Published October 21, 2008
Volume 16, Number 10

Car-Buying Is Simplified at Elite Auto Network

Tracy Porter, center, and his staff help make acquiring a car a
pleasant experience.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Under the best of circumstances, buying a new car can be a nerve-wracking experience. “People are often uncomfortable going into an auto dealership, even when it’s for a luxury car. Eight out of 10 customers say they don’t like the pressure of the standard business model--sales reps waiting outside in the parking lot, the feeling of being surrounded as you drive in,” comments Tracy Porter, whose business, Elite Auto Network at 5673 West Las Positas Boulevard, offers a much more streamlined and less anxiety-laden alternative.   

Elite Auto essentially inserts itself as an intermediary in the procurement process, taking over the full gamut of purchasing tasks, from the mundane to the complex. Working on behalf of clients who give him a specific wish list, Porter and his associates locate the desired vehicle, either within or outside of his network of dealer contacts; obtain the best price; arrange for competitive financing; install any after-market accessories; and deliver it to the front door.

“Our services save clients a lot of time, energy, and aggravation,” he observes. “A person can spend 15 to 20 hours finding a car and negotiating with a dealership. When we handle all those details, the process is much more manageable.” In addition, his relationships with dealers and the clout of making multiple purchases for fleet owners allow him to get hard-to-find vehicles, like hybrids, without the long wait.

The results of Elite Auto’s efforts are cars equipped to a uniquely customized level. In these days of burgeoning options, Porter’s customers appreciate not only the convenience but the broader range of choices. When it comes to entertainment systems, for example, instead of being locked into the model offered by the car manufacturer, they can opt for units with features like dual DVD screens with each passenger able to view different content on larger-than-factory screens.

Another accessory in demand is the next-generation navigation system that tracks traffic conditions, alerts drivers to accidents, and suggests alternative routes. “This isn’t available from a lot of dealers, but we can get it for our customers and then have our technician do the installation in our own garage. It usually costs less, too, because dealers try to make up their margins on accessories,” Porter points out.

He also relies on his network to locate pre-owned cars, buying only from dealers. “If there’s a problem, we will have the service department at the dealership resolve the issue. Private owners and used car lots are not able to service vehicles.”

Right now Porter is enjoying an active business.  “At first glance, any auto-related company is suffering now, but we are holding steady,” he indicates. He attributes this success to the nature of the business and the individualized services he offers. “What’s happened over the last 12 to 18 months is that instead of buying luxury cars, our clients are trading down to more efficient vehicles,” he reports. That, of course, creates an ample supply of pre-owned cars he can help sell. When that happens, he gets sealed bids from three different wholesalers competing against each other to offer the highest price. He also handles all the details of the sale, protecting the interests of the owner throughout. 

For more information about Porter’s services, call 925 467 1000 or visit eliteautonetwork.com

Also in this issue ...