Our Isuzu D-Max 4×2 Automatic truck is available. Well, that’s what our salesman at the Iloilo City Isuzu dealership told us. After an all day ordeal at BDO that involved transferring our funds from our Dollar Account to our Peso Account, we only had 45 minutes before the dealership closed. But first, we had one previously unplanned stop to make before we would head over to Isuzu, the local Ford dealership in Iloilo where we had an encounter with an arrogant salesman.
The teller that handled our money transfer overheard me talking about waiting for the cash transfer so we could purchase our first vehicle in the Philippines, after residing in “paradise” for over five years.
The teller had a classmate whose father worked as a salesman at Ford. It was more than 30 minutes away but the sales associate involved would wait for us (if I had a customer that was going to buy in cash and I earned commission on the sale, you would bet I would also be more than willing to wait a few minutes.)
There was a light rain as we waited downtown and attempted in vain to hail a taxi. All the cabs already had passengers. My asawa and I tried walking a block away from our location, doubled back, and headed in another direction in our fruitless search for a taxi to deliver us to Ford.
My wife and I both were getting increasingly frustrated. Finally, after 15 minutes, a cab pulled up in front of us. The cordial driver, who hailed from Guimaras, the island province in Western Visayas we live in, navigated his way through the heavy traffic and delivered us to the Ford dealership in Jaro, Iloilo.
As we slugged our way through a muddy construction site in front of the car dealer, I asked for the salesman, who was already headed out the front door, no doubt visions of dollar signs dancing through his head. He was no young whippersnapper, maybe in his late 40’s, early 50’s, and we asked if he had any automatic passenger trucks in stock.
He did. Only one. A white Ford Wildtrak, fully dressed, and pimped out with leather seats and sports bars. White was a possible deal breaker as my spouse and I would accept about any color but that. But this sporty model was sharp and we both agreed if the price was right we would buy it.
It was a 4×2 Automatic with a 2.2L engine. The Isuzu D-Max we were looking at before was a 3.0 engine but the salesman claimed that the Ford engine had more horsepower and was more fuel efficient. I trust a car salesman from any country about as much as I trust politicians, lawyers and door-to-door home security salesman.
I asked the price. 1.329 million pesos. 29,731 US Dollars, Not far from the much plainer Isuzu D-Max at 1.247 million. 27, 896. A difference of 1,835 dollars.
“What is the best deal you can give me?” I asked. “We’re paying cash.
“That is my best deal,” the salesman replied. “Ford trucks are the best selling trucks. We do not offer any discounts.”
“Maybe the best selling in the U.S.,” I retorted, “but not in the Philippines.”
I pulled out my written quote from Isuzu which included one year of comprehensive vehicle insurance, three years of free registration with LTO, the Land Transportation Office, free window tinting, free floor mats, free bed liner and free fuel (10 liters.)
“Well, you should go to Isuzu then,” the arrogant salesman replied after reading the quote.
“Let me talk to your manager then,” I said. “We’ve gone to a total of three other car dealers in Iloilo and all of them were willing to give us a discounted price.”
“Alright,” he replied, “but he will not give you a better deal, plus we do not offer free insurance or registration with LTO.”
“Then we’re off to Isuzu,” I answered, “thank you for your time.”
A cab was dropping some passengers off in front of the dealership and I had my wife quickly give a call to our salesman at Isuzu. They were already closed but he assured my wife that a 4×2 D-Max Automatic Truck is available. He said he would meet us the next day when Isuzu opened, 8:00 am.
It was 5:30 pm. I was hungry. I was tired. It had been a long day and I didn’t feel like making the two hour trek back home to Guimaras so we decided to stop at The Circle Inn near the Ortiz Wharf, where the pump boats to Guimaras are docked. Tomorrow it looked like we would finally be picking our our new vehicle in the Philippines. Or would we?
(To be continued)