By on August 20, 2015

2015 Dodge Charger V6 AWD Rallye (3 of 13)

The automotive journalism industry is infinitely weird. I’m much more likely to be recognized by someone in a foreign land than I am in my own city. Just recently, during Halifax’s Pride Parade, a man I didn’t know walked up to me and asked, “Are you Mark Stevenson?” It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me in Halifax. Maybe I have the local LGBT demographic on lock, or at least the “G” part of the initialism.

Regardless of my popularity with the sharply dressed set, I can walk into virtually any local dealer and nobody will know who I am — which is absolutely perfect when you run into a salesman who states: “Let me be honest with you: I make $100,000 a year at this place and it’s made me not care about cars anymore.”

Of course, this was at a Dodge dealer that lacked any kind of automotive enthusiasm on its lot.

Undeterred, I am still occasionally Charger shopping. There are three Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/RAM dealers in my immediate vicinity.

The first one I went to is a 10 minute walk down the street from my house; incredibly easy to spot from the highway thanks to all the bright orange Ram 1500s and neon-stickered minivans. Oh, and there’s always a Jeep sitting atop a man-made boulder. Always. The dealer doesn’t have a single Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger or Dodge Challenger and very few Dodge Darts, Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees. Even the used lot is as exciting as a Christian stripshow attempting to convey a message to its audience. Oh look, it’s a Charger! … 2014 SE automatic. Oh look, there’s a Challenger! … with horrible aftermarket wheels, Pep Boys portholes and a V-6 engine.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t be stopping by that particular dealer again, especially after the uninterested attitude I received last time from their sales staff. Instead, I went to another dealer that also sells Fiats and sits beside an Acura store, hoping that combination might spur said dealer into offering a wider selection.

Boy, was I wrong.

This second dealer — owned by a local, family-named dealership group — is certainly bigger than the first, but the models there were the same as the first, just more of them. The most interesting vehicle on the lot was a clapped-out Subaru Baja … owned by someone taking a peeking glance at a Jeep Patriot. I pray for her to this day.

I drove around the lot fully knowing I was not going to see a new Charger. As you may already know, the last time I was searching for a larger-engined Charger I went to the interwebs and came up with zero results within 200 miles. However, I was hoping I might see a used, previously fleet-owned 2015 Charger to satiate my desires.

The lower lot provided nothing but Journey after Grand Caravan after Cherokee. Holy, the Cherokees. The only “fun” members of the lot were some turbocharged Fiat 500s and a lone Challenger V-6 automatic. This was not going well. To the upper used lot I went.

My mother and her significant other had been here just a week previous and said there was a Chrysler 300 closely resembling what they’re looking to buy. Mom’s beau is now well into retirement and looking for a final rolling resting place for his last years at the wheel. Being a man of large stature, the 300 is well suited for him — but not so for me. I want a Charger, and the upper lot did have a few of 2014 and earlier vintage. No V-8s. No 2015s.

I was just about to leave when a salesman, likely in his late 40s, came rolling up the hill on his Yamaha golf cart. Instead of peeling out, I rolled down my window.

“Can I help you with something today, sir?”

(I have always hated when someone older than me calls me “sir”, but that’s outside the context of this story.)

“Maybe,” I replied. “Do you have any 2015 Chargers?”

“No, we didn’t get many, and they ones we did get are gone.”

While someone might get disenchanted with the response, I saw an opportunity.

“When does your 2016 model year allotment come in?”

“Well, normally it would be closer to the fall. We should have one then.”

They should have one then. I take a stab.

“Any chance it would be a V-8 model?”

It’s at this point Mr. Golf Cart opens up.

“Ohhh, ha ha, definitely not. We’re similar, you and I. We want to have fun with our cars. But, we would never order that in for the lot. Let me be honest with you: I make $100,000 a year at this place and it’s made me not care about cars anymore.”

On that last conversational highlight, we exchanged pleasantries and cards, and I went on my way.


One week later, I had the chance to speak with a Chrysler Canada employee and I figured this would be the time to ask him some questions.

“Did you read my piece on the Charger?” I asked him.

“Yes, I did,” he replied, seemingly unsure of where the conversation was going.

“So, I tried again to buy a Charger but I haven’t written it up yet. I asked the salesman if they would get any V-8 Chargers in for 2016 and he said no. What’s going on?”

He went on to explain the situation through an anecdote.

Before his current position, his place was in sales. At one point, he dealt with a dealer that would only order vehicles of certain colors. Nothing too flashy; just silver, white, and black. Red cars didn’t sell on his lot, the dealer complained. For years, this dealer would only order those three colors, and this former sales rep asked him, “Well, if you never have those colors, how are they supposed to sell?”

The dealer, likely in a fit of rage to prove himself correct, ordered one of his least favorite colors — and it promptly sold.

Jack hit the nail on the head when he explained we are not the manufacturer’s customers — dealers are. However, manufacturers still hold some considerable sway in what dealers receive in annual allotments.

There’s another dealer semi-local to me that just opened. It’s a Nissan store in the middle of nowhere. As part of their initial floorplan, Nissan Canada made the dealer take nearly 40 Nissan Titans. I don’t mean the new, Ford-esque Titan that Carlos Ghosn is looking to carve a niche for itself by sitting between the 1500s and 2500s of the Detroit automakers. I mean the old Titan that virtually nobody is buying and Nissan itself isn’t even talking about these days.

If Nissan can saddle that dealer with nearly 40 Titans, I am sure Chrysler could make each dealer in the region take one or two Chargers.

It’s a shame though as the 2015 Charger is vastly superior to that of just the year prior, but dealers are still making decisions based on it being the same car as before — just like customers do. One can walk into any Ford dealer here and test drive a Coyote-powered Mustang GT, and those dealers will sell every last Mustang they stock. If the Dodge dealers took a chance on a few V-8 Chargers, they might sell like hotcakes.

Might.

Unfortunately for me, they absolutely know those minivans, Jeeps and Rams will sell within the next month or two.

There’s also no impetus for Chrysler Canada to force Chargers on my local dealers in particular. The new car is wildly successful in other markets and the automaker can simply send more units to those areas where they also know the full-size LX cars will sell.

But, that leaves me feeling just like the salesman at the second Dodge store I visited. If I need to live in a world where fun is completely erased from the automotive landscape, I don’t want to do this anymore, and you’d have to pay me $100,000 to continue doing it.

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187 Comments on “I Tried To Buy A Charger Again, And Failed Again...”


  • avatar
    Don Mynack

    There is a used Charger that appears to have the police package at a dealer about 10 miles from my house. V-8. Looks like it still even has the radio in it!

    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?endYear=2016&zip=77441&engineCode=8CLDR&maxPrice=15000&showcaseListingId=404123134&mmt=%5BDODGE%5BDODCHAR%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&modifySearchId=99628743&lastExec=1439928794000&modelCode1=DODCHAR&sortBy=derivedpriceASC&makeCode1=DODGE&startYear=1981&showcaseOwnerId=11605282&engineCodes=8CLDR&incremental=ALL&searchRadius=100&listingId=407895617&Log=0

    • 0 avatar

      Pro tip: you can shorten an AutoTrader URL by keeping only the listingId after the “?”. Like this:
      http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=407895617

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    So you are saying a dealer won’t order you a Charger, even if you put some sort of refundable deposit down, and let you drive it before you sign on the dotted line?

