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Thread: Where have all the cars gone?

  1. #1

    Default Where have all the cars gone?

    I was quite taken with k10ery's comment (July 30) regarding " the end of our love affair with the motor car."
    I've been surprised lately by the many empty auto dealerships around Scarborough. Here's a few:

    Alex Irvine Motors on Lawrence E. has been closed for many years - time enough for a flea market and other businesses to take over.


    A former Ford dealership at Lawrence E. and Birchmount is now being prepared for housing.


    The Chrysler dealer - also at Lawrence/Birchmount - is awaiting its fate.




    VW on Markham Rd. is up for grabs.


    Once a Bob Johnston GM dealer on Kingston Rd.


    This Hyundai dealer has moved three times in recent years.


    The huge site of a former GM outlet - on Auto Mall Dr.


    And nearby, a former Ford dealership.




    It's rather ironic that I took delivery of a new car last Monday (from a Scarborough dealer).
    Goldie


  2. #2

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    They're only car dealerships and yet there's some sense of loss of these formerly humming places of business now sitting empty. Sometimes I reflect on the job losses in this sector. The Mills and Hadwin car dealership on Yonge just north of Lawrence moved to Dufferin and Lawrence around 2000, but only lasted a short time in their new location. It was sad to see a two year old building go under the wrecker's ball. There is a Toyota dealership there now.

    A very nice series Goldie. I hope you are enjoying your new wheels.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Excellent collection!

    A few months ago I remember taking some pictures of some long-abandoned dealership (can't remember where, and can't find the pics now) - but it still had those typical little multi-coloured flags/pennants strung up all around the place.

    Sort of had a slightly eerie "circus just left town" feel to it..

  4. Default

    Is it just me, or when I see an abandoned dealership, is it usually a "Big 3" American brand?

    There has been a decade-long industry trend of consolidating dealership numbers, so there are fewer (and larger) dealers. These mega-dealers can demand favourable treatment from the automakers including better floorplan financing terms and larger invoice discounts. The smaller, family-owned dealerships are thus ceding to more professionally managed corporates. This was certianly the case pre-crisis (I worked at the corporate level of one of the Big 3 in the mid-2000s) but has accellerated since the 2008 bankruptcy and bailout.

    2009 article:

    "Days after General Motors announced it would cut it’s number of dealerships in the U.S. by 1,124, GM Canada is following suit. The number of Canadian GM dealerships being closed may sound much smaller at 292, however, with roughly 700 dealerships nationwide, the cuts represent a 42 percent dealership reduction."

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...alerships.html

  5. Default

    Having grown up in Scarborough and working in the auto business for 25+ years i have/had ties to most of these dealers.

    I worked briefly at Jim Davidson Chrysler back in the 80's and felt a little sadness when i seen it close down. It reminded me of a time when things seemed simpler in the business. The internet didn't rule how we did business and it was more personal with your customers.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dazednconfuzed68 View Post
    Having grown up in Scarborough and working in the auto business for 25+ years i have/had ties to most of these dealers.
    I expect you've seen many changes to the auto business during your career.
    Because of your experience, I wonder if you can shed any light on the mystery that has puzzled me for many years.
    Does anyone know the actual markup that a typical dealer can expect on the sale of a new car?
    My belief is that this is a well-kept secret that only the owner of the dealership (and his accountant) knows with certainty - and would be unwilling to reveal.
    What does a dealer pay to the factory for the car he sells for $20,000?
    Is it built and sold by the manufacturer for $10,000 or is it an exaggeration to suggest such an outrageous markup?
    Isn't it true that no salesman would ever be allowed to know the real profit figures?

    Your thoughts on this mystery will be appreciated.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie View Post
    I expect you've seen many changes to the auto business during your career.
    Because of your experience, I wonder if you can shed any light on the mystery that has puzzled me for many years.
    Does anyone know the actual markup that a typical dealer can expect on the sale of a new car?
    My belief is that this is a well-kept secret that only the owner of the dealership (and his accountant) knows with certainty - and would be unwilling to reveal.
    What does a dealer pay to the factory for the car he sells for $20,000?
    Is it built and sold by the manufacturer for $10,000 or is it an exaggeration to suggest such an outrageous markup?
    Isn't it true that no salesman would ever be allowed to know the real profit figures?

    Your thoughts on this mystery will be appreciated.

    I have spent all my years in parts and service. There is a small mark up but not to the extent people may think.
    I am pretty much kept in the dark as well as the sales people as to what the real profit point is on a new vehicle. It would be very easy for me to find out....But i keep try to keep my nose out of the sales end of things. In this economy i have my head full of trying to runs a parts department.

  8. Default

    BTW. I had been a lurker here long before i signed up and would like to thank youself and others for the pictures and stories posted here. The now and then thread is one of my favorites.

  9. #9

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    Nice shots Goldie. Eerie images but as your first one shows these sites have a more interesting future ahead.

    Are Canadians buying cars online now? I've talked to a couple of Americans who have, but it still seems weird to me.

  10. #10

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    The dealer mark-up on a car can easily be reverse engineered by estimating the cost to a dealer to pay his staff, keep the lights on and pay taxes never mind advertising or showing a profit. These items alone can realistically be estimated to be in the area of a minimum $5,000 per day or more. At a mark-up of $1,000 per car he would have to sell 5 cars a day just to keep the doors open. We know that the small dealerships are not selling 25 - 30 cars a week so the mark -up must be considerably higher than the few hundred dollars we keep hearing about, the question is how much higher.

  11. #11

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    That's an excellent answer, spider - and logical too!
    One of the reasons I asked the question is because, I believe, dealership owners are among the wealthiest people in most towns & cities.

  12. #12

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    My sales manager friend at a corporate owned Japanese dealership told me that 4 sales a day was a matter of routine.

  13. Default

    During the early 70's, City Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac tried to sell me a new car. After "trading" with the salesmam & salesmanager, I was shown a dealer reciept as to their "Actual

    Cost" and that this would be the price I was to pay. Seeing this was during a mid-market time for retail sales and knowing just a "little bit more" than they though I did, I "dumped

    the dam" and told them that I knew this was BS and the real cost was after a hidden kick back which was industry-wide. Much "Back Tracking" ensued on their part. (LOL)

    (I never did buy an/any auto from them for that reason, and later did not use their repair service due to charges for work that was not done. - And I was on a monthly account!)


    Regards,
    J T
    IF only I had of questioned then, for the answers needed now . . .

  14. #14

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    Thanks for that insight re "hidden kick back", JT.
    It just reinforces my belief that the real wholesale cost of any auto is a well-kept secret that only a dealership owner and his accountant know but will never reveal.

  15. #15

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    Nice photos - thanks for posting these. I thought disappearing dealerships was more of a downtown phenomenon, with some brands moving to more of a smaller urban store model (such as Mini on King), but it appears to be happening out in the suburbs as well. The BMW store on Sunlight Park Rd seems to be the big exception, being the first major dealership to open in that area in a long time.

    The dealership where I bought my car is being turned into condos; the new location is in the east end where there's been a fair bit of shuffling and shutting down going on with other dealerships.

    It's not just the Big 3 - the Daewoo place on Dufferin was empty for a long time when the manufacturer went bankrupt and was bought out by GM. I'm not sure what has replaced it.

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