How Dodge dealers are earning the right to sell HellcatsWed, 10 Sep 2014 17:44:00 EST
We all hate the idea of the dreaded dealer markup when it comes to buying a highly anticipated new car. Take the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, for example. You might spend hours reading about its supercharged V8 and speccing the model just right in the configurator, but when it finally comes down to laying down the cash, the dealer adds thousands of dollars as a "market adjustment" on the muscle machine of your dreams. As it turns out, when the Hellcat starts hitting showrooms in the third quarter, Dodge is trying to make sure that's not the case.
Dealer orders for the much-hyped Hellcat recently started, but Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis has put some special caveats in place to ensure that the Hellcat makes it to the road quickly. The initial allocation is based on the number of Dodge products that a showroom has sold in the last 180 days, and a second allotment in December is based on the last 90 days of sales and 30-day turnover. "You sell a lot of Darts for me, Journeys for me, Durangos for me, I'm going to give you the rights to this one, too, because this is a halo of the brand," said Kuniskis to Automotive News.
Furthermore, how quickly the Hellcat sells is also going to decide whether showrooms get more of them. "If you want to market-adjust the car, that's your right. But if your days-on-lot goes above what the other guys that are selling them at MSRP is, they will end up earning the allocation because their days-on-lot will be lower," he said to Automotive News. Obviously, this doesn't prevent dealers from marking up the Challenger SRT, but the strategy certainly discourages it.
The strategy is about elevating the brand consciousness, according to Kuniskis. The Hellcat is probably the most salivated over Dodge product since the Viper. People are supposed to buy these muscle machines and show the off to their friends. That gives Dodge a boost in public perception and maybe gets a few more folks to buy one.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Chrysler minivans under investigation for stalling after fuel refill, 2015 Dodge Challenger configurator has all the Hellcat you can dream of, 2015 Dodge Viper price drops $15k for 2015.