I think that depends. From what I understood working at Ford, some dealerships pay more for the cars than others, depending on how they get them and their dealership status. I really don't understand that, so if someone who works on the management side knows for sure, would like to know! I do know that we paid well over $200K to get an FGT on our showroom floor.
It is particularly upsetting when someone walks in with a consumer reports price and the price does not reflect accurately the options or some other caveat pertaining to THAT particular vehicle and we were $1000 off and the customer wanted to whine and complain about "WELL MY CR SAYS!" Even after we showed some of those types the invoice for the car and the holdback on it they would continue to spout off about their CR report. If they did buy, noone wanted them back for anything, including and especially service. Good riddance. So it's good to be informed, 100% agree, but make sure you don't end up knowing so much that you screw yourself out of an honestly good deal.
When I buy a car, I walk in with the lowest price I expect to get the car for (This is usually a price I have found online at a large "volume" type dealership to order the car exactly as I want it. yes, dealerships do hate that, but competition is expected and I always tell them something like "I want to support my local economy, and I think this dealership is just as good and probably better that one (gesturing to print-out). Even though you and I haven't talked numbers, I'm comfortable with this price, and if you will sell me this same car for that, I'll buy it from you today." That gets the point across in a polite way with as little ruffling of the feathers as possible. It then becomes a matter of pride for the dealership to "prove" that they are "as good" as that other dealership and match/come very close to the price. Also, it puts YOU! in control of the situation where the management is reacting to YOUR numbers instead of YOU reacting to THEIRS. It also prevents you from pissing them off by saying things like "My brother in law got his..." or making outlandish demands regarding sale price, and it eliminates almost all haggling. There simply is no haggling when they know you can buy the car for that price elsewhere. Either yes...or no.). The dealer has to come within $500 of that. I then allow the dealer to tack on doc fees, and I pay full-price for warranties, or any accessories.
That way the dealer feels like I am happy because I "beat them up on the car" (although i refuse to haggle, either they can--or they can't, and 5 minutes is plenty of time for that discussion after options are selected, etc.), and the dealership is happy because they hammered me on MSRP for a warranty and doc fees. In truth, the warranty usually has a decent mark-up in it, and doc-fee's aside from what is owed to the state and the ink-toner for the printer is just profit.
Therefor, the dealership is confident I am happy in getting a good deal on the car, and I know the dealership is pleased about "taking my head off" on the back of the house part of the deal. The sales rep has a very easy job, and I buy him/her pizza or something for the day, as well as the service manager who I make sure I meet before even talking numbers.
This formula has worked out GREAT! and while I "paid" for the relationship I have with my dealership, the sales manager, service manager, and owner know me by name and are always smiling when they see me. It probably cost me an extra $1000 or so in warranty mark-up and doc fees. However, I have already had well over $2000 in warranty work done on my car and the dealership did it with a smile while munching on $30 worth of pizza and chortling over how awesome it was to have a customer who brought them something to eat. Of course, a phone call to the plant manager sped things along nicely and got the OEM part shipped ASAP. (carbon-fiber fender had a paint-flaw that was likely a hairline crack on the edge, replaced with OEM painted part.).
Now, on the flip side of things.
When I used to work for Ford, we had customers who would come in and beat the snot out of the price, make outlandish accusations about us only paying $10K for a $40K vehicle and on and on and on. They would make the salesperson mad, they would make the tower mad, and by the time they got to the service department, they were beet-faced and demanding and ticked off that side of the dealership as well.
I have seen numerous times where certain sets of keys were handed to people who were known for tearing up vehicles in the process of moving them around, and have seen numerous times where those keys were instead quietly handed to a manager or more responsible employee. I believe there was a certain correlation to the relationship the customer had with the dealership and the people who worked there. Numerous times I thought "Wow...I won't tick that tech off..."
I guess my point is that on a modern car there are thousands of moving parts, hundreds of electrical connections, and I have YET to see a "PPH" of less than 50 on a normal production automobile. That means that 1 in 2 cars are going to have a problem of some sort. Depending on the problem, that $1000-1500 extra you spend to facilitate your relationship is going to save you a world of trouble. Sure, you can argue "Well if they just do their job, it won't matter, it's not a restaurant and I won't tip." Well sure, you can also buy the woman you want to marry a $99 ring and have a justice of the peace wedding, and never bring home any flowers or tell her you love her, and since she's your wife and marriage is "sacred" and all that, she shouldn't cheat. Well...good luck! Most people go to work to make money, and when they don't make any money, they don't feel much like working. Pick your battles and make sure to let the dealership "win" a few as well. It pays for itself pretty fast usually.
SYNOPSIS! If you skip over all of this, at least read the bold. It will help you, I guarantee. When I had customers walk in and pull that, they always got a good deal with smiles all around. When I did that, well, my results are in the un-bolded book above, lol.