Bloodraven won’t like this news very much. You remember him, of course, the supposed MyRide.com Community car salesman who fights the good fight for poor shucksters everywhere. The Truth Teller. The Guide. The Enlightened Seller. In fact, he’ll likely feel utterly lost and confused when he steps out of that purple fog of cheap cigar smoke and learns how Mazda is now offering customers an actual price quote via their web site. Imagine that: Not the MSRP, or even the invoice price, but the actual price, negotiated and agreed upon by dealer and customer. The site, mazdausa.com, already shows inventory from local dealerships and offers a fairly robust research section. Now, all it takes to seal the deal is a live online chat with a Mazda employee. That person creates a little behind the curtain haggling and – voila – you’ve got yourself a silver Mazda 3, Bloodraven is whimpering about crazy vets and you don’t have to sit on a hard plastic chair in a post-modern dealership cubicle sipping bad coffee. The program went live on July 6 and folds into the entire research process: web shoppers can research, select colors and interior options then contact a shopping assistant to finalize the deal.
It’s almost revolutionary, except for the fact that third-party sites have been offering close to the same service for, say, around 12 years or more. Still, it’s cool because an automaker is doing it, making miserable all the b-ravens out there who like to rip people off and sing songs about it. It doesn’t hurt that it’s from Mazda because, well, we automotive journalists are programmed to love anything Mazda builds. Why, my real name is Mazda Fan Boy #2654789 and I just love getting into arguments about how the Mazda 2 will be the best Ford in many years and how the Cougar Ace mishap was really the evil work of frustrated Honda executives. Fact is, from the 3 to the 6 and the new CX-9, Mazda has a strong lineup for car enthusiasts or commuters and now has a way for them to get into their zoom-zoom easily (See – can’t help it: Fan Boy #2654789). Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter who does it: anything that makes it easy for buyers to get a good price on a car they want to own without the hassle of choking on cigarette smoke and listening to lies, why, that’s something to write about.