Well I'll Be Dipped!!!
As I've mentioned a few times, it's dependent on the part of the country, and the dealership(s). You're talking about your area, your local dealerships, and your experiences. Plus assumptions about how other people buy vehicles.Like I posted - I bet some do --
I am also 100% sure that a lot of buyers agree to pay more that they otherwise would have - because of the promotion.
A car deal has a lot of moving parts - and a large % of the population are total morons -
OK - in some promotions you can take the zero % loan or get a rebate - but not both -
In these cases - sometimes taking the rebate + a regular loan with interest will give you a better deal - lower overall cost - but some people will not even ask about that - they will just grab the "free" interest - because they are lazy and stupid.
Plus - how do you even know what price you could have gotten if the program was not in effect? You can't - you are just assuming the deal is always the same - and sometimes it is - but sometimes it is not. That is true with GM, Ford, Toyota or anyone else - the dealership is an independent business - they decide the details of the deal.
Say they gave you $18,000 trade in - what would you have gotten if there was no interest free program going on? You can say - well they would never change the trade in amount because of an interest free program - that isn't fair! But we all know that most dealerships will negotiate the best deal they can - and when a special promo is going on they can - and most likely do - adjust things like trade in allowances and best bottom like price because of the promo.
To think otherwise means you don't think a dealership tries to make the best deal FOR THEMSELVES -
And I'm talking about what happens, specifically, in this area with Ford vehicle sales, and how I buy. Which anyone can do.
In this area, two local massive volume dealers put their bottom-line prices on the internet. No need to go in, or talk to anyone. You know the prices, and they're great, all year round.
Then a certain time of the year (evidently except for this year, LOL!!), 0% hits.
I'll tell you how I've purchased my last 3 Mustangs;
Get the price on the internet. Since the two dealerships are basically at the same stupidly low prices, it's more about finding the right car with the right options, when 0% is going on.
Get the KBB value on my car. Of course I know what I owe on it.
Then I do the math; car price + tax/title/plate transfer - equity from trade in = price of vehicle. Price of vehicle/by 72 months at 0%. This gives me the exact monthly payment, to the penny.
I walk into the dealership. I have all that info printed up, the math detailed out. I tell them which car I want (stock number is on the paper with the math) and hand them the printed details of the purchase. I do not haggle, I do not take counter offers. I explain it's a simple yes or no situation. I've never had them say no.
And I'm out the door with the car in an hour or so.
Purchasing a car is all about homework, patience, and planning. People that buy on emotion screw themselves.
With my current car, the sales manager told me he lost money on the car. I'm sure that's 100% bull****, but it's nice to hear.