dealers because some dealers get more than one. You can begin to see how the demand begins to rise on the second level after consumer demand. We now have a wholesale demand for these vehicles too. “We are a dealer that sells such and such many regular vehicles per year and we should get one” is what you can imagine being said by most, if not all of these dealer managers and principles.

How then does Chrysler and its highly sought after SRT vehicles decide who can have these cars and who cannot? Is it overall volume? Maybe. Is it geography or location? Maybe. Is it who knows whom on the inside? Possibly. Think about it. Every dealer wants one, because every dealer has at least one customer they know who should have one.

Here is where getting these cars goes beyond simply going into your local dealer (and from what I understand it is supposed to be a five star exclusive product) and ordering one. Keep in mind that many dealers are simply wishing they could get one and it seems they may not be willing to let their customers know that the order they take, may not become reality (I’m not saying it’s happening but I cannot help but think that from all I have heard and read that it may be possible).

So your local dealer wants an SRT and he orders one for you (or his inventory, or just because). Now Chrysler has a list a mile long requesting these cars but they only want to produce (using our example scenerio) a total of 100 of these for the Canadian market.

They have this huge demand for a great new line, but yet they also have acres and acres of regular cars, minivans and SUV’s coming off the line that they need to move out to dealers. They need to keep them moving too, regardless of how many Caravans, Sebring’s, Grand Cherokees or SX 2.0 have been sold on any given month, regardless of auto sales dipping (or rising) during any quarter in the market these vehicles keep flying off the assembly line and have to go somewhere.
Mass produced vehicles are just that. They are mass produced before they are sold. There are thousands of vehicles on hundreds of lots across the nation that must be sold.

The manufacturer doesn’t sell to the public directly. The manufacturer’s customers are the dealers and they need the dealers to buy (or at least commit to) these acres of regular cars, trucks and SUV’s. They need to sell them, everyday, regardless of local economics, weather or fuel prices. There is enormous pressure to keep the factories churning out vehicles without as much as a single real owner. In order to sell these vehicles, they have to put pressure on their customers (the dealers) to buy more. Of course it’s a little more complicated than that but I want to establish for you how the distribution channels work from the build right through to the end user…you.

There are top dealers from every province and state who constantly produce results and just like a professional sports team in the playoffs, when the heat is on to score, the chain of command above expects big results from their ‘big guns’.

This is where SRT comes in. If your dealer network wants these limited production vehicles to sell to there customers, bring people into their showroom and create excitement at their dealership they are going to have to produce results.

However, there is a significant difference between saying that you can produce results and actually producing results. This is where the line is drawn between dealers who can and will get SRT’s and dealers who seem less likely to actually fulfill an order...ever. It would easy for any dealership to say to the manufacturer something like “if we get one of these SRT cars we will sell 60 extra xyz models next quarter”. As much as this represents a ‘commitment’ of sorts to sell more vehicles, it’s really just talk.

The kind of commitment the manufacturer wants is a real one and thus, the dealer has to actualy buy (and agree to receive and pay for) a significant block of the manufacturers ‘grab bag’ of regular vehicles (the mass produced, and sometimes boring minivans and sedans).

Therefore, the manufacturer will really only fulfill the orders of a dealer who has or will agree to, take receipt of a large block of these ;other’ vehicles in the lineup. This means a dealer has to ‘put up or shut up’ if they really want SRT anything. No big deal you might think, but consider this. We’re talking about a dealer now having to find a way to sell an extra maybe…25 vehicles, 35 vehciles…just to take delivery of one SRT. Let’s say it’s 25 vehciles at an average cost (not immediately mind you) of $20,000 each. That equals $500,000 in inventory that sooner or later he is going to receive. If they already have a healthy average of sales numbers that they work hard to achieve each quarter, they now have to find a way to sell 25 more! Therefore, the manufacturer uses SRT's as leverage against the dealers with mass production vehicles and it works extremely well too. The dealers have no choice but to sell more vehicles.

If you were to layout this scenerio in a pie graph, you would see a continuing circle of supply and demand built around a marketing plan that goes way beyond making ‘just another fast car’ like what Ford and GM seem to do. The SRT division is much more complex than that, it is a vital part of a continued pattern of growth for Chrsyler.

The benefit of all this complexity, is that these great cars being produced as SRT’s are creating life in the market and they are creating an adreanaline rush for anyone lucky enough to drive one.

So if you really want an SRT, visit a large volume five star dealer and find a salesperson who is passionate about the car and who can be 100% honest about what they can or cannot do for you and of course, keep reading the forum. It is the best!

I work for Langley Chrysler in BC
Simon Scott
 

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Simon, this is the single best post I've read on this forum since I've been here. Thanks you for your honesty and professional insight :You_Rock_

Can you tell me what it takes to become a five star? Seems like there are vast differences between them (in my opinion)

Ray

SRTSimon said:
Maybe this info is a little late now that SRT8's are finally arriving but I felt it necessary to have this info here for reference for those with questions about the SRT program.

