New car buyers are being forced to wait up to a year for delivery of their new cars, according to a survey by whatcar.com.
Empty promises by dealers and delivery-date creep are fast becoming the scandalous reality of buying a new car. While we can't prove dealers are deliberately misleading buyers to secure an order, we know they have the systems and knowledge to be far more accurate.
Many car buyers said they were left exasperated by the shortage of accurate information from dealers, and ever-changing delivery dates that always seemed to be two to three weeks away.
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Dealers frustrated, too
However, we've also seen correspondence that reveals dealers are as frustrated as buyers. Five months after an order for a Hyundai ix35 2.0-litre diesel had been made, one dealer told the customer: 'I cannot tell you if your car has been built or not, and the mad thing is, neither can the manufacturer.'
Case study 1
Name: Malcolm Harries
Car: Hyundai ix35 4x4 Premium with Media pack
Ordered: April 17, 2010
Original delivery estimate: mid-June 2010, (two-month wait)
Current delivery estimate: cancelled after waiting six months
Mr Harries contacted his dealer in mid-May to get an update, only to be told the factory was running about three weeks late pushing delivery into July.
In July, delivery became scheduled for early-August.
Hyundai then told Mr Harries that its factory was behind schedule and no build- or delivery date could be provided. Hyundai advised the dealer to check weekly for further updates.
In mid-July, delivery moved to mid-August, and in mid-August, it was changed to September.
In early September, the dealer told Mr Harries that it did not know if the car had been built or not and neither did Hyundai. The car maker told the dealer that it 'thought' it would be delivered in mid-October.
Mr Harries cancelled his order and his deposit was returned. He ordered a Toyota Rav-4, which was delivered to his specification in just two weeks.