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RICK KRANZ

Answering to a higher power

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News

Last Sunday I was walking around a new car lot in Farmington Hills, Mich., when I met a woman who was on a mission. She received a message to buy a car from what I would characterize as an infallible authority.

I happened to be at this dealership because my daughter wanted feedback on a 2011 Volkswagen she's eyeing in the Northwest.

Detroit area dealers are closed Sundays. I was alone in the front lot, side lot and back lot, looking for a particular VW model.

As I walked back to my car, a woman in a Chevy Malibu Maxx slowly drove onto the lot and parked next to my car.

She was probably in her mid-60s, articulate, and needing directions to two car dealerships -- Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz stores. She was looking for a Rolls-Royce and expected both dealerships to stock used Rolls-Royces.

As I tapped "Cadillac" on my iPhone, the woman said the Malibu is her everyday car. Another car, a late model Mercedes-Benz, was parked at home, and used only for a special occasion.

I didn't ask for a definition of "special occasion." But I would have figured shopping for a Rolls probably would be classified as a "special occasion," at least it would be in the Kranz household.

As I searched the internet for the stores, I asked why she wanted a Rolls?

"I had a dream. In my dream God told me to buy a Rolls-Royce," she calmly said.

I was speechless, but I did manage to say "ok" as I continued searching for the two dealerships.

I learned something new that day.

Most car buyers are motivated by styling, brand, color, horsepower, and price.

However, a few carry a shopping list that transcends anything mere mortals can create.

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