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Discussion Starter #1
I have visited 6 dealerships in the Houston area and I would like to know (for the very few in the area) what dealership they are getting good vibes from.

Granted generally when you go to the dealership, the lowest man on the totem pole thrusts himself upon you and this guy may not know the difference between his @$$ and a hole in the ground- or maybe he is the brightest bulb in the box.

I have only talked to fleet managers at two of the dealerships and they seemed to be the "cooler" guys with more personality-or they are better trained (more stealth capabilities) assassins?

Not trying to slander any dealership.

My first choice of dealers is a tie
1) Sterling McCall and Mike Calvert - neither one is close to me but if the deals are right, then I can drive.
2) Don McGill - There are two in our area but the one furthest West, I would chose before the other.
3) Community - Closest to me
4) Champion - bad vibe.

Now again this rating I have is just by a feel from visiting with the salespeople there. As time progresses and things get more serious, feel free to add who you went to and why -or- who you just had to get away from them and why. Oh and I would like to keep it to things like ... Dealer didn't slap everything under the sun on the cruiser ... or... wanted to sell above MSRP. If you caught the salesman picking his nose, I really don't care- unless he ate it then YUCK! (side note, we need a Yuck smiley-administrators???)

Perhaps when the FJ's are out someone can make a poll for where they purchase theirs. As it stands now, I don't know exactly how to do that.
 

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Sterling McCall will more than likely have the biggest selection of them sitting on their lot. Which, I guess if you are going to order something specific that really does not mean much.

I've always had great dealings with Sterling McCall. They have an excellent service department. Same goes with Mike Calvert, excellent service department and really great price from their parts department on OEM parts (of coarse they are a sponsor of TTORA so that helps). As for Champion, never had any dealings with them other than purchasing parts, which they have great prices as well on OEM and TRD parts (again, another sponsor of TTORA)
 

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I put a refundable deposit down at Star Toyota. It's the closest to where I sit and they say the never sell anything higher than MSRP. I've bought a few cars from them and they are ok, and ok is about the highest mark I can give automotive dealerships. Star isn't the highest volume around so I might be hosed there but I'm giving them the first chance. According to some stats someone else posted in another thread, Fred Haas is the highest volume dealer in Houston, almost in the nation. No experience with them though. I've dealt with Champion a couple of times with all negative vibes. There's one tech in their service department that's a genius though. Don McGill is a crook. The whole bunch should be in prison. They claimed they performed 02 sensor recall work on my '94 FZJ80 but never touched it. Their "master tech" didn't even know what kind of rear brake system the Cruiser had. FU Don McGill.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I saw that Fred Haas rating, it is just that they are a little far for me. I imagine there are enough acceptable dealerships to not need to go there.

BTW Pancho why don't you tell us how you really feel? Please don't hold back.

But seriously thanks for the opinions.
 

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I'm in Houston as well. Champion gave me very bad vibes. The sales manager actually gloated that they try to sell as high over MSRP as possible and they were "disappointed" by the fact that they couldn't sell the Highlander Hybrid for $4K over MSRP for more then 8 months. I'd recommend Star as well as they have a good rep. and never sell anything over MSRP. Might take a little longer to get the car then Fred Haas...but worth it if you aren't paying over MSRP.
 

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Hey Eclectic, have you checked with Baytown Toyota? I've never dealt with them as far as a new vehicle purchase, only parts. I don't do much business with them in parts as they are typically outrageous on their OEM parts. I only go there when it is something very small that I need and I need it in a hurry so I don't have to drive all the way into to Houston.

I passed by there last week and they had an 06 Tacoma PreRunner displayed out in front of their lot with a 3" lift they installed. I stopped in to looked at it and they wanted over $35k for it. My jaw almost hit the ground when I saw the pricetag! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah I saw it. It looks good but I am not willing to throw down what they want for it. Besides for some reason I can't stand the new body style. It just erks me.

BTW-Baytown Toyota is Community Toyota which I have in my original write up.

