The United States and Canada are currently experiencing some of the most ridiculous dealership markups in history, and as long as there is demand, there doesn’t appear to be a clear end in sight. And, unfortunately, there’s little that automakers have been able to do However, now there is a surefire way to squash dealers in their tracks, and it’s as easy as causing a little bit of a stink online.
Mac Maik Chevrolet in Houston was pressured to walk back on its decisions when the purchase agreement for a new Corvette Z06 was posted online. As indicated below, the agreement required a $6,000 non-refundable deposit, and that the vehicle would be sold for $90,000 over MSRP.
The internet did not take kindly.
Luckily, Josh Potts, the dealership’s general manager, took to social media to apologize for the markup, and even notified those with a Z06 on order that the cost would be lowered back to MSRP.
Chevrolet itself can’t be fully blamed (unless you consider the creation of a desirable vehicle as culpable), as way back when the Z06 was first brought out, the brand sent out a letter to its dealership network warning of the consequences of markups. Dealerships, of course, took no mind to this letter and attempted to gouge customers regardless.
There are multiple layers to keep buyers from making money on their sports cars, too. Chevrolet introduced a system for owners that would reward them with $5,000 dollars (in the form of 500,000 Chevrolet points, to be redeemed at participating dealerships) if they didn’t flip their Z06 for 12 months. A more direct approach to flippers was also implemented, a voided warranty for those that sold early. Obviously, none of these tactics could override the greed of opportunistic dealers, or of car flippers.
Hopefully we see a lot more of this public shaming of vehicle dealers online, as it hurts the entire industry for the middle man to extract more of our hard-earned cash, and for what? To put it on a nice pedestal and offer us some putrid brown water in a feeble paper cup as we gaze at its magnificence? Not on our watch. Cancel culture can go too far at times, but charging almost $100,000 over the MSRP for the privilege of purchasing a product is a crime punishable by severe derision, in our books.
And maybe that’s the way to ultimately control both dealer markups and flippers, by everybody collectively policing the market ourselves.