    Mark, you need to figure out how to buy a car in the Detroit area and write off the flight here and the drive back home. I’ll even find a Chrysler employee to that will give you their pin for an even better price. Not that you really need it.

    • 0 avatar

      We never get to that point, and I am not willing to put myself in a situation where I am forced to feel like I need to buy the car, even if there’s no legal requirement to do so.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I’ve been lucky. I order a car and the dealer puts it in their next batch of orders. No money down, no pressure, and they call me when it hits the lot.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        “I am not willing to put myself in a situation where I am forced to feel like I need to buy the car, even if there’s no legal requirement to do so.”

        You Canadians really are too polite for your own good. Dealers are in business, and they can make their own business decisions. If they don’t want to order up a Charger with no strings attached they can just say no, and you can just say no if you test drive it and don’t like it (which is unlikely since you’re only looking for one after driving one). Asking them to bring one in might even help them see the value in stocking something other than the highest volume models. Just don’t ask for your Charger in Lime green.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          “Just don’t ask for your Charger in Lime green”

          I agree. They don’t want that on their lot. However, I did see a lime green Challenger Hellcat last week and it looked absolutely gorgeous.

        • 0 avatar

          Maybe I am too polite when doing business…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            No, polite is good. But I’m half Canadian, so what do I know.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            Long ago I had decided to replace my RWD Corolla with a 4WD vehicle after being stuck in the snow much of the winter. I was considering either an IH Scout II or a Subaru, and I was leaning towards the Subaru as being a better size for someone who had to park on the streets in Chicago. The dealer I went to tried to make me put down a non-refundable deposit on one of the cars in his next delivery, saying he could sell everyone he got in. Not having even test-driven one, I insisted on a refundable deposit or I would find another dealer or reconsider a Scout. He grudgingly put refundable on the contract, I test drove it when it came in and I bought. Even as a very young man I knew I had as much right to set terms as he did, and we could both walk away from a deal we didn’t like. Now I didn’t have a good negotiating position under those circumstances, and neither will you, but this is a business proposition not a courtesy.

          • 0 avatar
            wibigdog

            Um . . . yeah! If I showed a serious interest in what you’re looking for (and didn’t care for the other 2 V8 Chargers in stock that meet your criteria), my Wisconsin dealer would have two more in stock by the end of next week. Wtf is wrong in Canada?

      • 0 avatar
        Tyler_Lawson

        Mark Stevenson you might actually be the most useless person ever to poison the internet. If a Dodge dealership or Ford dealership or any dealership for that matter choices to not stock a particular vehicle then it is their prerogative. Clearly if you got “zero results within 200 miles” then maybe there is a reason. A reason such as the car is not in demand with the exception of one whiny little baby. If you want the car so bad then put your money where your mouth is and order one. You’ve been looking for 2 years now so what’s the hold up? Oh right, then you’d have to shove that soother back in because you have nothing left to cry about. Grown up and get a set….order the car or shut up.

      • 0 avatar
        wibigdog

        This is too stupid to comment on. This is more like click-bait. Come here to America, where there are plenty of V-8 Chargers to test drive in Michigan and Wisconsin alone, then buy a car. It’s not that hard.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      As bball said, come to Detroit.

      V8 Chargers in all trim levels grow like weeds on the lots of “Metro Detroit Area Dodge Dealers,” and they practically give them away, too.

      You get hosed on selection & prices in the Great White Yonder up der in ra Tundra, eh?

      Roll up the rim & drop ze puck, eh.

  • avatar
    BDT

    How odd. The dealer down the street from where I type this has numerous V8 Chargers and Challengers. Maybe you’ll just have to order one.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I think he wants to drive the car before he buys it. The dealer I buy from will order pretty much anything and let you drive it before you sign the papers. You sign an intent to buy when it’s ordered. The only things they wouldn’t order without a deposit in the Transit Connect Wagon and a non-ST Fiesta. Both required refundable deposits.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly this. I want to test drive first and I’m sure the local dealers would try to make me sign something before ordering. Also, 2015 allotment is done and over. I will have to wait until fall anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Mark, didn’t you have the unique opportunity to review one of these cars? Was that not sufficient as a test drive? (or was it a 300?)

          Or am I misremembering?

          • 0 avatar

            I reviewed a 2015 Charger V6 AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            I don’t see why your whining. You pick out the options you need and a few color choices and they will do a dealer search for a 2015 that meets your needs. The dealer will trade something that the other dealership wants for their Charger and send someone to get it. You will have to give a non-refundable deposit for them to secure the Charger for you and either pay a few hundred extra for transit. I’m sure if there is an issue with the car upon delivery they will refund you but not just because you changed your mind. Try a rental if you want a test drive or they can contact a service customer that they have that may let you test drive their car. It’s not rocket surgery… You just have to step up with some cash. The dealer doesn’t want the car, so why would they buy it for you unless it’s sold.

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          “I’m sure the local dealers would try to make me sign something before ordering.”

          Um, did you ask?

          If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Plus, the dealer can’t kidnap and or waterboard you for asking for the opportunity to spend a lot of your own money.

          Whining that the dealers don’t have what you want but being afraid to ask for what you want is a bit…unbecoming.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            I have a friend who works at the Chrysler dealer next to the Acura outlet. Asked him again why they don’t stock the bigger FCA cars, and got no better answer than the previous ten times. He’s a busy man working in warranty though – a safe job.

            Of course you can ask the salesmen. I did in 2012, and got zero response. The dealers are simply uninterested, just as Mark relates. It may seem silly because it is. Now go and tell Mr. Steele and he won’t listen either – he’s flogging Audis, Subarus, FCA, Ford, VW, Porsche, Jaguar, Chev, GMC, Hyundai, Volvo and Ford as well and is silly rich;

            http://www.steeleauto.com/dealerships.html

            What some dude may or may not want is a matter of supreme unimportance to that group. They’re about reducing the competition to zero, and maximizing profit.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    We return to the base of the matter; most customers don’t care about enthusiast cars or traits thereof. People want an appliance that impresses the neighbors and doesn’t need an oil change or brake job ever.

    Sucks, but tis the truth.

    There’s a reason why Toyota is making bank despite not making an enthusiast vehicle under their own name for over a decade.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup, you nailed it. There is no financial impetus for Chrysler or a local dealer to cater to me, the enthusiast consumer. Even if 5-10% of their potential customers might be of the enthusiast color, 100% of their inventory is dedicated to 90-95% of buyers. And it makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        The automotive industry doesn’t want enthusiasts buying their cars anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Quote of a discussion I had with a GM salesman “They don’t make cars for people like you.”

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Regarding enthusiasts… I am still waiting on GM Customer care executive review committee, so last night I went and looked at a blue MT Accord Sport jut for kicks. Though I would prefer the V6, the Accord Sport is as close to catering to me as Honda (or anyone else) is coming.

          I was talking with a friend and this was my short review (I didn’t get to drive the car, it was in the showroom, and who knows if I’ll even have an opportunity to buy it).

