2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan interior

  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan interior

  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan trunk

Let's face it, nobody pays MSRP anymore. In fact, the most savvy car buyers among us don't even pay invoice price. Thanks to Internet pricing sites like TrueCar.com, it doesn't take negotiating skills or friends in the business to get dealers to sell you cars at deep discount. And that fact has Honda ticked off.

According to Automotive News, Honda has issued an ultimatum to its dealers: Stop selling cars below invoice price through these websites, or lose the per-car marketing spiffs that the factory gives dealers. Since Honda corporate turned the screws on its dealers in October, TrueCar says Honda sales through its service are down.

While many dealers do opt to play ball with TrueCar, offering guaranteed discounted prices up front and hoping to make more money on other aspects of their business, some are not thrilled with TrueCar. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson has called TrueCar's pricing transparency a "death spiral" for dealers, according to AN.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      lemonite
      • 3 Years Ago
      I will pay MSRP when I know that everyone is paying MSRP. If I know that you can be asking me for 2K over what others are paying... you bet your ass I'm going to haggle.
      A_Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can confirm that TrueCar didn't work with Honda. I looked through them to get a deal on a CRZ in my area. Yeah...no. I got a print out of a price for... $100 off. :\
      David
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doesn't seem like that long ago that my local dealer was marking cars above MSRP for the privilege to buy a Honda. I walked out and never went back. More power to the consumer.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any company fighting against an informed customer and a free market won't be getting my dollars.
      airchompers
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda needs to get humble quick. Look Honda, we know your engineering is solid. But you can't seem to figure out who you want to build cars for, and you make huge compromises that leave everyone worse off. If you want to compete on price, don't let your interior reflect that. If you want to compete on the car driving experience, then go call the people who did your suspension in the 80s and 90s. If you want to compete on quality, how about increasing the warranty? As it stands, your cars are usually the most expensive or among the most expensive cars in their category. Your cars are very loud and they don't drive as well as they should for the comfort level you've tuned into your suspension. What you need to do is maker substantially better cars at their current price or make the same car at a lower price. At present, the only Honda that is segment best is the Fit and that's losing ground rapidly. The Fit will be bested once GM figures out how to make light cars or Toyota introduces some sport into the Yaris. You rely on baby-boomers to just keep coming back, but they're eventually going to wake up and realize that Honda has made very little progress in the last 10 years when the rest of the world was really serious about making good cars. I say this because I want to drive a Honda but I just can't bring myself to buy an inferior product. In 2008 when I bought a car the Civic was the first car I checked out but dealers didn't want to source a manual and I figured out that that a Civic was going to be about $4,000 more expensive than a Hyundai Elantra. Consequently, you lost a potential life-time customer. And there's nothing in your current line-up that seems especially compelling. I hope it changes, I really do.
        Oceanblue78
        • 3 Years Ago
        @airchompers
        You call years of failing transmissions "solid engineering"?!.
        Harry A. Mitchell II
        • 3 Years Ago
        @airchompers
        GM will never figuire things out! 2011 Chevy Cruz first year reliability= worse than average? Give me a break! The Cavalier was ****, the Cobalt was **** and the Cruz is **** (don't forget the over priced Buick Verano based on the Cruz!) Honda Fit= Car and Drivers 10 Best six years in a row (07-12) among many other awards! I'll keep my 2009 Fit Sport thank you!
          Jason Allen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Harry A. Mitchell II
          Harry, in Tempe? Mayor Mitchell? If not, sorry. He said the fit was best, it is, almost everyone knows that. All other hondas are bland over-priced oatmeal.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @airchompers
        [blocked]
      xspeedy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe Honda should build an above invoice quality vehicle.
      Johnny Trailerpark
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would absolutely love to see dealerships go out of business. The world has changed and it's time for buying cars direct from the factory.
        bman78
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Johnny Trailerpark
        Dealerships exist because there is a huge variety of cars. Why would someone order a chevy cruze if they don't know if they would like it better then a honda civic? no one would buy a shoe with out trying it on and you can't test drive a car at a factory.
        Steveo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Johnny Trailerpark
        Do you buy coke from the factory too? you are a dumb ass. What do you do? sitting behind a desk making $8 an hour. Buy if from a factory? don't forget about the union. The price would go up a bit my friend. Go back to school!
        montoym
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Johnny Trailerpark
