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Auto Executives
6064 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, AZ 85704

(520) 422-6339


Which is Better - 0% Loan or a $3,500 Rebate?

We’ve all heard the commercials over and over again: "0% Financing On All Remaining Models!"

You know that sounds pretty darn good but is there an alternative way to save your money? Usually the answer is yes. In some cases it’s an “either or” between a 0% loan and a substantial rebate. So what I’m saying is it’s the typical “pay now or pay later” situation.

When faced with this decision you need to ask yourself two questions…

1. Over a 60 month period will the 0% savings be greater than the rebate? For example if it’s only a $500 rebate verses saving $2,200 in interest then obviously the 0% makes sense.

2. Will you definately keep the car for 60 months to take advantage of the 0% savings? Last time I checked, the average length of vehicle owenership was 2.4 years.

So here’s the deal, everyone knows about the initial deprecation that you take on a new car, so if you’re given the opportunity to owe $1,000-$5,000 less when you leave the dealership to me that sounds more advantageous then saving 0% for the next 60 months.

Now this is what I refer to as “having your cake and eating it too”…

Let’s say you’re looking at a Brand X vehicle and your faced with the options of a 0% rebate for 60 months verses a $3,000 rebate. Did you know that there’s lenders offering 1.9-2.9% financing for 60 months? So now you have the “having your cake and eating it too” option of taking advantage of the rebate so that you can lower your cost of ownership on a depreciating asset and having an amazing low rate as well.

Has life ever dealt you with a curve ball? New baby, loss of job, loss of a family member, needing to qualify for a home loan, or something else? Well ask yourself at that time would it be better to owe $3,000 less on that vehicle so that you can get rid of it, or to be stuck with it, but have a 0% interest rate that now does you no good.

If you have a question that you’d like my opinion on please email it to: jd@jdalmond.com

Thank you for reading my blog and happy motoring! ~J.D. Almond

How Did You End Up in the Auto Industry?

I remember being about 8 years old when my dad came home driving the Ford Bronco.

Now I’m not talking about the white Bronco that OJ Simpson made famous I’m talking about the Bronco II “Big Foot” edition. OK now keep in mind that this Bronco II is about the size of today’s Hyundai Santa Fe but as an 8 year old kid when you see the words “Big Foot” on anything it must be HUGE!! Then from that point on my dad would come home in all kinds of different cars, anything from a lame Ford Escort all the way to a twin turbo Nissan 350Z. So growing up I gained a good knowledge of automobiles and the car business in general. My dad opened Auto Executives in 1993 so naturally you’d think I’d be selling cars there right?? Nope! Dad as he would say “son I need you to get your ears wet 1st” or “you’ll need to do some hard time 1st”. So driving down the road I heard a commercial saying “NOW HIRING SALES PEOPLE & WE’LL PAY YOU $3,000 A MONTH FOR THE 1ST THREE MONTHS”!! OK so as an 18 or 19 year old kid $3,000 a month is INSANE! Especially when you have a couple roommates and almost no living expenses. So needless to say I went for it! I started selling Fords in Tucson, AZ. in 1995 and never turned back.

I worked for a couple dealers and ended up at Scottsdale Lexus in 1999. I remember being out on the patio because I was “UP” in May of 2000 BURNING! and my dad called to say he could use me in Tucson at Auto Executives to be the rep for Vantage West Credit Union, & within two weeks I was at back in Tucson. My dad, step mom Brenda, myself, & an amazing staff had a fantastic decade together doing a TON of new and pre-owned vehicles. I maintained an average of 180-190 cars a year which wasn’t bad at all.

In September of 2010 my dad and Brenda moved to Columbus Mississippi to be closer to family and I purchased and kept the Auto Executives name going with my best friend Jerry Livernois at Wanslee Auto & we continued to do well. I continued, & still continue to operate under the name of “Auto Executives” & with the help of Jerry and it’s worked out great.

In early 2011 my wife Lee was offered a position with Ventana Medical Systems in the Central Texas area so we took the opportunity & naturally chose Austin as our home. We absolutely love it here & if you never been to Austin you need to take the trip, you won’t be disappointed.

So speed up the clock one more time & I’ve been very fortunate to end up doing what I love & know best at Apple Sport Imports as their Internet director and with the help of Jerry we’re still able to help our Southern Arizona customers with their vehicle needs so it’s been a seamless transition. Over the past three years I’ve learned a ton about video, video email marketing, mobile marketing, and other forms of what’s called Convergence Marketing & it’s been great mixing those skills and my background in the car business to have a very unique & personal way of doing business.

So that’s my story on how I ended up in the industry that I’m in…what’s your story?