          “Nice car! (though not without some annoyances). The shift pattern sucks with respect to reverse, its in the wrong place and has no lockout, the glove box and console are smaller than the Verano, and the base stereo has bluetooth and usb but no 3.5mm aux jack! You need nav for that? …. Lastly the trunk is really oddly shaped which I think will detract from its usefulness. Also the sunroof toggles felt really flimsy, and so did the little flip up storage compartment door. And since I didn’t start it, I couldn’t ascertain whether the windows are express up and down. I hate when both front windows aren’t at least auto up-down.”

          So, I really like the Accord Sport. Honda makes a great big 4cyl, it looks sharp, it has the tech I want (dual zone HVAC, sunroof, 4 wheel disks, dual exhaust, phone connectivity for calls and audio, and cloth seats). If I can get away from GM free and clear, I’m pretty tempted to buy (not lease) one, (we’re putting 35k kms a year on right now) then figure out how to install the 3.5mm aux jack, and lastly, figure out how to adapt the LSD that Honda has, and hit the freaking highway.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You found an Accord Sport with a sunroof?

            They don’t even offer that model with that equipment here in the States. Interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Yeah, its actually a REALLY compelling package. And in a real color too!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Accord Coupe in pearl white looks very legit.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I love me some pearl white, it looks good on the sedan too.

            But I’m really partial to a nice metallic dark blue as well.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Having had both colors (one dark blue currently, multiple pearl whites), I can say the blue hides dirt much better, especially in climates where you get nasty winter weather.

            I think dark blue “works” better on more cars as well, there are some cars which look very poor in pearl white – like the MKS, the Legacy, the Outback, and the Camry. The number of large panels and body seams on today’s cars due to styling doesn’t lend as well to pearl, since the seams show right through. Pearl is excellent on the 6-Series and 6GC.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I’ve mentioned it before but I love GM’s “White Pearl Tricoat” or whatever they call it from model to model. I think it look stellar on the Avalanche with the buttresses and box rails painted to match, it makes a Sierra LT look like it should be a Denali.

            I really also like blue, it makes the Verano stand out in a good way, and makes the Accord look like its wearing a smart suit.

            These days I find I have no use for paint that lacks visual depth. Flat colors suck, metallic and a nice clear coat application make a huge difference.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            White doesn’t remotely work on any car that is ever in a fleet. It tends to work on luxury cars and on only the highest trim levels of mass-market cars that don’t usually go into fleets.

            If I see a white W-Impala, Taurus, or Tahoe, I tend to think I’m looking at a government motor pool car.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @Dal

            Difference mucho between flat white and pearl white! Even on the same vehicle.

            White Tahoe
            http://images.allamericanautomobiles.com/pictures/37305368.jpg

            Pearl Tahoe
            http://imganuncios.mitula.net/2014_chevrolet_tahoe_ltz_paducah_ky_5930039439408560885.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I agree with you on fleet white Dal, but I definitely think the style of white makes a difference.

            In my head, if you took two plain jane white Silverados but one is flat white and one is pearl, one looks like a city truck and one looks like its probably owned by a person who consciously made the choice to tick that 1000 dollar (!?!?!) option on the build sheet, because its just that much better too look at.

      • 0 avatar
        Grunt

        Exactly Mark. As an inventory/sales manager of a Chevy/Buick store for 25 years you have got to order what sells. So even if you do order something that appeals to 5-10% of the market it will sit for quite awhile accumulating floor plan expense, and when that person finally shows up you will get the “I love it but I want it exactly like this one but Red, or I want one exactly like this but with a sunroof” you I am sure get the gist. As far as the dealer buying one from another dealership well they will be paying invoice for the car, which includes the other dealer’s holdback and advertising fees and do not receive that. Then they pay some driver or transport company to go get it.

  • avatar
    Donstar

    Maybe a dealer would accept an order a refundable deposit deposit refundable “subject to test drive”.

    Depending on the local market, it’s likely they are unwilling to have such a vehicle rejected after you test drive it.

    This type of order is more common in the luxury market where desirable models must be ordered due to limited allocations, and they know there is excess demand. Sales managers are very risk adverse when it come to ordering high end models / interesting colors for stock.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    Mark, if you’re willing to travel the 3 hours to Moncton, one of the dealers here has a 2015 black R/T on the lot…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Aren’t you in America frequently enough to make an attempt while you’re here?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Mark, your location is certainly providing unique challenges. I think you are just going to accept the fact that you’ll need to travel, probably to the GTA. Find a car you want in stock, and get the dealer to give you a price (preferably by also getting prices on a few similar cars that aren’t exactly the one you want). Then get the cheapest possible round-trip ticket to the GTA. Test-drive the car, and drive it home if you like it or fly back if you don’t.

    I just bought a used car in California, 800 miles away, because it was one of only about five in the country that had low miles and were configured the way I wanted. I drove it home, because the drive was cheaper, quicker, and lower-risk than having it shipped.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, someone found one that’s semi-local … at least closer than the GTA. http://www.monctonchrysler.com/new/Dodge/2015-Dodge-Charger-3fca13850a0e0ae77554effb7584d885.htm

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If there’s only one, though, the dealer has you by the nads when it comes to pricing. You might save more than the cost of your plane ticket by getting quotes in a place where dealers really have to compete.

        After reading bball’s comments on here I *know* that if I ever persuade my wife that she actually wants a Flex I will most likely be flying to the Detroit area to buy it. In all likelihood I’d save enough to pay for the plane ticket, the drive home, and a really nice dinner to celebrate her change of heart.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        The round trip flight from Halifax leaving 8/28 to Detroit is $400. Huge selection in Detroit and opportunity to get employee pricing. Make a deal online subject to a test drive, fly in, buy car, have a great drive back to Halifax (20 hours/2 days). If you don’t like/buy the car just visit the local Detroit ruins and fly home.

        Write article on the whole affair and make the trip tax deductible. Sound like fun!

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Is there a reason you just don’t order exactly what you want?

    • 0 avatar

      Because I’m not sure exactly what I want, to put it plainly. I haven’t been able to test drive one, so I am not sure if I really, really want one. Also, I run a blog, and I’m not willing to put a $50,000 blind bet on black.

  • avatar
    ant

    I checked the listings by me. There are 3 v8’s within 30m of my house, and about 20 v6’s.

    Doesn’t seem like it would be very difficult to test drive one here, and I’m sure getting one in the color you would want would be possible.

  • avatar
    srh

    My conclusion: Mr. Stevenson doesn’t actually want to buy a V8 Charger; there are myriad ways he could buy exactly the car he’s talking about, and get the treasured test-drive before buying it. Many of them detailed in the comments above.

    He wants to write articles kvetching about how dealers don’t stock cars that enthusiasts want.

    • 0 avatar

      Drive/fly to Toronto? No. I am not going to spend $600 on a flight to test drive a car I might not actually love.

      I’m also not going to grovel at the feet of a salesman to bring in a car because then I’ll have no wiggle room on the tail end of the deal to negotiate.

      Though, a trip to Moncton is now definitely in the cards.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Good lord it’s expensive to fly within Canada, eh? I can get from here in Ohio to LA for under $300 RT.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          It really is, its pretty pathetic. Calgary to Winnipeg, round trip, minimum 600 bucks for a two hour flight over the prairie.