        Fair enough. However, do you think that the end result of that is going to be lower prices for the consumer or higher prices? Be careful what you wish for. My guess is, considering that the MSRP comes from the manufacturer, you'll see higher prices result from the demise of dealers. Dealers are often the reason you see the lower prices that you do, they are in competition with each other. Closing dealerships will massively decrease the number of competitors out there. It may mean that MSRP's might drop in the future, but you probably won't see a lot of sales for much below MSRP or anything close to invoice. Not when the manufacturers profit is at stake. You will probably still get the manufacturer rebates that we typically see offered currently, but that's probably about it.
      Glenn
      • 3 Years Ago
      I work at a dealership in Canada as a salesmen and nothing annoys me more when people bring in car cost Canada. I have a question for all of you consumers who demand a discount. What line of business do you work in? Does that business not need to make money to stay afloat? Just because you spend $35,000 on a vehicle why do you think you are "entitled" to a discount, this does not make any sense to me. Every business I've worked in, the goal is to make money and make a profit to stay in business. Why should it be different with a car dealership. Do you walk into Safeway and say your loaf of bread is $2 I want to pay $1. No you don't you, pay the $2. Why? Because every business makes some sort of profit. So it is unreasonable to think that it should be any different for a dealership. If someone is nice to me and acts like im another person selling them a car I am more willing to work with them. But if you walk in and treat me like **** ill treat you like ****.
        Sean
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Glenn
        That's ridiculous. The MSRP is purposefully inflated to help dealers negotiate. It leaves the customer feeling that they got a good deal when they negotiate below MSRP, and it leaves the dealer with a very healthy profit margin. Even with invoice pricing, you're still making good money. If you're going to complain about customers wanting discounts, then why do you feel that you deserve your dealer holdback, you know that thing that you never talk about to mislead your customers into thinking invoice is what you pay? Or why do you deserve Dealer Cash?
          Glenn
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean
          Oh you mean the dealer hold back that I as a Salesmen never even sees? And im not sure what a healthy profit margin to you is because most business's are around 7-10%. Well after you haggle me down on my $25,000 vehicle that has $1600 of markup and we make $500 over cost I don't know how any business could survive with that kind of % of a consistent basis. I know some dealerships are shady and play games but the one I work at we are straight up. Fair business to us is splitting the profit margin. Half for you half for us. People forget that invoice is what we paid for the vehicle itself. It does not show that we put a full tank of gas in the car, pay a lot attendant to clean it, pay the salesmen the commission keep the lights on in the building. I don't think that splitting the profit is unreasonable.
          HardmacK
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean
          @Glenn... So stop selling cars for other customers can get them for at other dealers. Welcome to the world of ecomonics, if you are selling them cheaper than someone else guess what? The customers will go THERE instead of your lot. Its not our job as consumers to CARE about your business, cause guess what? Someone somewhere will SELL ME A CAR for what I WILL PAY FOR IT.
          bman78
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean
          that healthy margin has become less and less over the years. go to truecar and price out a kia forte and you will be surprised what the margin is.
          Steveo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean
          Healthy profit? What do you think a healthy profit is for a dealership on a car?
          Glenn
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean
          Also, if you want a car at cost then pay $8,000,000 for a franchise agreement and buy 1000 units a year as a dealer, and guess what you can buy a car at cost. Its the same thing as costco vs local grocery store. You get cars at invoice when you buy 1000 a year, not 1.
        Anonimouse
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Glenn
        I get the impression that you feel that my trying to pay the least amount equates to treating you like ****. Car salesmen provide no value to me except to hand me the keys to a car. I have always known more about the car I am trying to buy than any salesman I have even spoken to starting when I was 16. I normally obtain internet quotes and using these quotes has made what were previously MISERABLE experiences more tolerable. If dealers want another avenue to make money, I would happily pay for test drives in exchange for being allowed to use internet quotes and not using salesmen. Anything would be preferable to listening to car salesman lying to me or inventing new ways to pressure me to buy or "punish" me if I do not buy. I had a dealer ask for my car keys to show that I was "serious" before getting to test drive a car. When I did not buy, they withheld my keys for half an hour. I found the article "Confessions of a Car Salesman" at edmunds.com to be representative of most car sales experiences. I will do whatever I can to avoid talking to a car salesman. I currently own two Hondas and if they somehow manage to stop their dealers from providing quotes, I will be buying another brand next time. By the way, my job does not involve lying to customers.
          rtkewley
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Anonimouse
          Could not have said it better. My thoughts almost exactly.
