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When I was looking for my 09 EX AWD with Navi, I was very close to finalize an arrangement with South CA dealer near LAX to flight down there in the morning, have them pick me up from airport, complete the deal, & drive back the same day.
Virgin airline ticket cost between $50-$80 one way from SFO to LAX, if reserved online ahead of time, plus approx. another $50 for the gas return. It normally would be a good deal to flight down & drive back, since South CA in general has lower car price, sometime couple hundred dollars less than North CA.

Also none of local North CA dealer I talk to welling to trade with South CA dealer.

I did not do it because my local dealer was good enough to found the only EX AWD with Navi in CFM color in another dealer & I bought it, with same best South CA price I could get on the phone/email, from another SF Bay area dealer, after they refused to trade with my local dealer. My color choice at the moment was PMM, CFM, or CBP, in that order.

There is not a lot of EX with Navi, in any color, to choose from in North CA. I have been watching online occasionally through several online dealer's inventory. You may have to have 2nd or 3rd color choice, if you are not welling to wait for the color.
 

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jazzy007,

I have recently been checking listings in SoCal, and have found the prices to be significantly higher than what I've seen in the Bay Area. I understand that I need to negotiate, but their starting point is a thousand or two higher.

I am surprised South CA is more expensive, that was not the case for the price I got in the email or on the phone in Feb 2009.
Are you comparing listing price on the web, or you actually got a price from internet manager or sales manager in email or on the phone?

Remember, just for EX, dealer could have different list price with no option, then dealer could also have different list price AFTER they added option.
Current list price w/o additional option:
EX 2WD w/o Navi:$23,095
EX 4WD w/o Navi:$24,295
EX 2WD w/ Navi:$24,795
EX 4WD w/ Navi:$25,995
 

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My local dealer internet manager was kind enough to teach me couple tips before I went to another dealer to negotiate my E in Feb, after another dealer's GM refused to trade with my local dealer.
Just sharing some knowledge from him.

1st, do not let dealer know you only want one color or only a specific level of option. Always let them know several color & options, or color is not the most important, then "change your mind" during negotiation, & guide them to the color & level you want, so they don't know your choice is limited. ;-)
2nd, look for car already in stock of that dealer, the longer the dealer already have that car, the better chance they will want to unload to you with lower price during this tough time.
3rd, if you looking for a car is hard to find locally, & want to get it outside of your local area. You should negotiate directly with remote dealer already has car in the lot on the phone. If you choose to ask your local dealer to trade for you, don't send out request for price with other dealers. You don't want to tip them off you are desperate for a car remotely. They might all contact the same remote dealer already has car for you, & this will allow that remote dealer with car in the lot feel like a lot of people is looking for the same car in his lot, which will make the trade more difficult.

Good luck on the negotiation.
 
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