          We are flying this year at Christmas, we drive that 14 hour slog all too often, but 1200 bucks vs the 200 it would take to drive in gas hurts.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Is their competition on the Calgary to Winnipeg route?

            I fly to Memphis and Tampa from DTW on a monthly basis and Tampa typically costs $250-$350 RT, where Memphis costs $600-$800 RT. Delta doesn’t have any competition on DTW-MEM, so they [email protected] you.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Air Canada and WestJet. I make the same flight for work a lot, and so have been watching prices through our travel booking site. Prices are within a few bucks of each other, flights are within minutes of each other. I have both of their reward programs entered, and I pick based on the half an hour either way, generally. THe only differences are WestJet uses 737s, has no upgrade seats, and uses canned French announcements. Air Canada uses CRJ 705s (which I prefer on that route) and is truly bilingual…

            I guess the WestJet departure area is closer to security at YYC…

            Yeah, cellular plans and air travel in Canada are crap.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            On Delta, I either get a plane from the 80s (MD88) or one that was built last year (737-900). There is no inbetween.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            I got a round-trip Halifax/Penticton stopping off in Calgary on way back for $1159 all-in next month. Could have paid $250 less if I didn’t mind the slow plane stopping at every landing strip in the 2600 miles each way. That leaves you feeling like a dessicated prune, so screw it.

            It’s flying on a whim that is expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Flying on a whim definitely is the most expensive. But I still think were getting ripped off. If Corey can fly from Ohio to LA for 300 return, I feel I should be able to fly from Winnipeg to Calgary for 300 return… Its NEVER less than 600, we booked our Christmas flights weeks ago. I just checked, with the same lead time, I could fly to Honolulu cheaper than Winnipeg, from Calgary.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            In the US, it really depends on the city pairs. I can fly from Detroit to Phoenix for cheaper than Detroit to Minneapolis.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Canada sounds lame.

  • avatar
    stevelyon

    Even in Los Angeles, it’s tough to find any V8 Chargers or Challengers listed on the 8 or 9 dealership websites I surveyed. I found only one Hellcat, two SRT 392s, and a handful of R/Ts. Boatloads of V6s.

  • avatar
    Big Wheel

    I agree with some of the earlier posts that his location isn’t doing him any favors. I know Mark said he’s not traveling much right now, but the next time he does to a larger market he needs to reserve 1-2 hours for a test drive. Especially if he makes it to SE Michigan. You can’t throw a rock here without hitting a big 3 dealership. Parkway Chrysler here in Macomb has 75 Chargers available, with piles of them V8’s (including one Hellcat!).

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe I should just move to Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        We are rich with V8 Chargers and Challengers.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Kings Chrysler Dodge Jeep Eagle Renault here has 5 V8 2015’s, including this one!

          http://www.kingsdodgechryslerjeep.com/new/Dodge/2015-Dodge-Charger-27659b3f0a0e0ae77554effb38a210e7.htm

          SRT 392 whatever that means.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “Chrysler Dodge Jeep Eagle Renault”

            Chrysler/FCA has had SO MANY BRANDS and brands from dead companies. Hahaha

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s a hot mess! And now throwing in all the defunct bits which became Fiat at one point or another.

            I bet they have lots of interesting old design patents lying around. I’d be interested in seeing some of the JV stuff with Renault/AMC, and also the tie in between Fiat/Lancia and Saab.

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            Go down to Detroit, drive a car like you want, go back and set a deal and order it! I did it when I was 18, FFS, it’s not all that big of a deal. Get the price set in advance (you can eat any increase in the invoice, it won’t be much of anything). This way, there are no surprises, and you get exactly the car you want, not just taking one off the lot. My upcoming Challenger Scatpack will almost certainly have to be ordered as the color I want (TorRed, unless they pop up with Hemi Orange or Petty Blue as an option)is rare, and if I find one, it almost always has a sunroof, and that’s a deal killer for me. Just do it and, seriously, stop whining about it, it’s not like you’re living in the old USSR.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        “Maybe I should just move to Detroit.”

        There should be plenty of vacant houses and apartments there.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My local Chrysler dealer generally keeps low trim models on the lot with one or two loaded examples for the people who aren’t buying on price alone. Ex: Lots of base model Caravans and ONE loaded Town & Country with a sticker over $40,000.

    Fortunately it is a large conglomerate and if you go to the corporate site they likely have what you want in Holbrook or Flagstaff.

  • avatar
    dartman

    ..or maybe move to California. Say what you will about the Golden State but in many ways it is like living in the “Big Rock Candy Mountains”; down in Fremont Ca less than 3 miles from Tesla’s plant the local CDJR dealer has 31 Chargers listed–27 of them R/T’s with money on the hood of all. 37 Chally’s including 2 Hellcats numerous 392’s etc just a few SXT. If you got the coin this is a wonderful place to live…

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    I ran into this same issue in my area. NOT ONE dealer in my area, actually within 250 miles, had a Fiesta ST. Heck, there wasn’t even a used one! People in my area are far too concerned with trucks and V8 muscle cars to even care about hot hatches.
    Good luck with your search, Mark!

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I sympathize with Mark. A car is a big deal to us non-plutocrat folk, so when you want something in particular, everything else is a compromise. Decades ago, I worked in a Pontiac store and wanted a Formula with 350, but without T-tops and with a 5-spd. The sales mgr moaned about all the hassle it be. I persisted and we worked out my employee price. Between ordering and arrival (3-months)a family situation arose that precluded me buying a new car so I reluctantly bailed on the deal. The sales mgr had a fit of course and said I’d shafted him and that the car would never sell. The car of course sold in two weeks. I later met the customer and found out he got a far better deal than I would have! Who was going to shaft whom?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Sadly, all this is true. At my Hyundai store we would regularly turn down every allocation we could for Genesis sedans and coupes, and definitely any Velosters (especially the matte gray). I would always feel bad for the occasional enthusiast who knew EXACTLY which trim and color Genesis Coupe he HAD to have. Buddy, you’ll never find that yellow R-Spec so just give up now. We maybe could find one 500 miles away, but then he’d want it for invoice minus holdback so we’d have to throw him out.

    There are a few dealers out there that “get” the enthusiast customer, but you’re going to have to work to find them.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Less than three years ago, went to the Hyundai dealer to test drive a Genesis Coupe. “Oh, we don’t keep any of those!” as I showed him one in a brochure. “We keep this Veloster turbo though.” Same outfit that owns the FCA outlet Mark is going on about.

      I’m sorry, a Veloster turbo is not a performance car to anyone except a know-nothing car salesmen. I told him as much, but I might as well have been pouring water into the ocean. Comprehension zero.

      “We have this nice Equus,” he babbled as I headed out the door.

  • avatar

    I am literally perplexed at this. I know it’s Canada and all, but I just can’t imagine a world in which you cannot buy a HEMI-powered Charger, when such power is easily-accessible here in Oklahoma. I would have also thought that the dealer could order you one or change one of its 2016 allotment cars to spec it to your wishes…but apparently not.

