The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s short supply and salivating fans have resulted in five-figure markups from some dealers, despite incentives from Dodge to keep the drag racer at or below its $86,090 sticker price, which includes shipping.
Just 3,000 copies of the single-year, 840-hp Demon will be sold in the United States and another 300 in Canada. Ordering opened last month for the barely street-legal racer, and Dodge told dealers it would give priority production to copies sold at or below sticker price while those with inflated prices would be made later in the production run.
That apparently wasn’t much of a deterrent, because some dealers found a loophole: They’re using intermediaries on eBay to auction off the right to buy one of their Demon allocations. Some buyers are willing to pay $10,000 to $70,000 for the honor of later purchasing a Demon for sticker price. Or dealers are just auctioning off the rights themselves.
On eBay last week, Demon allocations were being auctioned off by three sellers who said they represented dealers in South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana. The minimum bid for the privilege of later paying sticker: $10,000 to $22,500, with time still to go on the auctions.
Previous eBay auctions indicate buyers were willing to pay market adjustments of $20,000 to $75,000 over sticker — though eBay does not indicate whether the transactions agreed to in its successful auctions actually were carried out.
One of the eBay sellers auctioning a Demon allocation last week, reached by Automotive News through the auction site, said he had only an “outside relationship” with the dealership whose allocation he was trying to sell. He would not give his name. However, he said “there will be somebody directly from the dealership contacting the winning bidder prior to any money being exchanged so that the deal is understood from both sides.”
Other dealers are just ignoring the sticker-price enticement altogether. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat owner Riley Keep and his father, Shawn Keep, found a dealership in Flagstaff, Ariz., that already had sold one allocation on eBay, Keep said. The store said it could sell the Keeps another, but at a $60,000 charge over sticker price.
“We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer,” Dodge brand head Tim Kuniskis said in a statement in June when he revealed Dodge’s allocation strategy for the Demon.
A source inside Fiat Chrysler said the automaker is “monitoring” dealer actions in selling Demons, but there is little the factory can do beyond encouraging dealers to sell their Demons at sticker price.
Though every dealer who received a Demon allocation likely experienced some level of increased customer activity because of the car — many on forums spoke of calling dozens of dealerships within a few hundred miles searching for allocations — not all Dodge dealers looked to turn that added activity into added profits.
At Bill Marsh Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Traverse City, Mich., the dealership’s single Demon will be sold for $1 under the sticker price, but the right to buy it will be auctioned off among the dealership’s existing customers for the benefit of four local charities, says marketing director Mike Kent.
The auction will be this fall after the White Knuckle-colored $89,062 Demon is delivered to the showroom. That price includes shipping. The dealership will bring in a professional auctioneer and plans to make it an event.
The auction solved a conundrum for the no-haggle dealership, Kent says, “which is ‘How do you maintain the integrity of one-price when the value of the car goes beyond its MSRP?’ This gets us beyond that.”
Fuente: Automotive News