This is an opinion of a person after experience with buying a Chevy Camaro. My experiences are somewhat difference, may be because I am in So Cal and car dealers here are better. I bought these cars the last 20+ years online and had no problems with getting actual selling price by email, no problem with finance person and paper works were done in 30 minutes or so. I bought my E430 from "AutoDirect.com", picked up at local dealer without any problem. I had 3-4 email responds from local Honda dealers about S2000 price, I picked the closest dealer and had no problem of any kind. The thing is this person talk to the press and now on the net.
Dealers are "clueless" about how difficult it is for a customer to actually buy a car, Richard F. Libin—president of consulting firm APB-Automotive Profit Builders—concluded in a recent WardsAuto piece. Libin recently bought a Chevrolet Camaro, but throughout the process, he said he felt the three dealers he contacted all seemed to be trying to do everything they could to stop the sale. He sent online inquiries to three dealerships, and received a mix of automated replies and prompts to direct his inquiries to specific people that were later found to be unreachable. None of the dealers seemed willing to discuss pricing information over the phone, instead insisting that Libin meet in person before any deal could be discussed. That's even after Libin explained to a salesperson that he was 260 miles and three states away.
Eventually, he managed to make a deal, and drove those 260 miles to pick up his Camaro, with a certified check in hand. Yet the delivery process proved just as onerous. All that needed to be done was some paperwork. Libin expected that to take about 30 minutes, but it was four hours before he was out the door. The dealer had the wrong price, didn't have the car ready, and kept trying to sell him on financing. With that kind of experience, dealers are right to view any changes to the established protocols of car buying as a threat.