Dodge's Plan to Stop Dealerships From Gouging Potential Demon Buyers

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

When we announced that the Dodge Demon would have a MSRP below six-figures, the comments section was immediately populated with discussions on how that might not be the case once the strip-focused Challenger arrives in showrooms. The limited supply of early Hellcats came at a significant premium and, for a time, even gently used models were going for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a new one.

Gouging on the Demon seems even more assured since FCA has stated that it will be limited production to a mere 3,300 units in North America. Obviously, there is no way in hell to avoid dealer markup on a vehicle like this one but Dodge seems to think it has found a way to attenuate the matter.

According to Motor Authority, FCA passenger vehicle head Tim Kuniskis says the brand doesn’t want anyone taken advantage of and is very aware of the exploitative pricing that occurred with the Hellcat. Kuniskis says that, since each Demon will have an individually numbered plaque on the dash with the owner’s name, dealers will be forced to order every car for a predetermined buyer. The same goes for the optional customized “Demon Crate” toolbox Dodge is offering.

If you’re wondering what’s stopping dealers from just buying models in advance and ordering those plaques from the manufacturer, Dodge is.

Kuniskis explained that the automaker will only add the plaque on the original vehicle at the factory. Dealers cannot change the plaque after they’ve ordered the car and, while they can order it blank and change it themselves, Dodge won’t associate the name with each car’s serialized number. It won’t be “official” and might look a little off — making the car far less desirable.

When asked if the subsequent owners of a Demon could contact FCA and order a new plaque with their name on it Kuniskis said, “Tough shit.”

Although, how big a difference this will make is debatable. While it does force dealers to play ball with the manufacturer and keeps them from hoarding Demons, there is nothing stopping them all from coming together and deciding to tack on a massive fee just for ordering the limited production vehicle. The plaque preorders will likely help but there’s nothing to indicate they’ll magically nullify the powers of greedy salesmen.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Rudiger Rudiger on Apr 25, 2017

    This whole thing sounds hokey. For starters, the Demon seems like a halo car designed to generate showroom traffic. That's not really going to be happening if it's limited to ordered cars whose owners want to take possession when it comes in. And what's the point of ordered cars only? To limit the paid price to no more than MSRP? Yeah, that ain't happening. I'd be astonished if anyone is able to walk into a Dodge dealership and get his Demon ordered for MSRP. At the very least, whatever the agreed upon transaction, the buyer is going to have to front the entire amount before the dealership orders the car.

    • Mcs Mcs on Apr 25, 2017

      There shouldn't be a problem getting a Demon at MSRP. Just find a dealership in an economically depressed rural area with a salesperson struggling to make their quota.

  • It would be nice if Dodge stepped up and stop dealerships from charging so much over sticker but we all know thats a joke. I just done my Demon contract and the sons of gun are on their best BS plan to charge me over sticker. If theres a number to report them, be sure to know i will find it and when i do i all keep everyone posted. CAR COLLECTORS TAKE A STAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Michael Gallagher I agree to a certain extent but I go back to the car SUV transition. People began to buy SUVs because they were supposedly safer because of their larger size when pitted against a regular car. As more SUVs crowded the road that safety advantage began to dwindle as it became more likely to hit an equally sized SUV. Now there is no safety advantage at all.
  • Probert The new EV9 is even bigger - a true monument of a personal transportation device. Not my thing, but credit where credit is due - impressive. The interior is bigger than my house and much nicer with 2 rows of lounge seats and 3rd for the plebes. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, around 300miles of range, and an e-mpg of 80 (90 for the 2wd). What a world.
  • Ajla "Like showroom" is a lame description but he seems negotiable on the price and at least from what the two pictures show I've dealt with worse. But, I'm not interested in something with the Devil's configuration.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I really like the C-Class, it reminds me of some trips to Russia to visit Dear Friend VladdyPoo.