Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, which also appeared on Page 30 of the March 9 issue, should have said One Toyota of Oakland (Calif.) ranked No. 136 on the 2014 list of the top Toyota dealers in the U.S., up 35 spots from 2013.
When dealer Brian McCafferty launched his One Price, One Person no-haggle sales model at Avondale Toyota outside Phoenix 10 years ago, it was considered cutting edge.
"Sadly," he said, that's still pretty much the case, even though the model is more relevant today as Web-savvy, smartphone-toting consumers increasingly hunt simple, fast and transparent vehicle deals.
With One Price, One Person, a single sales employee handles a customer's entire vehicle transaction with no price haggling, including financing and the sale of ancillary F&I products, such as an extended service contract and guaranteed asset protection coverage.
Customers' loan interest rates, which are quoted upfront, are based on their credit scores; however, customers with similar scores get the same rate. All customers are charged the same price for F&I products. In fact, all aspects of the dealership are one-price, including service items and parts. McCafferty also uses the model at his other Toyota store, One Toyota of Oakland in California.
He said dealerships are starting to come around to the one-person, no-haggle notion, albeit slowly.
"We've had more dealers come see us in the last two or three years, and then go make some substantial changes in their stores, than we've had in the previous eight years," said McCafferty, who openly invites dealers from all over the country to see his sales model in action.
On a larger scale, Sonic Automotive Inc. began implementing a program it calls One Sonic-One Experience in August at dealerships in Charlotte, N.C. One salesperson, using an iPad, takes customers through the complete sales and F&I process.
Even so, getting retailers to change long-ingrained habits takes time, McCafferty said. "Most dealers are resistant to it," he said. "It's really taken a lot in the marketplace to get dealers to realize that the car business isn't where their customer wants to be. We need to make some changes."