Nothing ever changes when it comes to how dealers screw with their customers. The latest assault on car buyers is over the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition models. (This has to be a record for the longest car name in history!) As they slowly trickle into dealers the limited edition Charger Widebodys are being jacked up well past the additional price of $4,495 for the option.
Like $25,000 beyond the sticker price. Yeah, we think so too. We get it, the Widebody is a hot item because it is limited to 451 units in the US and 50 for Canadian customers. That adds up to 501 Charger Widebody units. (The 501 number was how many 1969 Daytona Chargers it took to homologate them for NASCAR racing). Yeah, they’re exclusive. No, dealers should not do this no matter how tempting it seems.
Anything above $75,000 is a phony “adjustment”
The MSRP in the US is $74,140 and in Canada, it is $88,490. That’s before destination charges. For that, you get the 717 hp engine found in the Challenger SRT Hellcat models with the Hellcat Widebody additions. That seems fair.
But the $25,000 upcharge some dealers deem necessary to cover their greed puts the price at a nice, round $100,000. No one should pay that for any Dodge sedan. There are also plenty of rumors that variations of this package will be popping up later this year. The Daytona Charger Anniversary edition will always be a rare and desirable vehicle. But there will be plenty of similar models below $100,000.
Remember the Bicentennial Eldo convertibles or Collector Edition Corvette?
This reminds us of the premiums paid for 1976 Bicentennial Eldorado convertibles and Indy Pace Car Corvettes. Or what about those special “Collector Edition” 1982 Corvettes? In each of these cases, the manufacturers fed the narrative that these would be worth more than the Mona Lisa because they were this or that.
Have you seen the prices of a low mileage 1976 Eldos or 1982 Collectors Edition Vettes? They’re worth nothing more than any comparable vehicle on either side of them. At the time when they were new, there was a feeding frenzy for the Eldo because it was the last American-built convertible. And the “Collectors Edition” Corvette?
Almost 40 years after the Collectors Edition Corvette debuted, want to guess what it sells for?
These were being scooped up for premium prices and socked away to one day be exhumed and worth $ millions. Instead, we just saw a really nice low-mileage example for sale for around $15,000. Almost 40 years after its debut and the Collectors Edition Corvette can only attract that type of interest and price.
What we hope happens is that potential buyers get turned off by the extortion tacked onto the Anniversary Widebody. And from there starts to search different Dodge lots until one is found for the sticker price. Even those that are out of state.
Dealers complain they always get a bad rap. This is a perfect example of why that reputation continues to define car dealerships. We hope it changes someday.