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News & Updates

Dealers Offer Real Consumer Value in Sales and Service
July 15, 2014

Dealers Offer Real Consumer Value in Sales and Service




Sara Panza
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association

Dealers Offer Real Consumer Value in Sales and Service


Cleveland, OH (July 15, 2014) – What do you get when you purchase a vehicle at a franchised new vehicle dealer? Plenty.

When you take a closer look franchised new vehicle dealerships offer significant value not only in terms of information, but also in the resources and services offered in both the automotive purchase and service processes.

“Franchised new vehicle dealers play an integral role in the total vehicle ownership experience, from financing and purchasing a vehicle through maintenance, service and warranty work,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association (GCADA). “A new vehicle is one of the largest purchases a consumer will make in their lifetime, second only to purchasing a new home. When dealing with that kind of an investment, most consumers want to deal with a person face-to-face in a brick and mortar store, rather than through the Internet or with someone on an 800 number.”

While many consumers today perform online research before they head out to the showroom, there’s nothing that can tell you more about a vehicle than actually getting behind the wheel and taking it out on the road. Dealerships will provide test drives of multiple vehicles on their lot. In some cases, they will even host test drive events where you can compare a vehicle against its competitors.

The sales professionals at a franchised new vehicle dealer have been trained by the factory to point out the attributes of specific vehicles and relate them to your specific transportation needs. They can also help explain the new telematics, communications and technological safety features on today’s vehicles, which are impossible to test first hand online.

Many consumers also look to dealers to buy their trade-in vehicles. Relying on a dealer to purchase your trade-in can help reduce or even eliminate the cost of a down payment. With the many resources available to the consumer today, researching the value of a trade-in is relatively easy, so dealers know they have to pay what a vehicle is worth. Indeed, some dealers will even pay above blue book value for exceptional trades because they need to build up their selection of used cars in inventory.

“When it comes to financing and incentives, a dealer has access to multiple resources that can help the consumer get a better deal,” says Vitantonio. “Dealers can shop between several different finance resources to get the best rate possible. Often times, they offer financing rates and deals that are far better than what the consumer would get from their bank or another outside lending institution.

“In addition, sales people have access to all of a manufacturer’s incentives and programs that can help save consumers money. There may be a sales event, special financing, or even deals that offer specific discounts to graduating college students, armed forces personnel or veterans. And they know how these various programs work, who qualifies, and how to bundle them together with other incentive or sales programs.”

In addition to shopping for the best finance rate available, a dealership also offers extensive titling, vehicle registration and insurance services, which are unseen by the consumer until they literally “sign and drive.” Sales personnel and service department technicians also undergo extensive factory training on an ongoing basis, so they can understand the technological content of today’s vehicles.

Buying a new vehicle at a dealership also affords you the opportunity to develop a relationship with the store’s service department. They have access to any recalls or service issues and maintain a dedicated service history on your vehicle. They also use factory specified parts and the work is performed by factory trained technicians using the state-of-the-art equipment.

“In many ways, the automotive industry is a victim of its own success,” says Vitantonio. “Many dealers today have streamlined the purchase and service process in order to make the experience as pleasant as they can for the consumer. In doing so, the consumer often doesn’t know what is taking place on their behalf behind the scenes.”

So next time you walk into a dealership, take a moment to think about all the services it offers. You’ll find that a franchised new vehicle dealer is absolutely the best place to buy a vehicle, whether it’s new or previously-owned.

About the GCADA  
The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1903. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents 250 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which includes new-car, truck, motorcycle and RV dealers in a 21-county region of northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore and beyond.  More information on the GCADA can be found at www.gcada.org.


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