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The pandemic turned the automobile industry upside down in 2020. At first, cars were cheaper than ever. Covid restrictions in mid-2020 left dealerships scrambling to sell inventory without test drives or customer interactions, and one way to get consumers sold on a car was through discounts. But unfortunately, these practices eventually fell through as vehicle component manufacturers overseas started to shut down production. A lack of vital components meant that there was an unprecedented dealer inventory storage for the majority of 2021 and 2022. New cars readily available for test drives and purchases were non-existent, with many popular cars sold before they even reached dealer lots. 

When a new vehicle was available for sale, it was typically a canceled customer order, and these canceled order vehicles were selling for massive premiums or “dealer markups.” Some popular vehicles like the Ford Maverick were selling for nearly $10,000 over sticker price in some states. Thankfully, Stellantis, the parent company for Dodge, Chrysler, and Ram, hinted that vehicle discounts should be available soon.

Stellantis dependability problem
The Stellantis logo along with some of its brands’ logos | Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Discounts could be here sooner than you think

CarBuzz reports that Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares believes that discounts on vehicles could be here as soon as the third quarter of 2023. He believes that unfilled dealer orders are currently being filled, but it shouldn’t take too long before dealer lots are filled with vehicles ready for customers to find a deal on.

Tavares also states that while these discounts and customer haggling may return sooner than you’d expect, it likely won’t be back to the same capacity as before the pandemic.

In the years following the pandemic, car companies have scaled back in many ways when it comes to marketing. Attendance at major auto shows is down, both for attendees and companies with products on display.

Dealerships are also emptier than ever before, with dealers holding the upper hand with vehicles available on the lot, consumers rarely find a reason to leave their homes when they could just look for the cheapest available example of a car online.

How will dealerships bounce back after inventory returns?

Automakers are already going out of their way to bring inventory back to their dealer lots. The biggest example of this can be found with companies making their own components in-house instead of relying on a manufacturer in another country with different covid lockdown restrictions.

This could lead to an interesting combination of a surplus of inventory that is more expensive overall due to more expensive labor costs of American-built components.

The best dealerships will find a way to offer competitive prices while generating deals at a steady rate to ensure a steady flow of readily available inventory.

Which brands are owned by Stellantis?

With this news of automotive discounts being reported by the CEO of Stellantis, you may be wondering which automotive companies are under the Stellantis umbrella of ownership. Some of these companies include Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Citoën, Lancia, Opel, Vauxhall, and Peugeot.

Will these automotive companies find a way to offer discounts to consumers shortly who need a good deal on a new vehicle? Hopefully, by the end of the year, we will start to see some of the projected discounts mentioned by the CEO of Stellantis.


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