As far as my opinion of them, I bought my '03 preTaco from them and kinda feel I got screwed in the deal. I was young and naive. Hell I'm still pretty young, I just don't want to be naive anymore.

Currently (today in fact) they are doing the recall on a ball joint or something (I forgot what it is since my wife has to take it in and I read the notice 2-3 weeks ago). My wife seems to approve of their service department since she gets the oil changed there all the time.

I may go back to them but I am going to do things my way or I go to the next one. I don't need the FJ, I just want it. If I have to wait, I will. Hell I can't afford it come April anyway but later in the year things will improve if I focus on saving and paying off little things.
 

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Pancho said:
I put a refundable deposit down at Star Toyota. It's the closest to where I sit and they say the never sell anything higher than MSRP. I've bought a few cars from them and they are ok, and ok is about the highest mark I can give automotive dealerships. Star isn't the highest volume around so I might be hosed there but I'm giving them the first chance. According to some stats someone else posted in another thread, Fred Haas is the highest volume dealer in Houston, almost in the nation. No experience with them though. I've dealt with Champion a couple of times with all negative vibes. There's one tech in their service department that's a genius though. Don McGill is a crook. The whole bunch should be in prison. They claimed they performed 02 sensor recall work on my '94 FZJ80 but never touched it. Their "master tech" didn't even know what kind of rear brake system the Cruiser had. FU Don McGill.
Hey, what number and how long on the list at Star? Just went this week and got on the list at #3. Which model are you getting? Dealing with Kenneth, so far, already talked to him about 10 times. Very surprised only #3.
 

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Hmmm, I'll call them tomorrow and see where they tell me I am now. They told me where I was in line when I wrote them a check, let's see if I'm still in the same place. If not, you might just move up another spot. I'm afraid I requested an AT Sun Fusion too, pretty much loaded. Did you request an MT or AT?
 

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Just called Star. The sales guy that is handling my order is clueless. I'm not even going to bother talking to them again until I know vehicles are starting to show up at dealerships. The guy tried to tell me pricing still wasn't available. When I told him the base MSRPs and upgrade packaging are on Toyota.com and in a published dealer letter he started to say that Gulf States Toyota MSRPs could be different. Sorry dude, Gulf States isn't a manufacturer. ....He just called me back with some pricing info he got from his sales manager. His info is in line with what we know today, so it's all good for now. And H-TownFJ, you're #3 behind me at #2 and another person first in line that doesn't care what color they get. I don't know if #1 reserved an AT or MT. I placed my deposit back in mid-December. Guess they're not banging the doors down for FJCs at Star. Let's hope they can get us ours in March.
 

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Pancho said:
Just called Star. The sales guy that is handling my order is clueless. I'm not even going to bother talking to them again until I know vehicles are starting to show up at dealerships. The guy tried to tell me pricing still wasn't available. When I told him the base MSRPs and upgrade packaging are on Toyota.com and in a published dealer letter he started to say that Gulf States Toyota MSRPs could be different. Sorry dude, Gulf States isn't a manufacturer. ....He just called me back with some pricing info he got from his sales manager. His info is in line with what we know today, so it's all good for now. And H-TownFJ, you're #3 behind me at #2 and another person first in line that doesn't care what color they get. I don't know if #1 reserved an AT or MT. I placed my deposit back in mid-December. Guess they're not banging the doors down for FJCs at Star. Let's hope they can get us ours in March.
Thanks for info!! I didn't catch which transmission or color you were getting? Wait after car show, they will line up.
 

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Just curious; anyone thought of going out west to buy their vehicle, considering the distributor BS we have in the Gulf States? I was thinking about it, but I have no idea what that would entail (taxes and what not) other than a long long trip out (from Houston) and a slow one back (breaking in the vehicle).

I'm thinking about a trip to NM at the end of the snow season (late march or mid April), so I'm curious on other people's thoughts on this approach.

Thanks for the advice.

