By on July 5, 2017

2016 Dodge Charger R/T, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

It’s the kind of story dealership employees love to tell during slow afternoons: the decade-old car with an MSO (manufacturer’s statement of origin, which is what cars have before they have titles) in the glovebox, no air in the tires, and 3 miles on the clock, tucked in back with the service loaners or parked behind the body shop.

As with most car dealer fairy tales, there’s plenty of real-world inspiration for the (usually fabricated) story of the moment. In the days when dealerships tended to own their inventory rather than have it “floorplanned” with a bank, and before the manufacturers came up with the idea of revving up secret incentives to sell leftover cars from the previous model year, it wasn’t all that uncommon for a dealer to have an 18-month-old car somewhere on the lot. It wasn’t just the “megadealers” — truth be told, those were the guys who usually had a better handle on a computerized inventory system. I’ve seen everything from ancient (Mercury) Mariners to Old (smobile) Achievas sitting around way past their sell-by date.

Nowadays, the banks and the dealer groups keep a pretty tight rein on their inventory. Cars just don’t get “forgotten” like they used to. Still, there are times when something slips through the proverbial cracks. Should you take advantage of this “mistake”? In this case, I’m asking for a friend, and I’m also asking for myself…

Rudi writes:

48 years old with a 2011 Charger RT AWD with 70k miles on it. We ordered new and absolutely love it, even though it hasn’t been trouble-free. Many electrical issues early on and more recently a fuel pump failure and alternator replacement. Came across a new 2015 Charger RT with a huge discount. I’m so tempted! But it’s been sitting on the lot for over two years? What to do? I have the new car bug even though this is not the ideal time to buy…. Help me!

This email from Rudi got lost in my spam filter, so chances are that I’m too late to answer this question for him.

As fate would have it, while I was cleaning out my spam inbox I also happened to find an email from the nice people at RevZilla alerting me to this new 2007 Yamaha FZ-1 for just $4,995! My long-time readers will recall that I am already the co-owner of a first-generation FZ-1 that I bought with my old pal Sidney. Over the past year or so, Sidney has worked on the bike like a madman, swapping out seals, grinding off the rust, and even sourcing a Yoshimura carbon-fiber exhaust. The problem, from my perspective, is that my friend likes working on the bike even more than he likes riding the bike, so it’s apart more often than it’s together. I’ve only ridden it once since buying it. So if I bought this leftover FZ-1 I could stop hassling Sid about when he’s going to have his rotisserie restoration completed.

It’s much more common for motorcycle dealers to have leftover inventory than it is for car dealers to have leftover inventory. The reasons for this are many and varied but it boils down to the fact that the automotive market is a lot more rational than the bike market, and you can always sell a factory-new car by cutting the price 25 percent and putting an ad in the paper. That won’t always work for the bike buyers, who are usually buying a toy instead of a tool and therefore tend to be remarkably picky and weird about what they want. The last two bikes I bought were leftovers; I got a 2014 CB1100 in the summer of 2015 and my wife bought me a 2015 ZX-14R in the autumn of 2016. I’m pretty sure you could still find new examples of both out there on the internet.

With cars, it’s different. If something is still on the lot in the calendar year after its model year, there is probably a specific reason for this. The most common reason is what I call the “Body Shop Shuffle”, which works like this:

* Somebody manages to damage a car that is part of dealer inventory. This can be anything from a scraped-up fender to a full-on airbag-deployment wreck.
* The car is sent to the dealer’s body shop…
* …where it is assigned absolute dead last priority…
* …and after a year or so of being shoved out of the way by paying customers…
* …the shop finally gets around to fixing it and sending it back out to the lot…
* …only to find that the car is basically Rip Van Winkle and it has slept through the incentives.

I’m willing to estimate that more than half of the suspiciously old cars you see on the dealer lots are there are because they had to leave inventory for a repair of some type. Which leads us to the question: Does the dealer have to disclose that repair to you? This is where all of my truly savvy readers will pipe up and say, “IT DEPENDS ON STATE LAW!” Different states have different laws about what has to be disclosed. A rough guideline is that if a car has incurred damage of 6 percent or more (it’s three in some states, but this varies), the dealer is supposed to disclose it to you.