        phillip
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Glenn
        because every single customer pays a different price. this is 1st rate price discrimination. you charge every single customer as much as they are willing to pay for thier car not a penny less. truecar and other websites are trying to get rid of this ancient Bazaar marketplace strategy. you would not want to pay a different price for every single can of soda you consume why should cars be different?
        digitalwatch
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Glenn
        When I was selling Kia's (also in Canada) I got sick of all the Car-cost-no-it-all-tough-guys so I started letting them know this is the price take it or leave it. I just didn't care anymore and the thing I learned as that they were all frauds. If they wanted the car they would pay, if they didn't want it they would leave and I was happy with that. You didn't make enough money on a flat commission for me to care about moving one more car so I just didn't care. The look on their faces when they said "that's not good enough" and I said "OK, Bye!" was priceless and I couldn't believe they would still buy cars. My sales actually went up and the number of losers who would come in and waffle over their decision fell through the floor. It made my job so much easier. But like others have probably implied, the money you make selling imports isn't worth any effort at all, so I got a new job.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 3 Years Ago
      Plain and simple I am the consumer and you will meet my demands or you won't get a sale. Maybe if it hurts enough you will meet what I want, maybe you won't, but that is the requirement. I am absolutely ruthless as a car buyer, and go in more prepared than any salesman I have tangled with. Also, your kids aren't my problem, my kids are, so don't even try to pull that BS with me. Honda is trying to tell the consumer what they HAVE to pay for a car, and in the free market that just doesn't work for me. If I can get it below MSRP, then the market has decided that Honda has overpriced them from the very beginning.
        bman78
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        as a salesperson I am the same way. The first thing that i say before the customer sits down is this "I will give you my best price if that is not good enough we will part as friends." Its faster easier and normally leads to more referrals.
        A_Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        u mad?
      cynicalrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nobody, Always, Never. 3 words you really shouldn't use. Yes, people still pay MSRP. Some even pay over it. It's those people that help us to put up with all of you mooches making your own comments. My 20+years experience in car sales leads me to the opinion that fixed price selling ( that Scion succeeds with) is really the way to go. You people are all happy to pay MSRP at your local Apple store.
        bman78
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cynicalrick
        yup. I have been selling cars for years. at some point all manufactures will be selling cars at fixed prices. the only thing you can negotiate now is the trade value.
        Kevin W
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cynicalrick
        I buy my ipods off Craigslist. Got an 80GB Classic from a spoiled kid for $30 just so his parents would buy him a Touch.
        oneMadRssn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cynicalrick
        Even apple offers below MSRP options dude. Check out their refurb store. Still perfect in every way, same warrantee, comes in an ugly brown box, often 10% or more less cost.
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @oneMadRssn
          Hence it's used, refurb = used. You can buy used cars for below MSRP as well, it's the same thing you are talking about. Let me know when Apple actually decided to discount the MSRP of their "NEW" items or heck, even lower the price of some of their new items. They don't even allow retailers to sell their items at a discount at all, it's MSRP or nothing Do you think after 4 generations or more of a product that their production might be efficient enough to drop the price of their products? I can get a new desktop PC now for $500 that I would have paid $1000 for 5yrs ago new. Sure the new one is faster and better, but it's cheaper too. Your iPod or iPad though, nope, still the same price. That's all just excess profit flowing into their coffers. Apple is the most valuable company in the World, they didn't get there by selling their products at a discount I can tell you that. Have you ever looked at their profit margin? Big Oil would love to have a profit margin like Apple does. Check it out if you don't believe it: Apple http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=AAPL Profit Margin (ttm): 23.95% ttm = Trailing Twelve Months (as of Sep 24, 2011) Compare that to Exxon-Mobil: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=XOM Profit Margin (ttm): 9.75% or BP: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=BP Profit Margin (ttm): 6.41% or Wal-Mart: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=WMT Profit Margin (ttm): 3.77% You can look at any number of other "hated" companies and you'll find that Apple has a higher profit margin than virtualy all of them.
      Zee Frunch Canadiun
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Honda. Bite me :)
      flc2009
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda is not what it is use to be; you can get other competitors for a lot less. I will not buy a Honda. The Korean and American car makers are stepping up thier game.
        Fierce5
        • 3 Years Ago
        @flc2009
        True
        • 3 Years Ago
        @flc2009
        [blocked]
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