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Discussion Starter #1
In today's San Diego paper is an ad from a Honda dealer: "2006 Honda Ridgeline $2,500 Off Sticker Price All Models." It also says "all models in stock" and lists five of them. This is the first advertising of this sort I've seen here in San Diego.

For a loaded RTL, this is roughly $32,655 when the $515 destination charge is taken into account. Considering how hard I had to work a few weeks ago to get a price of $32,755, it seems clear that times have changed pretty fast in this area.

When a new model comes out, dealers are trying to figure out whether they have a hot seller or a dog. They don't want to give away what becomes a hot seller, but they don't want to sit with a dog on their lot either. It would seem that the market is beginning to dictate what people are willing to pay for this vehicle, at least right now.

As noted elsewhere in the forums, it appears you should now be able to get one of these beauties for dealer invoice or dealer invoice plus $500. Remember that there is a significant "dealer holdback," so the dealer still makes money on selling at factory invoice. If they won't sell for your price, just wait a little while ...

It seems evident that the challenge Honda has in marketing the Ridgeline is its innovative design. Ironically, the many great reviews have yet to have a major influence. My observation is that most of the truck owners in my area (Tundra, Titan, F-150, etc.) own them for the macho aspects of having a big truck, rather than for the practical uses of a truck. I don't see a lot of hauling going on. Just single guys driving around in shiny trucks. That ego aspect of car ownership may be tough to shake. If you want to look like your primary tool in life is a nail gun, the Ridgeline probably doesn't suit your self-image (or desired self-image).

Eventually, I think this truck will do very well. Once people have the chance to see it and drive it, I think the buzz will be positive, but Honda is going to have to find a way to better market the macho ... This vehicle is just too much of a trendsetter to get quick movement from those who have been saving up all these years to buy a truck they don't really need, but do really want.
 

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Something to consider - maybe people aren't/weren't buying because they didn't want to pay MSRP. It's not because they don't want the truck but because they won't pay the price for it. I know I am one of those. I want and need the truck, but so far I have refused to buy one because Iw on't pay what the dealers want for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is an interesting point and a possible reason; however, looking at the Consumer Reports comparisons, in which the Ridgeline is the most highly rated of the crew cab pickup trucks, it is also one of the lowest priced, as tested (RTS model). My comments are in context of the assumption that prices of some of the best rated or recognized alternatives (Tundra, Titan, F-150) are in the same ballpark as the Ridgeline, in which case the buying decision is not so much financial as it is one of personal preference.

I have seen some major rebates being offered of late on the Avalanche. One might imagine that the Ridgeline's availability and pricing would put major downward pressure on the Avalanche. I don't know what kind of deals, rebates and the like are available for the other mentioned trucks. Got to say though, if you can get the Ridgeline for invoice, plus destination charges or invoice plus destination, plus $500, I'd say you're getting a good deal and it would seem to me that if you are willing to simply make the offer to several dealers and take your time, you'll get it.

There's always the possibility that Honda will offer rebates on the Ridgeline, thus lowering the price further. That's impossible to predict. In the end, the vehicle will be priced based on supply and demand. If inventories go up, prices will likely go down, and vice-versa.
 

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Do you happen to know the name of the dealership that was advertising this? $2500 off for the RT or RTS would be a steal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I discarded the newspaper, but I think it was Poway (California) Honda. I looked online at their website and they have numerous Ridgelines available. They list the price for loaded RTLs at $33,155 and the RTS for $30,590. If you add a desination charge of $515, that would be $33,670 and $31,105 respectively. That's about $1,000 over what the ad from yesterday suggested and is about $1,500 off MSRP (+destination). That's a great starting point for negotiations, but I would suggest that you could offer them invoice and easily get to where you want to be. As well, armed with that information, you should be able to get a similar deal anywhere in San Diego. I think that in SD, paying more than invoice plus $500, plus destination, at least at the moment, would be paying too much.
 

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I've dealt with Poway Honda in the past. They are owned by the Sonic company, a large corporation that owns all kinds of auto dealerships all over the country. The number of dealerships Sonic owns ranges from the hundreds to possibly over a thousand nationwide.

I have not cared for the Sonic group, or thier business practices. Their service departments are typically staffed by sercvice writers who must be on commission, and will recommend ridiculous services at inapproriate times (ex. "Hey, you should have your brake fluid flushed at 7,500 miles 'cuz it's dirty."). Their sales "closers" will attempt to add on the most ridiculous items. I know that most car dealerships do this, but in all of the automobiles I've purchased in the past 20 years, Sonic has been the absolute worst.

I would tell anyone thinking of doing business with a Sonic owned dealership to be extra vigilent in their deal paperwork, however, that is good advice for any car dealership.
 

