I Bought A Brand-New Camaro For Less Than The Price Of A Base Corolla

I’m a sucker for a good deal, which is how I find myself holding title to a brand-new 2015 Chevrolet Camaro.

In late August, Cars.com reported that new 2015 Chevrolet Camaros were being sold for as much as $7,000 off of MSRP. One of the dealerships offering these deep discounts happened to be Lorenzo Bomnin Chevrolet, a Miami-based dealer located 30-some-odd miles away from my then-home of Hollywood, Florida.

I kept an eye on the dealer’s inventory, and by early October Lorenzo had gone mad. He further slashed the prices of a number of new Camaros he had in stock, including one 2015 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS. With an MSRP of $24,700, Lorenzo Bomnin Chevrolet was offering to sell the black-on-black V6 Camaro for a mere $15,999, or nearly $9,000 off of the car’s sticker price. It seemed to good to be true, and — as I later learned — it was.

After calling the dealership, I was told that $500 of the discount was dependent on being a previous GM owner (or maybe it was a military discount — I can’t remember the specifics). In short, the sale price of $15,999 was actually $16,499, a discount that still amounted to more than $8,000 off the MSRP.

By the time I made it to the negotiating table another $500 had been tacked on to the price, as the advertised price of $15,999 was a “mistake” and the actual price of the car was $16,499 (or $16,999, excluding the discount I was ineligible to receive).

I should add that at the time of this transaction, I worked at one of the nation’s largest dealership groups. As a result, I was aware of two things:

  1. The group I worked with told me that it abided by the advertised price of the cars and trucks it sold, even if a car was priced incorrectly (i.e. too low). I never saw the issue come up during my time with the company (probably because the group runs a tight enough ship to avoid such problems — although such an issue would never have needed to go by me in the first place); however, I think the idea of standing behind a published price is good protocol for any retailer, as it ensures a happy customer and holds employees accountable for their errors.
  2. The dealership group I worked at wasn’t selling brand-new Camaros for anything close to $16,999 to the public or, to my knowledge, its employees.

In short, this was still a terrific deal, even if I thought it was poor judgment by the dealer to not own up to its mistake.

So yes, almost two months ago I bought a brand-new 2015 Chevrolet Camaro for just under $17,000, a savings of exactly $1,066 compared to a brand-new, bottom-of-the-barrel 2016 Toyota Corolla L. I’ll admit, I never saw myself as a Camaro owner. But what can I say? I’m a sucker for a good deal.

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Originally published at thefinktank.wordpress.com on November 29, 2015.