Source: Costco Auto
From fruit, huge containers of nuts, and ice cream to paper towels, eye glasses, and vacation packages, you can get just about everything at Costco. Now, the largest membership-only warehouse club in the United States is emerging as one of the best places to buy a new car.
According to Business Insider, Costco sold 465,000 vehicles through partnerships with automobile dealers in 2015. Records show that 58,000 vehicles were sold during its popular Holiday Sales promotion, which begins in October and lasts through the New Year. This was a 34% spike in sales compared to 2014. For the promotion, Costco partnered with General Motors. The budget retailer recently announced that it is hosting the Holiday Sales promotion in partnership with General Motors again this year with event dates lasting from October 1 to January 3, 2017.
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Source: Automotive News
It comes down to one determining factor: fixed prices. This means that the process of buying a car at Costco is smooth and seamless when compared to what you experience at traditional auto dealers. At Costco, you avoid the hassle of bargaining and a salesperson trying to upsell additional products and services right before you sign the sales contract.
Costco monitors their program closely and surveys every member who buys a car from them. More that 96% of customers said they were satisfied with the streamlined process and gave the program high marks for value, service, and overall experience. During its 2015 Holiday Sales event, over half of customers noted that the promotion caused them change over to a General Motors brand such as Chevrolet, Buick, or Cadillac.
Additionally, the Costco Auto Program provides special offers to members. It is currently running a Powersports Special Offer – customers receive low, prearranged pricing, any applicable manufacturer and dealer incentives, and a $200 Costco Cash Card for submitting a redemption form and completing a Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey after purchase.
It’s interesting to point out that Costco does not actually receive any money from its auto sales program. Rather, Costco uses the auto program as leverage to appeal to new customers and keep current members.
Since launching its auto program in 1989, Costco has become a force in the auto industry with sales not far behind AutoNation, the top auto retailer in the United States. Members save on many makes and models available through more than 3,000 nationwide dealerships, which Costco has hand selected.
If you are thinking about getting a new car, you may want to skip the local car dealership and head to the nearest Costco and see if its Auto Program is for you. And stock up on Nutella, cat litter, and maple syrup while you are at it.