    You should totally move.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      After poking around a bit to gauge Seattle-area Chevy dealers’ attitude about a manual-transmission SS, I completely believe Mark’s story. (They were all completely convinced that if they ordered the car I would walk, the car would sit on their lots for a year, and they would eventually sell it for a $5000 loss.) I just think he is too reluctant to look at travel options.

      • 0 avatar

        Huh. One of my local dealerships was brave enough to offer four manual-transmission SS’, and they were gone within a month. I guess it just depends on the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Lack Thereof

        Seattle area Chevy dealers also never stock the hatchback Sonics with the magic 40 MPG 1.4t+manual combination.

        If you want to buy a Sonic with a turbo engine and 3 pedals, the only option the dealers have for you is a tape-striped RS, which has a close ratio box that tanks the freeway MPG. The LT-series’ freeway-ratio 6-speed stick only ever gets ordered in models with the n/a base engine and no options.

        You’d think at least one dealer would roll the dice on a luxed-out LTZ with the stickshift.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    Let me tell you a story. My wife needed a new minivan in 2013. It was going to be a Grand Caravan, but we had some specific requests (TV, Nav, Super console and a very specific color). I told my dealer what I wanted and in about 2 days, it was sitting on the dealers lot for my inspection.

    Walk into the dealer, tell him/her that I want a Charger with a Hemi and any other specific details and unless they are idiots, They will have one for you in a few days. They will either trade one with another dealership or whatever they do if they want to make the sale.

    You are just too passive and EXPECT to find what you want instead of making them do the work for you!

    • 0 avatar

      I’m far from passive, for starters. The problem with bringing in a car lies in geography. At the time I did this, the closest 2015 was in Quebec, a 12 hour drive away. That’s not an insignificant transport cost; definitely not a burden a dealer wants to take on nor one I want to pay at transaction time.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Friends, car dealers are no longer in the business of selling cars. Selling cars is just not a profitable business these days.

    Instead of selling cars, what car dealers actually sell is financing, tru-kote, and nitrogen-filled tires.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    “with horrible aftermarket wheels, Pep Boys portholes and a V-6 engine”

    I get that the V-6 is what it is, and I even get that replacing the wheels isn’t a guaranteed return on investment, but for chrissakes, why wouldn’t the dealer remove something as fugly as Pep Boys plastic portholes? Five minutes with a heat gun and you’ve added $100 to the sales price.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      In my area, there’s no shortage of Hemi Chargers or Challengers, but only in 5.7 form. Those cars can sit on the lots for months. I drove a B5 Blue R/T in February, and it just sold last month. The Sublime R/T that was sitting next to it is still there, unsold.

      They can’t keep the Scat Pack Challengers in stock for more than a week though. I’ve yet to see a ’15 Charger with the 392. I don’t know where the allocation of those cars is going, or maybe Dodge just isn’t making enough of them.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Sorry, that was not supposed to be in reply to you. I have all kinds of trouble commenting on this website.

      • 0 avatar

        I found the Hellcat to be properly overrated (plus I’m just too young to go out in a fiery, 707-HP crash), but I liked the Scat Pack. If, in a world gone mad, I ever decided that what I needed was a Charger, I’d pick the Scat Pack.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Yeah, I think the Hellcat is the sort of car most people buy just to have the best. Few will use it as intended. The Scat Pack/SRT has all the power you could ever hope to use on normal roads.

          Dodge actually release production figures for their “high impact” colors last week. Fewer than 3200 B5 Blue Challengers built in ’15 – half the number of Sublime cars. And most of those weren’t Scat Packs. Really frustrating, but at least they’re bringing that color back for next year.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Agree, Kyree.

          I’d go a little further and opine that the hellcat (or any others street car with more than 450 or so horsepower, let alone 700+, especially if a daily driver), is actually a hazardous proposition.

          I’m very much still struggling with my decision on what my next car purchase will be; many say we’re spoiled for choice now, and this may be true in many segments, but there seems to be less choice now in terms of reasonable priced, plush riding, solid/reliable/durable, V6 or V8 powered sedans with large interiors fore and aft (the Chrysler 300 being a notable exception, as is the new, finally sorted out in the suspension department, 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 liter).

          Even though many have heard it said, to the point of becoming cliche, any daily driver with anything over 400 horsepower, let alone close to 700 horsepower, is just not sensible for even 99.9% of people who want an abundance of horsepower and torque.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    It’s just not that tough to order a car. If not through the dealer than through a good car buying service. You won’t get a rock bottom price, but then it’s a specialty vehicle.

    When I ordered my Dodge many years ago I had the opposite problem; when the car arrived there was so much interest that the dealer tried to sell it out from under me. I casually mentioned to the zone manager that I intended to sue the dealer and they got it to relent.

    Car had about 75 miles on the odometer suggesting that it had been test driven a few times.

    • 0 avatar

      *double facepalm*

    • 0 avatar
      Jezza819

      Car was sold ordered in your name? If so that should have been understood that no one and I mean NO ONE was supposed to drive that car other than the tech doing the PDI on it. Again, “back in my day” cars came in with generally 5 miles or less on them. Trucks from Mexico maybe had a little more since they had to change trains more often. Chrysler told us to put 8-10 miles on them to check them out good but that’s all they were driven until that sold ordered customer came to see it. No one else was allowed to test drive it and it was kept out back out of sight so no one could even get a hint that it might be available.

      • 0 avatar

        Ugh. Every time I’ve bought a new car and the dealership fills out the odometer statement, they’ll try to say it has 5 or 10 or 12 miles, when it’s nearer to 100. I’m like, “Uh, fix that please.” I think it’s out of genuine laziness and not waning to go *look* at the odometer, but something like that could screw me over if I need to return the car or file a dispute. In the case of my Golf SportWagen, it had just come off the truck and hadn’t been test-driven by anyone at the dealership, yet had 85 miles on it. Since it was one of the very first units, I assume that either the factory in Puebla or the distribution center in Texas did extensive test-driving to iron out issues, which I appreciate.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Hear. When I came in to inspect my G8 GXP before buying I quickly discovered 184 miles on the odometer. It only took a bit of prodding to learn that those 184 miles were mostly due to a weekend joyride by the dealership owner. The joyride ended up costing him a few hundred bucks, and I made very sure all my sale paperwork read 184 miles.

          • 0 avatar

            You have a G8 GXP? You lucky dog. That’s a prime example of how to buy a new car and not have it depreciate tremendously while you own it, and probably one of the only Pontiacs in history where that is the case.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Had. I sold it. It was really fun for six years but eventually I felt I was sacrificing too much for performance I could never use in my everyday driving. And when I was able to trade up to a pristine low-mileage LS460 for the same money thanks to that incredible resale, that sealed the deal.

  • avatar
    Jezza819

    Either they must do things totally different in Canada or things must have changed drastically since I was in the business. When I was ordering stock, I wanted a pretty good cross section of what we had available. Putting it in your situation, if we stocked 20 Chargers total then at least 25% of them would be V8’s. Now if they are a floorplan dealer (finance inventory through a bank) then the more expensive the car, the higher it costs them each month to keep it on the lot since those payments are a percentage of the invoice figure.