If you have a question that you’d like my opinion on please email it to: jd@jdalmond.com

Thank you for reading my blog and happy motoring! ~J.D. Almond

Should I Lease or Buy My Next Vehicle?

Here's a question sent to my the other day:

“JD, got a car Q for you on hybrid (gas/elec) cars. Wife works 7.5 miles from the house (one way). She’s thinking she may want an electric car with a gas backup to run back and forth. I’ve heard that the batteries on these vehicles have an average life of 3 years and a replacement cost of about $5,000 – $7,000. Am I right, wrong, close, way off? Other than the quick run back and forth, are these cars worth the cost?"

Here’s my answer (Keep in mind it’s ONLY my opinion):

So Hybrids do have their advantages & disadvantages for sure. The obvious advantage is the increased fuel efficiency & the “Green” factor of them but sometimes if it doesn’t save dollars then it doesn’t make sense. Here’s what I mean by that…

Let’s compare a nicely equipped 2012 Toyota Corolla that has an MSRP of say around $19,000 verses a common build 2012 Toyota Prius with an MSRP of $28,270. The 2012 Toyota Corolla automatic gets a combined MPG rating of around 30.5 MPG and the 2012 Prius has an average combined MPG rating of around 49.5 MPG.

The price difference between the Corolla & the Prius is around $9,000 and right now the average fuel price per gallon is $3.60 which equates to 2,500 gallons of fuel. So after you finally buy 2,500 gallons of fuel over the course of a year or ten years you’ve now only broke even with the $9,000 cost difference, and at this time the average car buyer is ready to trade it in. Keep in mind the last time I checked the average time of vehicle ownership is 2.6 years, why?? Because we’re emotional creatures that see something they like and we GOTTA have it!!

Now the corolla was only a comparison example with the prius. The Hyundai Elantra gets an amazing combined MPG rating of around 35 MPG and some of my customers have called to tell me they’re getting 40. Using that example against a Hybrid now we’re talking about a 9.5 MPG difference on a car that’s $9,000 less which if you’re financing equates to around $180 less on a monthly payment for 60 months. Now you want to know what that extra 9.5 MPG cost you with interest?? $10,800!!

So all that to say is that unless you’re getting some AMAZING tax benefits (check with your business accountant) delivering pizzas every night, or using your Hybrid to deliver mail it might not be the most wise decision.

So once again, this is only my opinion and I have seen several examples with my customers when the Hybrid did make the most sense, and I’ve also seen several when it didn’t.

If you have a question that you’d like my opinion on please email it to: jd@jdalmond.com

Thank you for reading my blog and happy motoring! ~J.D. Almond

How Are Used Cars Priced?

Why are some used cars priced the same as a new one?

That’s a good question and the answer is simple, residual (resale) value. Some vehicles have a very week residual value, some are decent, and some are just crazy stupid high. I always get customers that will say “JD I’m looking to save a ton of money so I’d like a _________ that’s one or two years old”. Well that all depends. It depends on the Market Value NOT just the Blue Book value. In some cases there will be a significant savings on a one or two year old domestic product & that’s due to the high rebates on new, which make an impact on the residual (resale) value. But you’ll find on most imports such as Toyota, Honda, Lexus, etc… you’ll have to go older than one or two years to notice a significant savings.

Here’s a test, go to Cars.com or Auto Trader and search a near new Toyota Rav 4 or Honda CR-V. The 1st thing you’ll say to yourself is “Wow for that price I might as well get a new one”! I can’t tell you how many disappointed consumers I’ve come across over the years after finding out that for $2,000-$3000 more they could have bought a brand new Honda or Toyota instead of one that was 2 years old and has little or no remaining warranty.

That’s not always the case though. There’s an expression in the car business, okay maybe I just made it up, but it’s “The higher they are…the harder they fall”. When you have a high line vehicle like a Jaguar, Range Rover, Benz, BMW, etc… that ranges from $40,000-$90,000 then we’re talking about a totally different situation. I’ve seen some high lines that go for half the price of a new one 3-4 years later.

So all that to say don’t assume! Do your homework! And most important NEVER EVER let a salesman tell you what the best “deal” is without explaining why.

Next time you purchase a new or used car, find yourself a great solution not a great “deal”.

If you have a question that you’d like my opinion on please email it to: jd@jdalmond.com

Thank you for reading my blog and happy motoring! ~J.D. Almond

What is Your Vehicle Exit Strategy?

That “Great Deal” on your new vehicle wears off quick, what happens later is much more important.

Watch the brief video below to see what I mean.

(Video Coming Soon)

Auto Executives

6064 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, AZ 85704