So in the case of this leftover 2015 Charger that was originally stickered at, say, $35,000, it might have to be more than two grand worth of damage in order for Rudi to be entitled to a disclosure. Does it matter? It depends on what Rudi’s going to do with the car. If he’s going to keep it until it’s fundamentally worthless, it probably doesn’t matter if it has a repainted quarter panel. The problem would be if Rudi tried to sell it in good faith as a no-accidents, no-damage car to someone three years after buying it and that person (or dealer) happened to be better at noticing the damage than Rudi was.

I can also envision a situation where the car is sold to Rudi as a new car and then the dealer body shop obligingly tosses the damage report into one of the data aggregators a year later. Now the car has a “bad Carfax” thanks to a situation Rudi knew nothing about.

Even if none of that is the case, however, I’d still be a little wary about buying an car that has sat in inventory for anything between 18 and 30 months. It definitely needs an oil change and fresh brake fluid. The transmission might need a look-over. The tires are probably flat-spotted and, in any event, they are old. A lot of the savings you’d expect might vanish pretty quickly.

In the case of that 2007 Yamaha, I think that $500 worth of tires and fluids should rectify the situation. But I’m not so sure about the Charger, which is a much more complicated machine. I’d want to see SERIOUS savings — something more than 30 percent off retail — before I even considered it. What about the rest of you? Would you buy a lot leftover like this one? Should I buy that Yamaha? If not, will somebody go over to Sid’s house and help him finish the fork rebuild?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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63 Comments on “Ask Jack: I Need NOS (New Old Stock), and I Need It by Tonight!...”

  • avatar

    …with a 2011 Charger RT AWD with 70k miles on it. We ordered new and absolutely love it, even though it hasn’t been trouble-free. Many electrical issues early on and more recently a fuel pump failure and alternator replacement…

    Rudi, thank’s for curing me of my fantasy of having my next vehicle be an LX platform vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, ajla said he had problems with his Charger too.

      I’d pass.

      • 0 avatar

        I recall many of Ajla’s problems being electrical too.

        Which apparently means that Chrysler is using Lucas as supplier for their wiring harnesses.

        • 0 avatar

          Says right in the Chryco manual you have to top off your Lucas wiring harness smoke every 50K miles.

          • 0 avatar

            Chryco don’t need no help from blighty. Ask any old Mopar man about a fusible link factory bundled in the middle of a harness if you want to possibly learn a new cuss word or two.

        • 0 avatar

          “Which apparently means that Chrysler is using Lucas as supplier for their wiring harnesses.”


          Omni Charger fires, anyone?

    • 0 avatar

      My 2014 Charger’s problems have mostly been electric. Second biggest issue category is fit/finish and build quality (some of which I expected and some that’s more WTF?)

      No fuel pump failure for me, but I did have an HVAC blend door break

      I called it a Kmart E60 550i a few weeks ago and I still think that’s an accurate summation.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Dan, no!!! Don’t fall for an anecdote! Head straight for TrueDelta and look at the data instead.

    • 0 avatar

      To offset these anecdotes, I offer that I’ve had three LX vehicles and none of them had any issues under warranty at all. Take that anecdotal warriors!

      Correction: The 2017 R/T I have now has a radio that will sometimes suggest that one of my favorite songs is playing on SXM, then when I select the button, there is sometimes nothing there. I suppose I could take it into the dealer and demand they change the radio then slam the vehicle with a defect under some quality survey, but that’s really much more of a nuisance to me.

  • avatar

    My local Chrysler dealership has brand-new ’15 200s in stock.

    And now you can buy ’15 VW TDIs with “the fix” (which, as it turns, may not be as bad as everyone thought it would be).