    Now the color thing is kind of a different problem. When you’re doing stock you generally have to play the percentages and keep what is going to appeal to the most people. That’s not saying that you won’t keep a loud or unique color here or there but they are just not going to be the majority of what you have on the lot. Chrysler should have a report on the rate of travel for colors for their area. Or at least they did when I was with them. Now the flip side of that is you can get caught off guard when a color just gets hot out of nowhere. Back in the mid 80’s when I started ordering our vehicles green was a huge no-no. But then in the late 80’s and early 90’s it caught fire on just about everything. It took me a while to catch on but sure enough if I had an allocation of 12 Chrysler Town & Country minivans I could order half of them or more in green with gold wheels and trim and sell every one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      ^ My good God. This is the exact truth when it comes to dealer allocations.

      Want Expeditions? You need to buy Escorts.

      In rural areas there is usually a far lower margin of error when it comes to colors because after a given time period, that car starts costing you serious money if it doesn’t move. But you can also be a lot more creative with used cars handling that end of the market if you really want to attract that audience.

      Enthusiasts are a far better fit for used car inventory than new if you’re looking at the typical car with average demand. You’re not stuck trying to get a decent margin on used metal because the lower price helps the car move a bit faster.

      Also the allocations on the manufacturer level are incredibly sophisticated these days. You’re not dealing with a bunch of district managers anymore, and manufacturers will use a dealer to solve their own mistakes by parking bad inventory with those who seem best at moving that metal.

      Want the Mazdas with the margins? Go help us solve the Mazda 5 and Mazda 2 overstock! That tune doesn’t change. But sometimes low volume vehicles that could get a local following are ignored by the dealer for one big reason.

      They are NOT in the car business. They are in the MONEY business, and a low-margin high risk one when it comes to cars. If a dealer has a choice between buying inventory that appeals to clientele who are fairly ignorant about cars, and those who are enthusiasts, it’s the dumb money that outweighs the smart.

      • 0 avatar
        Jezza819

        “Also the allocations on the manufacturer level are incredibly sophisticated these days. You’re not dealing with a bunch of district managers anymore, and manufacturers will use a dealer to solve their own mistakes by parking bad inventory with those who seem best at moving that metal.”

        Then that process has changed because I could always count on my district manager calling on Thursday begging me to take some of what they had left over. Allocations came out on Monday and you had until the close of business on Wednesday to take yours or pass. Then they would call saying “I can get you another 300C if you can take these two Dakotas from me” or something similar. It was referred to back then as a “sales bank”. Chrysler would pump an additional number of units into a zone and it would be up to the district managers to get rid of them. This is one of the reasons Chrysler got itself into trouble right before bankruptcy. They were building units that they didn’t have orders for just to keep the factories running and avoiding the bad press of an extended plant shut down. Then when the dealers starting putting their foot down because they were overloaded too, Chrysler still kept right on building them.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Apparently you’re looking for more than a Charger, when repeatedly mentioning your income. Hope you find the right guy and not some gold digger. A hard man might to be good to find…but a good man is definitely hard to find. Good luck with the Charger and a that man.

    • 0 avatar

      Uhhh, I think you need to re-read.

      • 0 avatar
        kmars2009

        Ummm no. I think I’ll pass. Perhaps a gold digger IS in order. Now instead of liking you for being liberal, open, or whatever…I can just LOVE you for your SNARK. Your article did not elaborate further on sexual preferences after the “Pride” incident. Or am I mistaken? Whateves.

        • 0 avatar

          *facepalm* Sometimes you can bring the horse to logic water but can’t make him drink.

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            Like I said…SNARK! Apparently you don’t have the gays “locked in” after all. Regardless of your fame, income, or lack thereof. You are a mere click away from other less boorsh, and not nearly long winded writers. Whatever they’re paying you…It’s too much. In addition, I didn’t know you before this…nor to I care to now. What a narcissist. PS. No I did not finish your article…it was uninteresting. Perhaps I missed more riviting detail about you.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Perhaps you should stop putting lables on people based on their sexuality, or their support of minoritites, sexual or otherwise. If Mark were gay, that does not automaticly make him a liberal. Case in point: I am gay and I am most certainly not a liberal.

          Liberals have done nothing for gay rights except talk about them endlessly (while doing nothing) when they think someone in the crowd might relate and therefor vote in their favor. Liberals tend to sympothise with Arab leaders who would stone me to death if I lived in their country instead of here. I find it odd that the gay community and the Jewish community as a whole tend to support liberals who support people who openly murder gay or Jewish people and constantly call for the destruction of Isreal (plenty of comments by Obama and his treatment of Jewish leaders is clear evidence of this). I also find it odd that the black community supports liberals the way they do, seing as to how is was mostly liberals who were against the civil rights bill and it was a Republican who freed the slaves (after the war was over, nonetheless). Ask ole Albert Gore Jr. how daddy Al Sr. voted on the civil rights bill. The democrats have done nothing of any value for the black, gay, or Jewish communities. I despise being associated with them, and this Planned Childkilling …oo.ops I mean Parenthood debacle has me looking at them with greater frustration and anger. That goes for anybody, no matter their party, who voted to continue funding those bastards.

          The only “liberal” cause I support is the legalization of canibus. I put it in quotes because there are a lot of people who are not liberals per say who support it the way I do. I had to sit by and watch my uncle die of cancer knowing I could have eased his suffering greatly with a simple product that we couldve even grown ourselves had it been legal, costing him nothing. I drove him to his treatments day after day after day, watching him waste away, trying my damdest to hold back tears. Would weed have saved his life? Highly unlikely. Would it have allowed him to live his last 6-9 months in comfort and peace? Absolutely. I deal with chronic pain, and have been doing so for roughly 15 years. Weed is much easier on my body than pain pills, its pain relieving effects last longer, and it has only three side effects: Hungry, Happy and Sleepy (thank you Katt Williams!).

          As far as recreational use, while I dont support any sort of impared driving, Id much rather share the road with someone who just smoked a joint 30 mins ago vs. someone who just polished off bottle of Evan Williams.

          /Rant

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            Label? No. Observation? Maybe. Conclusion. Definitely. Opinion? Most definitely.
            Gay Republican? Seems like a contradiction…but that is only my opinion…one I am entitled to. Please remember that.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @JohnTaurus – I struggle to understand the love affair other gays have with liberals. Ok, the reaction to the Supreme Courts decision kinda helped. It was nice to jump on facebook and see all my liberal friends showing their support while my conservative friends bemoaned the end of America. That being said, this idea that who I love should affect my views on every political issue under the sun and instantly make them liberal is beyond me. Why can’t I be gay and an NRA member? why can’t I be gay and be against abortion? My boyfriend has 11 years in the U.S. Navy and considers himself a Republican because he feels they are better for the military.

            I like the unofficial libertarian party motto: I believe gay married couples everywhere should be able to enjoy the proceeds of their marijuana farm without paying it all away in taxes and be able to defend that with an assault rifle.

        • 0 avatar
          mik101

          Kmars2009. Your reading comprehension is an embarrassment. Learn what a quotation mark is and then read the article again.

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            Grammar? Really? Did you read it? Did you get the point? Yes you did. This must me Nazi punishment time, trying to force me to read it. If you observe, I couldn’t tolerate it the first time. Now mik you should be embarrassed.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          @ kmars09.

