LaFontaine Honda Dealership - Test Drive Leads To Stolen Vehicle
What started out as a typical Monday afternoon at the Dearborn Honda store, slowly evolved into something a bit more complicated involving the Dearborn Police and a missing 2002 Honda Odyssey.
Around 6pm, Dearborn Police were notified that a vehicle that was taken for a “test drive” didn’t seem to be in good hands.
It was about 6 hours since it was last seen heading northbound on Telegraph Rd which could have meant it was either in Indiana, Ohio or in the process of being unassembled somewhere in the Metro Detroit area.
Fortunately, police were able to recover the vehicle and gain a little more understanding of why this happened.
It also appears that the responses left in the comments section raise some doubt as to whether a salesperson should or should not accompany the customer on the test drive. We’ll devote the rest of this post to address this question and hopefully get more input from you as to which you prefer and why.
First of all, it’s not uncommon for a customer to ask to test drive a car alone, but from a sales perspective, there’s lots of reasons why this may not be in the best interests for either side.
The salesperson’s job is to identify the wants and needs of the customer, find a car that fits, and then evaluate whether the customer feels there is a fit with the vehicle they are presented with.
Part of the evaluation happens during the test drive. The customer is going to give feedback as to how they feel the vehicle may or may not be the right choice. This can help the salesperson determine what the next steps may be when returning to the dealership. Perhaps another vehicle, or perhaps the customer has to be prepared to re-prioritize what it is they truly need in a new vehicle.
For example, some SUV’s will have the feel of a truck whereas crossover SUV’s will drive more like a sedan with the added utility and space of a truck.
Whether you are early in the process of buying a new vehicle or ready to make a decision, it’s good to have someone who can help determine which vehicle is a good fit based on how you’re planning to use it.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while test driving:
- Ask the salesperson to explain the features
- Request a demo of each feature
- Find out what features are standard / optional
- Ask about which features are new and/or popular
- Find out the benefits and real world use cases of various options
- Compare with other manufacturers solutions
- Think about how you plan to use the vehicle and ask the salesperson for advice on whether the vehicle will perform the task
Hopefully this list gives a good example of questions to ask during / after the test drive. Buying a car is a big decision, and having a good salesperson who is willing to work closely with you to make the best decision is going to be a win for both buyers and sellers.