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

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
dodges plan to stop dealerships from gouging potential demon buyers

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]

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3 of 77 comments
  • 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 28-Cars-Later Just two more weeks.
  • Cprescott Before they take their first competition laps those engines will be recalled.
  • Readallover I always found it hilarious that my parents`friends who paid up for the luxury and exclusivity of a M-B were shocked and disappointed when they went to Europe and found their car was significantly cheaper AND widely used as cabs over there.
  • Laszlo I own a 1969 falcon futura 4 door hardtop, original inline 6 and c4 transmission and it still runs to this day.
  • BklynPete So let's get this straight: Ford hyped up the Bronco for 3 years, yet couldn't launch it to match the crazy initial demand. They released it with numerous QC issues, made hay for its greedy dealers, and burned customers in the process. After all that, they lose money on warranties. The vehicles turn out to be a worse ownership experience than the Jeep Wrangler, which hasn't been a paragon of reliability for 50 years. The same was true of the Aviator, Explorer, several F-150 variants, and other recent product launches. The Maverick is the only thing they got right. Yet this company that's been at it for 120 years. Just Brilliant. Jim Farley's non-PR speak: "You don't get to call me an idiot. I get to call myself an idiot first."Farley truly seems hapless, like the characters his late cousin played. Bill Ford is a nice guy but more than a bit slow on the uptake too. They have not had anything resembling a quality CEO since Alan Mulally turned the keys over to Mark Fields - the mulleted glamor boy who got canned after 3 years when the PowerShi(f)t transaxles exploded. He more recently helped run Hertz into the ground with bad QC and a faulty database that had them arresting customers. Ford is starting to resemble Chrysler in the mid-Seventies Sales Bank era. Well, at least VW has cash and envies Ford's distribution reach and potential profitability.