  • avatar

    Another thing to consider if you don’t plan on keeping the car forever: the minute you drive that 3 year-old “brand new” car off the lot, it just becomes a low-mileage 3 year-old used car with attendant resale value.

    Oddly, I bought my Honda VFR as a last year’s model for something like 25% off MSRP. My plan was to keep it for 10 years, and I liked the ’09 better than the new-for-2010 1200 model, so I was happy with the deal. It turned out that that particular bike held its value so well (probably because I wasn’t the only one who preferred the old 800 to the new 1200), that when I crashed it more than half a year later and was looking to replace it with a used version of the same thing, the used ones were selling for the same or more than what I paid for mine brand new.

    • 0 avatar

      “Another thing to consider if you don’t plan on keeping the car forever: the minute you drive that 3 year-old “brand new” car off the lot, it just becomes a low-mileage 3 year-old used car with attendant resale value.”

      Exactly, which is why the math usually falls apart when you buy any “ultra low” mileage car. As soon as some miles are put on it, the depreciation goes up a lot faster.

      It has to be a hell of a deal to make sense.

  • avatar

    Interesting looking online according to auto trader there are 1400 cars 2015 and older new on dealer lots within 200 miles of my house.

    Including 3 2013’s
    A malibu eco
    A kia Serento and a
    Buick lacrosse premium.

    The vast majority of the other NOS cars are luxury rides huge amounts of MB and Beemers as well as a large number of Lexus.

    • 0 avatar

      When I’m reallllllly bored I sometimes go to AutoTrader and pick a category, a price limit, features I want, “new”, and “oldest first”. The results can sometimes turn up strange things.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, I have a semi-local 2013 Sorento available, too… allegedly, there are no photos and it’s AWD, so I don’t know how it *couldn’t* sell.

  • avatar

    I bought a new 1989 Honda Hawk GT in 1993. Great bike, had no issues related to having sat for four years, but it did quit running in the middle of nowhere Nebraska 100+ miles from the nearest Honda dealer. Luckily it stopped running in a gas station, and a friendly trucker and I were able to find a loose electrical connection and once it was snapped back together, off I went.

    I would have no issue buying a car that was new and unused but had sat a couple of years.

  • avatar

    A couple of area dealers got caught hiding vehicles that were reported as “sold” to the manufacturer. One was Marge Schott in Cincinnati; another was a Ford dealer just south of my home. I visited the Ford dealer (who later lost his franchise) and “miraculously” found a couple of five-year-old ’94 model year Taurus’s and Ranger’s in the showroom with the original MSRP and Monroney stickers as well as the factory plastic wrap on trim pieces when I was truck shopping in ’99. The paint on these vehicles looked as if they had been outside stored since new (probably in some bean-farmer’s field behind a barn). I didn’t bother to check for mouse-nests in the upholstery. Buyer beware.

  • avatar

    I bought my Viper this way, a new 2013 in August 2015 (just as 2016s were starting to roll out). It had been roped off on a pedestal for more than two years and I was the first one they even gave a test drive to. I’m not sure what prompted them to all of a sudden get sick of it and have a fire sale for more than 40% off sticker but I was happy they did. No ill effects although I did have them change oil and check tires before I look delivery.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again if the price is right. As was mentioned above, the initial depreciation hit vs sticker price is much steeper when you are talking 2-3 model years old. Compare what an equivalent year used car with low miles books for before making the decision. Although keep in mind the factory warranty doesn’t start until the car is first titled.

    • 0 avatar

      Makes sense with a Viper, after all they are more like a bike and sell in very low numbers to very particular customers. But on a normal car like a Charger? I would do my homework as to why this car sat for so long.

  • avatar

    “Even if none of that is the case, however, I’d still be a little wary about buying an car that has sat in inventory for anything between 18 and 30 months. It definitely needs an oil change and fresh brake fluid. The transmission might need a look-over. The tires are probably flat-spotted and, in any event, they are old. A lot of the savings you’d expect might vanish pretty quickly.”