Snip...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Ray,

I do not know what exactly is the criteria,nor if there is an application process from the dealer. However, there are controls or internal 'audits' of sorts that require guidlelines to met and maintained on different levels. Primarily, customer satisfaction. The CSI (customer satisfaction index) as it is reffered to must be very, very high. It represents a satisfaction rating on an ongoing basis (from sales in the beginning to service ongoing) based on feedback from the customer.

I will try to find out next week, a little more about specifics, but for the most part, five star designation means a greater commitment to serving the customer... a little like when you go to McDonalds in Vancouver, you have the same expectation in Los Angeles. If you go to a non-five star, you may end expecting MacDonalds, but getting McDowells....in other words, the experience may be vastly different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
that is to say, not that McD's is great service, but the idea of five star is supposed to be continuity between this designation whereas non five star has no (or less) guidelines for CSI from the manufacturer.
 

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The one thing I do notice 5 stars are pretty consuisten about is the begging for good customer sat surveys. Dealer nocked a grand of mt C when I promised to give hime s sterling review on the survey...

SRTSimon said:
that is to say, not that McD's is great service, but the idea of five star is supposed to be continuity between this designation whereas non five star has no (or less) guidelines for CSI from the manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
lol....he bought your vote?....thats sad....and funny, maybe he deserved a good one anyway but to mask it in the form of discount isn't really how it is supposed to work. I'll assume your happy with their service. We've tried the 'dangling the carrot' stuff before and found there is just no replacement for good old fashion service and follow up.
 

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I agree with you good old fashioned customer service, and above all - HONESTY makes the deal and the relationship in my book. But you do what you have to do. This was the GM! I went in on a Friday afternoon at the end of the month in Sept and just raked him over the coals for a C "in a color I didn't even want" :evil: for $250 below invoice. Told him I'm paying cash and I and my new car will be outta here in 30 minutes or the deals off. No finace guy, no bullshit, just PDI it, cash the check and I'm gone. He went for it. Best time I've ever had buying a car. That is until I get my 8...

SRTSimon said:
lol....he bought your vote?....thats sad....and funny, maybe he deserved a good one anyway but to mask it in the form of discount isn't really how it is supposed to work. I'll assume your happy with their service. We've tried the 'dangling the carrot' stuff before and found there is just no replacement for good old fashion service and follow up.
 

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And now for "the rest of the story"

There is validity in what you have posted, SRTSimon. There is, however, more to this story.

With the other SRT vehicles, the demand never exceeded supply as it has in early days of producing the 300C SRT-8.

Dealerships make their profit on selling service, warranty work, parts, body repair and used cars. The markup on new cars is very low. DCX have made it very clear to the dealer network that they disapprove of marking up over MSRP. SRT's are specialty cars - and the people that buy then are knowledgebale enthusiasts. History has proven that they influence the auto purchasing desicions of coworkers, friends, neighbours and family in a big way.

Most dealers in Canada have stuck to that policy. In the Greater Vancouver area, there seems to be a problem with some dealers marking up over MSRP.

There are reports from greater Van of dealers and their families actually driving SRT-8's for their own pleasure, and still expecting a price gouge on sale. Worse yet, some greater Van dealers have refused to honour a written buy/sell contract on an SRT-8, contrary to provincial law.

I agree, DCX have a sound program building and distributing SRT-8s. If only the dealer network could live up to the integrity of the manufacturer and the amazing product they build, car enthusiasts would be much happier.
 

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So how hard is it to find another SRT car besides the 300? I think I can pretty much go out and buy any of them under msrp. Chrysler also know that the more vehicles they build, the cheaper the car becomes to produce. It may be true that they will not build so many that THEY have to discount them, but dealers will want 3 or 4 sitting in their lots to sell at discounts and they will order them. If I am a dealer and the demand has slowed down from msrp and above, I can still make good money taking $2k off the sticker, and I can still make some money for $500 over invoice. I do beleive that Chrysler will try to fill every dealer order and because of what I stated above, dealers will order more than they need, especially in the beginning of supply passing demand.
 

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GNSCOTT said:
So how hard is it to find another SRT car besides the 300? I think I can pretty much go out and buy any of them under msrp. Chrysler also know that the more vehicles they build, the cheaper the car becomes to produce. It may be true that they will not build so many that THEY have to discount them, but dealers will want 3 or 4 sitting in their lots to sell at discounts and they will order them. If I am a dealer and the demand has slowed down from msrp and above, I can still make good money taking $2k off the sticker, and I can still make some money for $500 over invoice. I do beleive that Chrysler will try to fill every dealer order and because of what I stated above, dealers will order more than they need, especially in the beginning of supply passing demand.
It's not hard to find other SRTs. Not many dealers will stock no more than 1 or 2 because they are not high demand vehicles. They tie up dealer capital and lot/showroom space. The same will be true with the LX SRT8's in another year or two.

