UPDATE #4 (6/25/13): Following is the latest related to three key areas of our efforts.
Listing of the Atlanta CLA Group Buy
mrjad20 (me), chlgmldnjs10, Charles,
alex71711, aihwang, wlpete,
steveng, Mike0302, BigHaze.
I communicated with CLA Forum member moneyB, who was the coordinator of a group buy in So. CA. From his experience, he recommended the following:
a) Go through the Fleet/Wholesale Manager of the dealer.
b) Separate the orders by model (CLA 250 vs. CLA 45 AMG ) because the greater the number of the same model the better the savings.
c) Work with the Fleet Mgr. as a group, which means that everyone who signs up needs to be committed to the buy.
d) Also work with the Fleet Mgr. individually, which means to set up an appointment to disclose the "specs" you want for the car.
e) When calling dealers and talking with the Fleet Mgr., determine which one is most engaging and seems interested in earnest in your business. Do NOT negotiate at this point because there can be no serious negotiations until the dealers get pricing and/or the cars arrive. It is best to leave the negotiation to when the cars arrive because it gives the group more leverage in the event the negotiations don't go as planned. The Fleet Mgr. will work at not letting 8-9-10 buyers slip through his/her hands.
f) The other advantage of waiting until the cars arrive is that we can see from our Forum what other purchasers post about their discounts/incentives and use this information as part of our negotiation.
g) It we can "time" it properly, it helps the process/negotiations to arrange to pick up the cars together on the same day.
I have contacted the following dealers in the Atlanta Metro Area (but will follow up to inquire into the Fleet Manager's name)
RBM (Dunwoody & Alpharetta)
MB of South Atlanta
MB of Buckhead
Atlanta Classic Cars
Will also check out MB of Columbus (GA) and MB of Macon (GA)/Jackson Automotive
It doesn't appear that we'll get much traction on our objective until we get closer to the arrival of cars at dealerships and/or dealerships get pricing information from MB-North America. I will continue to post updates as I get more relevant and meaningful information -- my next post may be several weeks away as a result. So, please stay tuned ...