          Not only did you not read the article, you are excellent at drawing conclusions from thin air. A career in politics beckons – that’s where society puts people who cannot be bothered to learn the facts but have opinions anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            And YOU ARE? I love compliments from thin air…like yours! Politics would would be WAY fun! Isn’t the internet great? I have received so much constructive, and colorful opinions and information. TTAC totally completes me. Thanks for all of your concern. I couldn’t survive another day knowing people don’t just love me. You all are so caring. Whateves!

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            Too much kvetching here for me. I’m out!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Now I can’t be sure, but I THINK your reading comprehension needs a bit o’ work.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Half the Chargers I see running around down here are V8s. Of course, we are talking Alabama.

  • avatar
    A4kev

    Mark
    I had a very similar experience to you and I’m within 50km of Montreal which is generally a pretty car-centric part of the world.In my case I had pretty well decided on an SXT awd and for approx,6 months was unable to obtain a test drive,even as far away as 250km.Got fed up being told by dealers that the rwd hemi or v6 was good enough for a test drive.Fortunately I was also waiting for Audi to come out with a diesel and ended up with a Q5 Tdi which I am extremely satisfied with.FCA lost a 45k + sale and perhaps more importantly a customer who was prepared to return to N.A.product for the first time in 15+ years.Oh well I still like Chargers !

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Unrelated to the Charger debacle, what did you mean about having the LGTB (especially the G part) on lock? I thought you posted in the previous article that an argument with your girlfriend was what got the ball rolling on this whole thing (took a drive to cool off, found that you liked the car, ended up *trying* to buy one). Am I missing something? I apologize in advance is this is too personal to be asked in open forum. If so, please feel free to delete it.

    Back to the Charger, pick out one somewhere between New Orleans and Pensacola and Ill meet you at the Canadian border with it. The only two issues with that would be you wouldnt get to see my beloved Taurus and you couldnt test drive it before its driven 2000 (?) miles to you. That drink with bball and dw sounds pretty good, too, so long as there isnt an ATS in the parking lot so as to ruin the whole evening, lol. I jest, good sirs, I jest.

    Honestly, its been since around 2003 that I have had the pleasure of being in that neck of the woods. I went to Ford’s Centennial Celebration, then went through Toronto, spent some time in Montreal, then drove back down south (in a Ford Tempo LX I might add).

    • 0 avatar

      The comment simply meant the only person to ever recognize me in the street was a gay man, so maybe I have the local gay automotive enthusiast market cornered…or something.

      We really need to do a big TTAC get together of some sort, some time.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Ahh, I gotchya.

        Gay car enthusiests are not exactly common. Im proud to count myself among them and when I first read this article, I though you were as well…then I got to remembering that bit about the girlfriend, so I just wanted some clarification I suppose.

        A meetup would be great. Even though some of us may jab back and forth on here, Im sure a couple of pitchers of beer would have us all laughing and telling car stories…like the time I bought a 4 cyl (!) Taurus for $50 because the engine was “locked up” (it had a mint body, I mean not a single ding or scratch, which was worth much more than $50 in parts to me).
        I towed it with a buddy’s pickup a few blocks away, stopped, popped the hood, turned the battery around the correct way, hooked it up and the car started and drove home fine…albeit with no headlamps (backwards battery fried the switch I guess, I replaced it and they worked fine lol).

        I am sure it was arching and sparking pretty bad when the idiot hooked it up backwards, youd think that wouldve been a clue something was wrong. Luckily a cheap headlight switch was all the damage it caused. Id have thought there wouldve been many other electrical issues besides that, but no.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          When a “buddy” tried to jump my Taurus’s battery backwards the result was a fried ignition module.

          “Even though some of us may jab back and forth on here, Im sure a couple of pitchers of beer would have us all laughing and telling car stories…”

          Hear, hear. A few of the people I argue hardest with here are some of the ones I think I’d like the most in person.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Ive just barely touched the wrong ends when using jumper cables, and it scared the hell out of me with the sparks it produced. I could not imagine holding the clamps down long enough to tighten them with it doing that.

            This was a brand new battery in the $50 Taurus, and it died shortly after this incident. Got it replaced under warranty (in his name lol). Seems like the solenoid also failed soon thereafter, but as I said, hooking the battery up correctly allowed the car to start the evening I bought it. I think that Taurus just wanted to live, and I was just the guy to give it another chance. :D

        • 0 avatar

          I’m also among that crowd. We are a small breed.

          And tell us more about this Taurus. My best friend (also a gay auto enthusiast) had a Taurus 2.0T loaner when he took his 2015 Mustang in for MyFord Touch issues. He christened it the Clit-Taurus (which is particularly insulting from a gay man, since we generally want nothing to do with that body part) and then drove my Golf SportWagen the entire week.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Kyree and JohnTaurus add me to that small crowd. Nice to see us on here. Never would’ve thought I’d see that day when I was younger. Glad to see straight allies in these sorts of groups. Clit-Taurus: omg that made my night roflmao

  • avatar
    Toad

    “Let me be honest with you: I make $100,000 a year at this place and it’s made me not care about cars anymore.”

    Indifferent Dodge salesmen are making $100k per year? And two out of two salesmen told you that on the first encounter? Unless TTAC is paying really well I’d think about hopping off journalism train and start driving a golf cart at my local Dodge dealership.

    Last I heard US car salesmen were lucky to make $50k. Is my information bad, are things much different in Canada, or did I miss the sarcasm?

    • 0 avatar

      No, one out of two. And that was an actual quote. It’s a metropolitan store so it doesn’t surprise me when they are selling eleventy billion Grand Caravans per day.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s a very rude thing to do, telling someone that your six-figure salary disincentivizes you from putting any effort into earning that person’s business. I’d have voted with my feet, too. I’d probably also have contacted Dodge corporate and let them know that this is the kind of person representing their brand.

      • 0 avatar

        As discussed below, I’ve always wondered what effect the Steele/O’Regan’s duopoly has on the car-buying experience in Halifax. I don’t imagine it’s great.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      Most successful car salesmen make 6 figures. It’s not the salary, it’s the bonuses/commissions.

      Most unsuccessful salesmen miss out on that commission money, and get out of the business as fast as they can.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    So, interesting.

    I live in Canada and have now been driving about ten years. In that time, I’ve owned three new cars (my most recent being my current 2011 RX8).

    In all three cases, my local dealer did not have the car I wanted. They sourced one from me from another dealer in two cases, and ordered one from the manufacturer in another. In all cases, I was given 7 days from accepting to return the car and walk away, I had just assumed that was normal business practice, but perhaps not.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it really depends on where you are. Where I live is not “typical” Canada, I guess, and the car I am looking for isn’t stocked by any dealers in the entire region, meaning a dealer would have to source one from 12+ hours away.