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Thanks for your help. I'll start there and see where that'll take me. I've been looking in the LA and Orange County areas the past few weeks and got nothing but $1000 below sticker.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In a prior post on this site, I detailed my experiences using the Costco buying service and various web buying services (i.e. Cars.com and Autobytel.com). To cut to the chase in this situation, Costco's San Diego dealer offered $1,900 off MSRP. Unless they've changed that, Costco is no longer a good deal (and I didn't find it to be one at the time when my trade was low-balled big-time), but if you think about it, that's a no-haggle price within $600 of what we are talking about. The good thing about the other two though is that you can get into an email based conversation with the dealers. I think Autobytel only gave me one dealer in the area. I think Cars.com gave me the chance to expand my radius by as many miles as I wanted. You might try 250 miles, for example, if I'm correct. I got responses from three dealers that way, one in Temecula.

In two cases I got offers up front via email that were pretty good. What you can easily do in these cases though, without wasting your time in the dealership, is to email them what you've seen (in this case in Poway) and what you are willing to pay. If you keep to the email system, you are likely, I believe, to be able to negotiate almost exclusively or indeed exclusively via email. A trade-in is a complicating factor, but I would wait for the replies and advise three things: 1) That you are ready to buy and are willing to pay X and no more. 2) That you are shopping multiple dealers and intend to buy from the first dealer who meets your price. (That get's them moving.) 3) That you have seen multiple references to others who have got the cars for invoice plus destination charge.

What they seem to do in these Internet buying service referrals is to have a person at the dealership who handles the many inquiries that come in that way, some serious and some not. They MAY ultimately not want to offer a price by email, worried that you will copy that email all over the place or print it and take it to a competitor. In that case, my experience is that they may promise to be competitive or whatever. You can discuss by phone and tell them you aren't coming into the dealership unless the deal is whatever you set. They won't be so worried over the phone conversation. Then, when you go into the dealership, you just need to hold firm and don't let them go anywhere away from what they've committed. There will be document fees and registration fees. Get those up front too.
 

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What equipment was on that RTS?... If no moon or nav, it should have been about 27,500 give or take with the discount.

This is basically the same deal others have offered. Invoice plus destination. $27,600 for my RTS.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not sure. I never shopped for an RTS, so I'm no expert on that. Maybe they are only offering the $2,500 off on the RTL loaded? If you want to check, it's http://www.powayhonda.com/. They list the prices of all in stock. I didn't buy from them and have no connection with them, BTW.
 

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I have just purchased a red RTL at a tad below invoice price after many hours of negotiation. It was at Pacific Honda in San Diego with saleman Jay. Just tell him that Dang (the one bought a red RTL) recommended him to you; hopefully that will get you a good start.
 
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dangrtl said:
I have just purchased a red RTL at a tad below invoice price after many hours of negotiation. It was at Pacific Honda in San Diego with saleman Jay. Just tell him that Dang (the one bought a red RTL) recommended him to you; hopefully that will get you a good start.
Or you can see Mike L. the Internet Mgr./EXCELL Facilitator. Tell him J.C from Ohio sent ya!! ;)
 

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EBone said:
I've dealt with Poway Honda in the past. They are owned by the Sonic company, a large corporation that owns all kinds of auto dealerships all over the country. The number of dealerships Sonic owns ranges from the hundreds to possibly over a thousand nationwide.

I have not cared for the Sonic group, or thier business practices. Their service departments are typically staffed by sercvice writers who must be on commission, and will recommend ridiculous services at inapproriate times (ex. "Hey, you should have your brake fluid flushed at 7,500 miles 'cuz it's dirty."). Their sales "closers" will attempt to add on the most ridiculous items. I know that most car dealerships do this, but in all of the automobiles I've purchased in the past 20 years, Sonic has been the absolute worst.

I would tell anyone thinking of doing business with a Sonic owned dealership to be extra vigilent in their deal paperwork, however, that is good advice for any car dealership.
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All,
Remember that you don't have to buy from the dealer use use for service, accessories installation, or even warranty purchase. Just get your best price (start via internet managers) and work things from there. I did get good pricing from Poway, but even better from Norm Reeves in Temecula, and Cush in Escondido. Cush is one of those "independents" that will provide the kind of personal service you're looking for, as is Hoehn in Carlsbad. I bought the vehicle from Norm Reeves, am getting accessories & service from Hoehn, and bought the warranty via Chris (in Tennessee - see postings for great discount). AND REMEMBER THAT PRICING IS DISTORTED IF YOU ARE TRADING IN A VEHICLE - GET PRICING BEFORE DISCUSSING TRADE-IN IF YOU WANT APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISON.
 

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Not sure. I never shopped for an RTS, so I'm no expert on that. Maybe they are only offering the $2,500 off on the RTL loaded? If you want to check, it's San Diego Area Honda Dealer | New & Used Cars near Poway, El Cajon & Escondido | Honda Parts, Service, Leases & More. They list the prices of all in stock. I didn't buy from them and have no connection with them, BTW.
I'm not quite the expert either. It could really go both ways. If I was you, I'd go to www.gorockauto.com[url] and check their inventory. I havent bought from them yet.
 
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