For as long as there have been franchised automotive dealers, there have been dealer markups. And we probably saw the worst of it the past two years, as the industry struggled with dealer inventory shortages amid high demand. Unfortunately, manufacturers have been largely futile in their efforts to fight it, and a record amount of customers are now paying around $1,000/month for new cars. We’re seeing this pattern continue with the 2023 model year Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle cars, specifically their limited-run “Last Call” models.
According to Mopar Insiders, a handful of dealers with listings for Hellcat models have added markups of up to $50,000. However, other Hemi-powered models are also getting hit with dealer greed, including the Scat Pack and R/T models.
That’s not to say that Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis and his team haven’t thought about ways to put a stop to it ahead of the matter.
“We debated this a ton internally… everyone has tried to come up with schemes, and quite frankly, I think we’ve even had one of the more successful ones in the industry to try and control pricing,” said Kuniskis to media during a SEMA 2022 backgrounder back in November. “Everyone has tried to come up with them, and none of them have ever worked. ever.”
Nonetheless, there’s hope that dealers will keep pricing in check as customers have access to the 2023 Dodge Horsepower Locator tool. This gives everybody the same opportunity to seek out the “Last Call” Dodge muscle car that they want.
“What we think is the best control mechanism is transparency,” said Kuniskis. “So if you know where every single car is going, and you have the ability to know. Okay, there’s gonna be 15,000 of this particular car that I want, and here’s where all 15,000 of them are gonna go; now I know where the cars are, it’s not. I’m dealing with one person who tells me that they’re only getting one, and I gotta pay whatever the price is.”
“It’s kinda like when invoice pricing became available online for the car industry. And it was the greatest thing in the world for the consumers because they could see what the actual cost of the car was. Well, this isn’t the cost, but this is moving back the curtain and telling you where every single car is, so I think it helps the supply and demand equation of the pricing model. Will it fix it? No, but we think it’s a good attempt to be transparent and help the customers.” Kuniskis stated.
The first 2023 Dodge Challenger and Charger models have started arriving at dealerships. Dodge has made it known that this will be the last production year for its muscle car duo in its current form. Beyond that, the all-electric Charger Daytona Banshee concept foreshadows the future, as well as announced performance updates from Direct Connection. Otherwise, product forecasters are tracking Hurricane turbo-powered Dodge products that will be made in Windsor, Canada, but not until 2024-2025.