-Ralito
 

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You may have seen in my other posts that I've pretty much decided to buy a used Element if I can't get a yellow FJC reasonably equipped before late May. I've thought about your idea of buying in N.M. and road tripping back through Big Bend, but screw Toyota if they let Gulf States Toyota screw me. I'll drive the Element for a while, pass it on to my daughter, and then buy a used or new FJC at a more competive price. Give Brandon (see ad on the main page) a call and see how much of a waiting list he has. You might also consider AZ or CO. H-Town is flying to fricking Maryland to pick his up for crikes sake. Who knows, maybe Gulf States will do a better job than other regions and I'll have my yellow AT FJC in my driveway on March 27 without all kinds of unwanted add-ons, and perhaps yellow monkeys will fly out of my arse too.
 

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I appreciate the knowledge.... Funny and sad in all....I'll give that guy a shout, and see what's up.

-Ralito
 

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I'm, flying to Maryland and driving mine back with a surprise trip to parents in West Virginia. As far as taxes and such, All states are different but most you just pay a processing fee around $99. and temp tag $10.- $25. and drive home, here in Texas you have 30 days to pay your tax, 6.25%. After 30 days there is a penalty that racks up pretty quick. I 've done it a million times, just bought a new mini cooper in California, but they make you pay their 8%, and then in Texas you don't pay again as long as you have at least paid 6.25%, but won't refund if you pay over that.
 

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Just a little info for folks in this area....
I talked to Star Toyota today. I've had a refundable deposit with them since 12/12/05. The salesman said they "ordered" my FJ Cruiser just as I requested it, and that it should come in without all the additional stuff that Gulf States is adding to the rest of the vehicles. It isn't in the GST database yet and he doesn't know when it will show up. The sales guy read off the stuff in the GST package and it was about a dozen items long, including pinstripping, running boards, and bling skid plate. I sure hope he's right when he said mine won't have this 5hit, because it will be an instantaneous deal killer. I did order most of the factory options like air bags and UR, which is how most will be equipped initially anyway. I don't know if this is good news or bad news for me, just some news. Oh, and I told him if they can't get it for me by the end of April I'd be seriously looking to go in a different direction. They're supposedly getting their first FJC in a couple of weeks, a Voodoo Blue that is already spoken for. He said I could come down and look at it but wouldn't be able to drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Don McGill is selling at 3k over MSRP. The manager asked if I wanted to get on his 7 deep waiting list. I just laughed a little and said no. They expect to receive their FJs in a month. I thought that was a little slow.

FYI They also have one of the Leprechaun Scions if anyone wants one :p.
 

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Does anyone in the Gulf States region besides pdrmant have a delivery date yet? Does anyone have a VIN? Does anyone have anything? I know pdrmant said his dealer was taking care of him, but I'll believe it when I read it. Does the fact that everywhere else in North America at least know something about their FJC availability, but almost no one in the GST region, say something about GST? All I know is that the dealer I placed my deposit with is getting a smurf blue in a week or two, and they'll call me to come take a peek at it. I can't drive it because it's sold, and I'm next in line. But they don't know when my sun fusion is coming.

Toyota, I've had a deposit with Star Toyota in League City,TX since 12/12/05 and all they have told me is that it will come as I ordered it. Have someone call me that knows something. They have my contact info and know who I am since I've trained their sales force on the FJC. Hell have Ivan call me damn it.
 

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Pancho said:
You may have seen in my other posts that I've pretty much decided to buy a used Element if I can't get a yellow FJC reasonably equipped before late May. I've thought about your idea of buying in N.M. and road tripping back through Big Bend, but screw Toyota if they let Gulf States Toyota screw me. I'll drive the Element for a while, pass it on to my daughter, and then buy a used or new FJC at a more competive price. Give Brandon (see ad on the main page) a call and see how much of a waiting list he has. You might also consider AZ or CO. H-Town is flying to fricking Maryland to pick his up for crikes sake. Who knows, maybe Gulf States will do a better job than other regions and I'll have my yellow AT FJC in my driveway on March 27 without all kinds of unwanted add-ons, and perhaps yellow monkeys will fly out of my arse too.
Please Please post pics of the monkeys!
 
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