Don't expect deep discounts on specitaly vehicles - unless a dealer is over stocked. When a dealer sells at $500 or $1000 over invoice - pays a commission to the salesman; covers his finance cost; the fixed operating costs on the new car division - he is making $0 net profit - that is Zero with a capital Zed (hey, I'm Canadian, eh!).
 

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wow...great thead!that pretty much sums it all up..
 

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Northern Rider said:
It's not hard to find other SRTs. Not many dealers will stock no more than 1 or 2 because they are not high demand vehicles. They tie up dealer capital and lot/showroom space. The same will be true with the LX SRT8's in another year or two.

Don't expect deep discounts on specitaly vehicles - unless a dealer is over stocked. When a dealer sells at $500 or $1000 over invoice - pays a commission to the salesman; covers his finance cost; the fixed operating costs on the new car division - he is making $0 net profit - that is Zero with a capital Zed (hey, I'm Canadian, eh!).

Not true, there are holdbacks that pay for all of that, and the dealer can benefit when ordering another SRT vehicle because he will receive better allocation. Not saying they will go that cheap, but there is no way the msrp and over will last. A dealer also loses money when a car is on the lot. Some states they even have to pay personal property tax if it stays on the lot too long, so it would be their benefit to discount a car to move it quickly. There are plenty of dealers out there selling cars and trucks for $500 over invoice and prospering with volume.
 

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GNSCOTT said:
Not true, there are holdbacks that pay for all of that, and the dealer can benefit when ordering another SRT vehicle because he will receive better allocation. Not saying they will go that cheap, but there is no way the msrp and over will last. A dealer also loses money when a car is on the lot. Some states they even have to pay personal property tax if it stays on the lot too long, so it would be their benefit to discount a car to move it quickly. There are plenty of dealers out there selling cars and trucks for $500 over invoice and prospering with volume.
You are saying that you can create corporate profit flogging out cars at $500.00 over invoice?

I disagree.

There are no dealer incentives or holdbacks on the 300 SRT8. I was a GM of a dealership. I know many dealer owners in Canada. Every one of them has said they have to deep discount MSRP on most of their new car product line and depend on the other divisions for their net bottom line profits.
 

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Northern Rider said:
You are saying that you can create corporate profit flogging out cars at $500.00 over invoice?

I disagree.

There are no dealer incentives or holdbacks on the 300 SRT8. I was a GM of a dealership. I know many dealer owners in Canada. Every one of them has said they have to deep discount MSRP on most of their new car product line and depend on the other divisions for their net bottom line profits.

I know a Dodge dealership that sells nothing but trucks all for $500 over invoice minus incentives. He is a suppoting vendor on the diesel truck board. He spelled out to everyone how he makes money. Every car has a hold back or some kind of dealer kick back. Can a dealership afford to sell EVERY car at 500 over invoice? no of course not, and that is not what I said.

Do you only selectivly read my post? Did you not read in the same sentence where I said.

" Not saying they will go that cheap, but there is no way the msrp and over will last."

Have you not heard of cars selling at or below invoice minus rebates. Sometimes a dealer has to move cars. Sometimes Companies send them cars they didn't order and they better take them or else.
 

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Without volume and factory to dealer incentives - laughable on the SRT8 -the business will fail if they rely on holdback plus $500, though it can succeed in high volume alone.

The business model for a competent dealership works, with everyone getting enough pie for supper - and a bit more - at MSRP. It's the greedy markups on SRT that burn those who understand the business model, and who are trying to inform and protect other buyers. Knowledge is power.

Zilla
 

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Re: The SRT -Truth

SRTSimon said:
. . .The benefit of all this complexity, is that these great cars being produced as SRT’s are creating life in the market and they are creating an adreanaline rush for anyone lucky enough to drive one.

So if you really want an SRT, visit a large volume five star dealer and find a salesperson who is passionate about the car and who can be 100% honest about what they can or cannot do for you and of course, keep reading the forum. It is the best!

I work for Langley Chrysler in BC
Simon Scott
Simon, I read in a recent post (June 7th) that you actually drove one -

SRTSimon said:
in 'drive' as in auto mode or 4, 5th gear...

Seeing as how I drove one yesterday I made a similar observation about the way it shifted. Does it offer a sound when shifting also? I found that the car makes a sort of gurgle, or gasp as it pours through each gear at the top of the rev cycle.

Maybe it's the same thing you are experiencing. I found that, although it was (for a split second) lagging, it gave it a hellova sound and a great feel.



It seems you took this vehicle through the grears at WOT (this is what the thread was about).

Was this a broken in vehicle that a current owner let you drive?

Or was it a "new" unit, as yet undelivered to an SRT-8 enthusiast?

Just curious . . .
 
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