5 Things you definitely don’t want to hear from your casa

Dreaded words and why they’re said
by Carlo Chungunco | May 1, 2019
PHOTO: Shravankumar/Pixabay

I can’t name a lot of people who enjoy going to the dealership to shop for a vehicle or have their rides serviced. Personally, I love doing it, but I may be an exception to the rule. That being said, as much as I love everything car-related, here are a five things that even I hate hearing when I’m visiting my friendly neighborhood casa. Here’s hoping I don’t hear these lines again anytime soon.

1) “Kailangan ipa-financing and in-house insurance, sir!”

This line has been a sticking point for many Filipino customers, especially buyers of hot-ticket items. Basically, when a car is flying off the shelves and there is a waiting list, some dealers push for financing instead of letting you buy the car in cash.

See, when a dealer sells a car in cash, the margins for profit are actually quite small per car. A casa can make up this deficit by relying on commissions. These commissions usually stem from financing and insurance, and can greatly eclipse the profit gained from selling a car in cash. Because of this, especially if there is a car in high demand, dealers often make it a condition that you buy the car through these methods, if only to increase their margins. Sometimes, they won’t even put your name on the waiting list unless you get the requisite financing and insurance from them, which is kind of a sleazy move on their part. Thankfully, not all dealerships operate like this.

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2) “Walang stock ang kulay, sir, baka (insert color) na lang kung gusto niyo? Meron din kaming naka-set-up na, baka kursanada niyo, release na namin ngayon.”

Here is another practice related to car sales. This happens when there is an oversupply of a particular color or specification that the dealers need to shift. Like any other business, the car industry is subject to supply and demand. Unlike other businesses, cars are big-ticket items that are heavily reliant on specifications and color choice.

When a particular car is over-ordered in a specific, non-saleable color or variant, sometimes the distributor (i.e. the mother company) will provide dealers with incentives for the casa to sell that specific combination over others. For example, the commissions for beige will be increased if supply is high and demand is low. This makes dealers really push specific colors onto their customers, even sometimes loading up the car with free accessories like bull bars, chrome trim, and some special head units just to incentivize buyers to get these cars.

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Other times, they might actually claim that the more popular colors are out of stock just to take advantage of the impatient ones who would rather have a green car now than a black one in three months.

3) “Naku! Hindi na po yan covered ng warranty, sir.”

Here’s something you hear specifically when you’re having your car serviced.  True, consumables like batteries and brake pads are generally not covered by warranties, but note that sometimes, these can be covered if there is unusual wear on these items. In fact, most cars are sold with locally sourced batteries that come with their own warranties.

Another misconception is that aftermarket parts will void your warranty entirely. While this may be true for the specific parts covered by your aftermarket accessories, most of the time, this doesn’t apply to parts not connected to them. For example, mags will generally void the warranty for your brakes and suspension, but they won’t usually affect your engine’s.

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The extremely important lesson here is to read the terms of your warranty. At the end of the day, that little booklet will determine what is and isn’t covered. Reading it will prevent a lot of potential heartaches during the course of your ownership experience.

4) “Oorderin pa po natin ang piyesa na yan, sir.”

This comes up only because of the realities of global manufacturing. Parts are supplied by various companies based in different parts of the world. The best-case scenario is that your car brand has planned for all eventualities by ordering not just consumables for your car (bushings, gaskets, o-rings, clutches, etc.), but also uncommon parts that may have issues (engines, driveshafts, differentials, etc.).

What happens if the orders aren’t planned properly? Naturally, there will be a delay in your car’s servicing. This can take weeks, but there have been cases of several months of delay—and all the while, your car is just sitting and depreciating at the dealer.

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Thankfully, some brands ship parts by air. But if you end up unlucky, you’re in for a long wait as parts are sourced from halfway around the world and sent here by container ship.

5) “Huwag niyo po i-consider ang (insert competitor here), ang pangit niyan!”

Stay classy, fellas. The automotive industry is small enough as it is. Rely more on your product and your knowledge of it, and less on bashing other brands. We don’t need that negativity in our lives.

Have you heard any of these before? Or do you have any lines of your own? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear your input.

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PHOTO: Shravankumar/Pixabay
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