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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My wife is done with the minivan and wants an Ascent Touring -- so we'll be getting our first Subaru in the coming weeks/months.

When a dealership gives a "VIP discount" -- is that being subsidized by SOA? Or is each dealership just taking a hit on profit?

Please share any tips/advice and dealership recommendations for the Virginia/DC/Maryland area. We'll probably get a 2021 (adaptive cruise control!) but I see that there is a nice 1,500 discount on the 2020 -- if there are any left...

Thanks - Chris
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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There are multiple threads on the official Subaru VIP program which requires participation with a partner like the ASPCA, PHS, etc., which are typically charitable organizations. Some dealers, however, will offer similar terms to repeat buyers or even folks off the street without Subaru program participation. In that case, it's all on the dealer....they are using the words "VIP" to provide what is essentially a fixed price. It may be the 2% below invoice or at-invoice price that the official program offers (terms depend on what partner program is leveraged) or it may be some other pricing determination of their own. My dealer does this for repeat customers to reduce "the dance" by offering 2% below invoice pricing. The rest of said dance from there is dealing with the trade negotiation if there is one.

BTW, adaptive cruise is a feature on ALL Ascents MY19 through present. MY21 adds some additional lane centering capability to it rather than just warning noise and nudge. The $1500 discount is also likely a local offer. Subaru doesn't typically do that kind of thing. Incentives are usually based on financing. That said, there have been reports that some dealers will offer $1500 to folks who don't want the 0% financing which is subsidised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are multiple threads on the official Subaru VIP program which requires participation with a partner like the ASPCA, PHS, etc., which are typically charitable organizations. Some dealers, however, will offer similar terms to repeat buyers or even folks off the street without Subaru program participation. In that case, it's all on the dealer....they are using the words "VIP" to provide what is essentially a fixed price. It may be the 2% below invoice or at-invoice price that the official program offers (terms depend on what partner program is leveraged) or it may be some other pricing determination of their own. My dealer does this for repeat customers to reduce "the dance" by offering 2% below invoice pricing. The rest of said dance from there is dealing with the trade negotiation if there is one.

BTW, adaptive cruise is a feature on ALL Ascents MY19 through present. MY21 adds some additional lane centering capability to it rather than just warning noise and nudge. The $1500 discount is also likely a local offer. Subaru doesn't typically do that kind of thing. Incentives are usually based on financing. That said, there have been reports that some dealers will offer $1500 to folks who don't want the 0% financing which is subsidised.
Hi Jim -- thanks for writing back.

SOA's website describes a $500 discount members of the military. Who subsidizes that discount? My guess is SOA pays the dealer the $500.

This forum describes a "VIP Program" that [I think] offers 2% below invoice price to folks to have certificates from certain partners. Who eats that "cost"? My guess is the dealer. My guess is that SOA does not send the dealer a check to cover the "loss" that the dealer is taking on a VIP customer.

I must have been confused about the $1,500 -- I agree with you, I see no reference to a discount like that...just the 0% APR. Perhaps there is a some cash value available to people who don't want the zero percent.

Thanks again,

Chris
 

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The Military benefit is in the form of a rebate...a certificate you can use at time of payment during your sale close at the dealer. The money is from SOA.

The official VIP program is an SOA benefit. And the dealer is in no way experiencing a "loss" from program participation. (not all dealers participate, but most do) Dealer invoice is not their "real" cost, wink, wink...nod, nod... Do note that the VIP program can be either 2% below invoice or at-invoice as I mentioned previously. That depends upon what partner you are participating with. You will also be putting out money to join that organization if you are not already a member. ASPCA requires a $500 donation, for example. PHS will allow it with a regular membership level, but there's a 6 month waiting period...or...immediate benefit with a $500 donation/membership.

Honestly, you shouldn't be concerned about where the money comes from for a benefit that's due to you. It's your bottom line cost that counts. And keep in mind that some dealers sell for below that 2% under invoice in some markets while other dealers in different markets shoot for MSRP or a slight discount off that. Folks in the northeast have a situation where the vehicles are sold to dealers in that geography by a distributor rather than direct from SOA and pricing is affected.

If you are in Metro NY/NJ/SE PA, or are willing to travel to pick up your Ascent, consider getting a price from Dan at Liberty Subaru who is a forum sponsor. Contact information is in the vendor section of this forum site.
 
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