We’ve all been there. We see the advertisement on television or in the newspaper with a price for a car that sounds great. We go into the showroom, see the sticker, drive the car, fall in love. But then start the negotiations. The price suddenly starts to go up as the sticker cost doesn’t apply to our situation. We’ve never owned that make of car before, so the loyalty discount doesn’t apply to us. We’re not in the military, so that discount doesn’t apply to us. We don’t have a trade in, so that discount doesn’t apply to us. Fast forward to two hours later and we walk out of the dealership feeling swindled and angry, but after investing that much time we feel forced to buy and drive away in a new car, but never to return.
Staff and management at Arnell Chevy & Kia know all too well the rigmarole that many dealers send their customers through. They know because they have customers who come to Arnell after leaving another dealership displeased with the way things are done. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and staff at Arnell never plays this shell game with their customers. True transparent pricing is what Arnell is all about, so say goodbye to the frustration of two-hour negotiation.
Tom TenHove, general manager at Arnell says the shell game is played by other dealers in an attempt to trick the customer into coming into the dealership, but tricking is no way to do business. TenHove says, “There is just a rash of dealers who, in an effort to be competitive, list in their sale prices rebates that are nearly impossible to get. The plan with that strategy is they want to lure people there, and as busy as everyone is, even if you’re angry, you feel like you have to buy once you’re there, and that’s what they bank on. We don’t do that. More and more people are finding out this is going on, doing inquiry beforehand, and I think it will improve on its own as people demand better. When you see our price, that is a price you can pay, not a price you don’t qualify for.”
TenHove says they offer true transparent pricing on their new as well as used cars. “Our used vehicles don’t have rebates, but our actual sale price is extremely close to the very best price we can do on that vehicle so you don’t have to haggle for an hour. That’s our biggest initiative for our sales department going forward. We know it’s a risk for us because people will see that our price isn’t as low as others, but that’s because their price requires explanation and fine print,” he says.
Arnell is dedicated to its neighbors in the region, making lasting relationships with its customer over their long history. They are a foundation in Duneland. The Arnell’s first dealership was in 1987 in Highland called Miller-Arnell Chrysler Jeep. In 1989, they bought a store in downtown Chesterton, a Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership. The Chevy store was bought and opened in Burns Harbor in 1991 and they built a new dealership in Burns Harbor for their Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in 1998 on Hwy. 20. In 2009, Arnell sold the Chrysler Dodge Jeep store and they bought the Kia franchise, moving the Chevrolet dealership into the big building located in Burns Harbor today.
TenHove says that people in the Duneland region have come to expect an honest price and an honest deal. He says, “This is not Chicago. This is an area where people expect more truth in advertising. There is no shell game. And our employees don’t want to tell people they don’t qualify for rebates, so they are very pleased with this direction. We have just decided that this is not something we want to participate in. You may have short-term victories but you will alienate your customer base. We want them to know that they can depend on us. No one wants to spend two hours negotiating.”