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    Mark,

    As the Muricans on here are sayin, you gotta go where the cars and deals are. Detroit, Chicago, DFW, anywhere metro. Remember, the adventure is in the trip. You use the Web to find car(s), fly in drive home. I love takin a trip to buy a car.
    Examples:
    I bought a ’69 442 conv on Ebay, flew to a metro in Ontario, shipped the car(it was winter other wise I would have drove home to Chicago) had a nice lunch with the owner and flew home. The cost was minimal.
    In 12/2012, I bought a 13 Camaro conv online at a Houston dealer, flew down and drove home.
    Last month, I drove to a dealer in Indiana, granted it’s not that far, and traded the Camaro on a Challenger. In each case the trip was a big part of the buying experience.

    You only live once!

  • avatar
    Elusivellama

    The irony being that the Charger is made in Brampton, half an hour from Toronto. I hate the car prices up here…

  • avatar
    jimboy

    I feel for you Mark.
    The Chrysler buying experience in Canada is appalling, especially when you consider that it is the top selling automaker here.
    Your comments about the vehicle selection on lots is perfect;when you don’t stock models, how can you sell them?

    The vehicles I see the LEAST of are the Charger, 300, 200 and Dart.

    Guess which Chrysler vehicles are the lowest sellers in Canada?

    Do you see ANY correlation there, Dealers

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The 200 actually sells pretty well. That aside, you really think that you know the market better than the dealer do? That they aren’t ordering certain cars because they’re stupid?

      Most dealers are pretty good at figuring out what moves, in fact they have neat little tools provided to them by the manufacturers that tell them how long a vehicle is on the lot and how long the average model in that line tends to sit on their lot. They also have tools that show them profits per unit.

      It’s true there’s an ass every seat, but when you have a limited floorplan and lot space, you’re going to try and put asses into seats that bring in the most profits, the fastest. Unfortunately in the great white north, RWD V8 Chargers don’t offer the fastest return on that money. In the Metro areas, the dealers do tend to stock 2 or 3 at least, but the smaller dealers not so much.

      I’ve now had 3 V8 Lx cars, a Charger, a Challenger and a 300. The only one I didnt order was the 300 it was a weird option combo for Canada and it was happily given to me.

  • avatar
    ToeShotGPS

    Mark, are you the writer of the excellent essay in the Toronto Star Wheels section years ago where you wanted to test a GPS unit, so you asked Toyota for 4Runner (they gave it to you) and you programmed in the hotel in Dawson City that serves frozen toes in shot glasses?

    Also, I live in Toronto, my current car I imported new from Buffalo (when the dollar was stronger) and it was a breeze. Saved a ton of dough. I’d do it again. Buying the vehicle in Detroit would be a good excuse to get out of Halifax for a few days.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Weird, as mentioned, here in the Detroit area, the dealers are swimming in Chargers. Practically giving them away. Salespeople seem desperate to move them.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Order the car already! Get exactly what you want! Plum Crazy Purple for 2016! Ordering is open!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Mark if you are like many of your fellow countrymen who make a pilgrimage to the House of Mouse, let us know. I live about 30 miles northeast of Disney and cars.com shows 64 new V8 Dodge Chargers within 50 miles of me including a Hellcat, two SRT 392s, and a Scat Pack. It’s out of 196 total Chargers so nearly a third of ours are V8s.

    • 0 avatar

      But that means I need to go to Florida.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @Mark Stevenson – Come on, we just had a lady get her arm bit off by an alligator in the river I go kayaking in all the time. Why wouldn’t you want to come to Florida? :-P. I know your countrymen are our number 1 international visitor here in Orlando, so just saying if your travels ever bring you down this way, we’ve got no shortage of Chargers here to check out while in town.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    “Even the used lot is as exciting as a Christian stripshow…”

    Interesting to be there when it’s time to pass the basket. Wondering do I put a dollar in or save it for the show….?

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Mark, the lack of Hemis has to do with gas being so darn expensive in HRM. Yes, I know there are plenty of big BMWs and Mercedes out there but they have a different clientele which often times won’t consider a Dodge. While I lived there for 5 years, to me it seemed that the most popular Chrysler vehicles were the Dodge Journey, Ram 1500 and Dodge Minivan. I think your only choice is getting one outside of the HRM. Buying one in USA is getting very expensive nowadays due to the exchange rate. Two years ago, if you bought one in USA you would have made out like a bandit. I remember those painful times, having to deposit my US checks over at RBC.

    • 0 avatar

      Gas prices are definitely a factor, but I think there’s probably more at work. I live in Halifax, and recently spent a few weeks back in my hometown in rural southwestern Ontario. Gas prices there are broadly similar to the HRM (maybe 5-7 cents a liter less on average), and the median income is fairly similar to Halifax city. Difference is, Chargers — bigger cars generally, as well as luxury trucks and full-size SUVs — are *very* thick on the ground there. Variables: lower tax burden, better roads, lower cost of living generally (but much more expensive insurance).

      I’ve often wondered what the effect is of the fact that the Halifax car market is essentially a duopoly between Steele and O’Regan’s. Not good, I’m sure.

      That said, I’ve always felt that O’Regan’s Wholesale tends to have the most interesting used buys in the city go across its lot, so perhaps there’s something to be said for having all sales and trade-in activity go under such a large umbrella.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    It Is a shame how some dealers don’t understand that to sell cars you have to stock at least one of each major iteration. Nobody buys $50,000 items they haven’t tried first. Or most don’t. They then will claim “we don’t stock those, nobody buys them”. It never occurs to them that maybe nobody buys them because they’re buying them elsewhere from a dealer who has one , or choosing another brand.

    You can make it easier on yourself.

    1. Use the internet. You can check most inventories there.

    2. Don’t deal with lot lizards. Call or email the fleet/internet manager if you want the best price.

    3. Do it all on the internet except that test drive.

    4. Be prepared to order if you are particular or don’t like stripper models or loaded models.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I currently drive a 2012 Charger R/T. I got the new car bug and wanted a new 2015 SRT 392. There are none to be found in dealer stock anywhere near me. So, I placed a factory order exactly the way I want it optioned. Laguna leather? Check. Harman Kardon audio? Check. Sunroof? No thanks. I placed the order about 5 weeks ago and it should be here by the end of the month. Now have I driven an SRT yet? Nope, I’ll drive it for the first time when i take my new car for a spin. I can’t wait and I’m sure it will be great. If not, I walk away and the dealer sells my factory order in a week and they can keep my deposit for their trouble.

  • avatar
    Eric S

    Hello Mark,
    My name is Eric Stanley and I am the General Manager at the second store you visited in this article. I am terribly sorry for your experience with our salesperson on your last visit to our store. We spend a tremendous amount of time training our staff to provide a great customer experience and to read about your experience was disheartening to say the least.
    While it is true we are currently out of 2015 Charger product with the Hemi engine we have had a couple of those cars in throughout the year to try and cater to car enthusiasts. While I cannot bring in another 2015 Charger at this point I could bring in a 2016 for you on spec if you would like. If you have time to come in I will sit down with you personally to spec the car so that you can get the exact the Charger you want. I’ll also make sure you get a great deal on that car.
    Again I am truly sorry for your first experience with us and I hope I can make that up to you and help you find the Charger you’ve been searching for. I will be out of town until this Thursday but if you call the store and leave me your number I’ll call you and set up a time convenient for you to come in.

  • avatar
    MoparMike

    There’s a Scat Pack in Middleton, an R/T Road and Track in Moncton and an R/T in Saint John.

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