    Based on the date of manufacture, my ’15 Honda Fit had sat on the lot for a little over a year before I bought it. I changed the oil after 1,000 miles of break in. Most folks don’t change their brake fluid every year so I doubt the fluid picked up a measurable amount of water. The tires weren’t flat spotted but the OEM Firestones have crappy grip in all conditions. The ESC triggers frequently because of poor tire grip. They’re also wearing pretty quickly. Oh well, I’ve always planned on getting a second set of wheels so I can do the summer/winter tire thing. After the Direzzas/Blizzaks on the Saturn, I’m a convert to the church of season specific tires.

  • avatar
    Shane Rimmer

    I bought a new 2014 Honda CTX1300 a few months ago with a pretty steep discount. In my experience, old new stock motorcycles are a bit safer to buy as the dealership doesn’t put the brake fluid and all that in until it’s being prepped for delivery.

  • avatar

    Something similar to this situation happened to me with a 2007 Pontiac Vibe I purchased. It was late August, and I hit the dealer late at night, my theory is hit them late when they are tired, and they give you a better deal. I already knew the price was good, and after a short discussion we reached agreement and I also used my GM credit card points for additional discount.

    I was happy. The next day the dealer called and said the sales manager needs to talk to me urgently for some paperwork that needs to be signed. So I went back in and apparently it was paperwork for me to agree that the car was damaged on the lot and had been fixed. Needless to say I was furious since I thought I had bought a brand new car. The dealer gave me another white Vibe at the same price (it had a sunroof so I had to pay for the extra cost of it). At least in Georgia they have to tell you if the new car was in an accident on the lot.

  • avatar

    A few years ago I asked a dealer about a year-old new Mazda 6. I was astonished they were only willing to go down a bit on price, not much of a discount at all. And the dealer had a half-dozen of them sitting on the lot collecting dust and UV damage, too.

    I left thinking the dealership was probably involved in fraud of some sort, otherwise they would have been desperate for someone to take those cars.

  • avatar

    He does say it has a huge discount, and I’d wager there’s probably still room to get the price lower.

    But your question about how long he intends to keep it is probably a bigger factor than the discount.

    I personally always buy a vehicle with the intent to use it as a long term daily driver, so trade in or re-sale value within 3-5 years is nothing I care about. So, I would consider a new-old vehicle like this depending on the price, especially if I could work in a gratis tire change into the deal, which I think is more critical than a fluid change in this situation. Brittle or flat spotted tires represent an immediate safety issue, and I can always get the fluids changed pretty soon after or just pay that cost….and new tires generally a higher out of pocket cost anyway.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Bought my Civic Realtime AWD Wagovan new from a dealer who had 4 of them sitting on the lot for many months. I knew the situation and it held its value. And it was dead on reliable.

    Bought my MT Sonata after hours of haggling directly with the dealership owner. Thought that I had negotiated a good deal. Only a week after taking delivery did I notice the manufactured date on the door panel. 11 months prior to my taking delivery. Needed to swap out the engine and cabin air filters and wiper blades fairly early. The gas cap release also seized up.

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t be very worried. My ’96 Thunderbird was a similar situation – the wife of one of the owners of the dealership apparently drove it as a demo initially, then it lingered on the lot for awhile and we bought it with 5000-ish miles in August 1998.
    The Charger in question definitely could use an engine oil change. Changing brake or transmission fluid on a car that new seems a bit overly cautious to me though.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This is only sort of related, but I once worked for a dealership that would routinely lose used cars that had been sent to their respective manufacturers’ service departments for proprietary repairs. It was almost an entire year before anyone noticed that a certain low-mileage Nissan Murano was missing.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d make a comment about installing cameras but nobody is going to keep footage for a year.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Well, they weren’t being stolen; the dealership genuinely lost track of them and was so disorganized, it didn’t notice it was paying floorplan loans on cars that had been in inventory for 11 months, unless those were especially profitable units (like douchebag lifted diesel trucks) that the salesmen knew they could shift quickly. And the older cars that the dealerships carried on the books…fuhgeddaboudit. Those could outright disappear and no one would have been the wiser.

    • 0 avatar

      Ok, now I’m dying to know. How did that turn out?

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        They eventually collected it, but not before everyone working in the back office heard about it. I found out because the GM was loudly bitching about it upstairs.

        The one that got me was the time we got a lightly-used, ex-auction 2014 Sorento LX and this woman drove in to Oklahoma from northern Kansas in order to purchase it (why, I do not know). She’d of course pre-negotiated a price over the phone / Internet, but only afterward did the dealership realize that it had sunk some additional costs into that car by replacing the spent transmission. So, rather than honoring the original price or compensating the woman for driving all that way, the decision-maker decided that it would jack up the price of the car to cover the transmission replacement, and then sent the woman packing when she rightfully balked.

        Oh, and there was also the time when the dealership appraisal boffins overpaid someone considerably on trade for a 370Z Touring because it had NISMO decals across the sides, so they’d thought it was a NISMO edition; a simple VIN check—which I had thought was standard practice—would have told them otherwise. From what I understand, the customer hadn’t even attempted to defraud them. He just presented it for a trade and they decided that it was a NISMO because of the decals and gave him probably way more than he expected. I was so amused, I almost put M badges on my X5 and offered it to them for sale.

  • avatar

    Motorcycles are delivered in a crate. If you order 5 DR-Z400S for 2016 you only assemble and showroom 1 at a time. Remainder are stacked and stored. And you can store a large number of bikes in small amount of space with no worries of them being damaged.
    New Old Stock in motorcycles is nothing to worry about from a buyers view.
    The days of 3 to 6 year old brand new cycles on the floor is for the most part history. 2 years old is uncommon though the cycles typically have not been at the dealer for two full years. Inventory is much leaner than it was in the good old days of “what’s going to sell this year”?

    • 0 avatar

      You want something nice for a deal? Brand new 2014 Honda CB1100 (the retro-air-cooled four cylinder). Honda’s warehouse has a load of them, we just set one for the showroom. It came with a quarter inch of dust that had managed to get under the crate bag and a dead battery. Which I’m still trying to get Honda to cover under warranty.

    • 0 avatar

      1980s recession and motorcycle sales war between manufacturers generated those motorcyycles that were being pulled out of crates as NOS new 3 to 6 years after production. This especially happened when dealers went bankrupt and the stock was tied up for several years.
      Can absolutely confirm this because my father bought a brand new 1982 Yamaha in August 1987 (XJ650RJ Seca 650 4cyl Euro style model which hadn’t sold well in the US heartland/rust belt because of the demand for cruiser style motorcycles plus a dealership bankruptcy).

  • avatar

    If the price is right, and the history is otherwise clean, go for it. Just make sure there’s no brake or tire vibrations from lot-rot and maybe a fresh oil change. The other fluids will likely be fine unless the vehicle was in a flood or something.

  • avatar

    I thought bikes weren’t actually fully assembled until they are purchased. SO buying an older new one not as big a deal.

  • avatar

    I just don’t trust any sort of innocent explanation in this day and age. I would think 9 times out of 10, there’s a reason why it hasn’t sold and its not being disclosed. Decades ago, I would be more open to a car that simply fell through the cracks.

    I also found the OP story of all the Charger problems he’s had and wanting to get a new one funny. What is it with MOPAR fans? Do they all have Stockholm Syndrome?

  • avatar

    My dealership experience began at a rather sad Dodge facility. Let’s just say everything in the building was sticky.

    At this time (1993) they sold D-truck Rams, some with the 5.2 liter “Magnum” V8, and it made the truck quite the butter-face. We sat at the Denny’s end of a “magic mile” or whatever, and had triangular rows of green Shadows, Spirits, Island-skittles-colored Dakotas and two-tone Cummins Rams.

    At the back were the unsellable oddballs like loaded Dynasties and stick-shift Colts. One such gray short box, regular cab truck with dog dishes had sat for years, it’s red vinyl seat stiffening in the sun. I believe it was a ’91, and I know it had the V6. The word was given that it was to go no matter what. Rather than use a ridiculous discount, it was upgraded with dual exhaust, Centerline-ish wheels, white-letter tires, chrome bed rails, fender-lip trim, running boards, and step bumper. Not a bad looking final product, and it finally went home after the JC Whitney version of a Chip Foose overhaul. I hope they didn’t finance badly (as many Dodge buyers did in the age of Miami Vice tape stripes). The new Ram came out mere days later and probably made it completely worthless.

    • 0 avatar

      Haa funny. In 1993 one of our boy scout leaders bought a leftover 91 grey reg long bed 2wd halfton ram. I remember he showed up around the same month the new one was released. As a teen I thought he was nuts, I just hope he got a good deal.

  • avatar

    To Jacks point about dealer repairs. Twice when I was a insurance adjuster/appraiser I ran into cars that were supposed to be brand new when bought and had clean records but obviously had cheaply done repairs that were not disclosed to the buyer. They reared their head when the owners were in fender benders which revealed copious amounts of body filler.

    Not that I can say much back when I worked for a boat dealer I fixed several damaged hulls before customer delivery.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      What typically happened when the buyers discovered their “new” cars had been crashed? Did they go after the dealers? Did the adjuster need to re-evaluate them?

      • 0 avatar

        They both contacted the dealers. One ended up going thru the other parties insurance so I wrote an estimate and that was it. The other was an Imprezza with 800 miles on it. The owner brushed a tree in their driveway as I recall. The bumper cover had some scrapes but something was off. From 50′ away I was going to tell them it was going to be under their deductible, so don’t claim it ( just needed a bumper respray) but when I got close I saw body filler under the scratches. Crawled underneath and found that the cover had been torn open on something (maybe unloading the truck or something similar) and the foam underneath the cover had been damaged. The dealer had apparently just slapped body filler over everything and sprayed it with the cover on the car and blended it, which usually doesn’t work but this car was white so it was hard to tell. So the car would need a new cover new foam absorption piece and paint. I gather the young women who owned the car had her father raise hell with the dealer. After the estimate the closed the claim so i assume they talked the dealer into fixing it.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Bastard dealerships.

          • 0 avatar
            gator marco

            We were very upset with a Chrysler/Plymouth dealership in Florida that failed to disclose hidden damage on a 95 Plymouth Voyager we purchased. The vehicle was sold to us as brand new, only a few miles on it. Before we even owned it 2 days, the weather seal on the rear window was falling off. The dealership sent the vehicle off for repair, and put us into a rental. The weather seal was covered with tape, and we were told to bring it back in a couple days for the dealership to remove the tape. We were happily driving around in it when my 7 year old daughter started handing me broken glass from the middle seat.
            Off to the dealer for a complete cleaning and detail, and remove the tape from the back window. They kept the van for 3 days, and assured us it was perfect and ready to go. We had not left the dealer lot when my daughter handed me some more broken glass.
            Back to service, and another loaner. I then called Chrysler corporate, and stated I wanted someone other than the dealer to look at the van before I was going to drive it again. Corporate took my information, including the VIN. The dealer called us the next morning, and asked if we could come down to the dealership to pick out another vehicle.
            Apparently, the van had been damaged in transit from Windsor to the US, and had been sent to a local Chrysler shop in Michigan for glass repair and body work. The vehicle was supposed to not be sold as new and was supposed to be tagged as damaged. Somehow our criminal dealership got the van, took out all the damage paperwork, and just put it on the lot for some schlub to buy as new.
            We wanted to cancel everything and go elsewhere, but the Chrysler corporate drone persuaded us that we could pick out whatever van we wanted and keep the same deal. We got a different van, with many more options, and assurance from Chrysler corporate that this new vehicle was brand new and not damaged. The dealer sheepishly threw in 2 years of free oil changes, which I never used, by taking that new van to a Dodge dealership in the same town. Kept it for 5 mostly trouble free years, then the spouse got bored and we traded it for a CUV. First and last Chrysler product we ever bought.

  • avatar

    I bought a late-model Mazda a few years ago that had been sitting for 16 months. Nearly 30% off. Cosmetic damage to the front, fully disclosed (with photos) and repaired before delivery. The dealer did a full oil change before delivery too. ended up needing 4 new tires due to cracking and flat-spots, which the dealer sneakily claimed via the guarantee from Yokohama.

    I ended up getting rid of it after only two years, took a massive bath on the depreciation, so it didn’t work out as being particularly good value financially – it had the value of a 4-year old car at sale time. So don’t do it unless you’re sure you want to keep the vehicle a long time!

  • avatar

    I’ve bought my last 3 cars in February following the end of the model year. Average about 30% off, and I keep my cars for about 10 years so depreciation is not an issue. Never occurred to me that they might have been damaged, but I’ve never had any problems.

    • 0 avatar

      I tend to show up last week of the month….and mid week, and in bad weather if possible. I also allocate a few hours to the trip…so far, so good. I’ve only been taken once in all my car buying, by a SAAB dealer, a long, long time ago….

  • avatar

    Dodge dealers are putting enormous amounts of money on the hood of 2017s to get them off the lots. At least 10 grand. Someone would be better off buying one of those.

  • avatar

    I used to know a warehouse in Harbor City that was packed to the rafters wth (mostly Honda) unsold bikes in crates .

    I tried several times to get in and take a look but they shooed me out *very* quickly .

    More Dealer stories please .


  • avatar

    I was a technician at a Nissan dealership in the late ’90s. We had the only Stillen 300ZX Twin Turbo with an automatic transmission because the GM couldn’t drive stick. The car sat in the showroom for years until a customer offered about 2/3 what the dealership had in it. SOLD! It was probably the last new Z32 300ZX sold at a dealership.

  • avatar

    the topic of new old stock was a question i was going to send you myself.

    had been looking for a cpo 2014 kia cadenza when i found a new one sitting on a lot near chicago… as I recall the asking price was under $22k for a $36k+ msrp before it finally disappeared. it was only a few thousand more than the much higher mileage cpo vehicles i was looking at.

    my question is how do you find out (or can you) what kind of incentives are available? i guess you can’t? Just have to contact the dealer and start to haggle? Seems to be the advice is 30% off msrp… oil change and tire inspection would be the major concern for me, but good to know to ask about damage/repairs.

    still some NOS 2015 models out there.

  • avatar

    I’ve had some good luck buying like this. I got a “forgotten” 2004 Accord LX V-6 coupe for almost $6k off the $24.8k sticker in April 2005, a 2010 Mini convertible with stick for $7k off the $26k sticker in December 2010 and a 2014 Cadillac ATS manual for $13k off the $37.5k sticker (including a $3k GM Card bonus) in January 2015.

    I’d say go for it, if the price is right.

  • avatar

    I worked at a place that had a Volvo 780 Bertone that celebrated a birthday in the showroom. One day it needed to be moved off the showroom floor in order to get another car out. Accidently, the car was forgotten and left outside overnight with the keys hanging from the ignition. The next day, the sales manager says: “What do I have to do? Leave a $20 bill on the dash for gas money too?”

  • avatar

    I purchased a new 2015 Chevy SS in February 2016. I got about $6k off the sticker and was able to get them to give me more for my trade than they originally offered so I did the deal.

    I should have checked the date of manufacture sticker in the door jamb when I asked the salesman how long it had been in stock. “Hmm, I’m not sure…” Yeah, sure you’re not. Anyway, the car had about 30 test drive miles on it so I drove it home.

    I had a pretty strong feeling that it was on the lot for a while as I eventually discovered that the front fender didn’t quite match the rest of the car. I took it back and the Autonation body shop blended the paint while I drove a new Suburban for 2 weeks. It looked ok to me but the car was tainted after that. Another cue that it was sitting for a while was that the windshield wipers were shot after a few months. Streaking all over the windshield no matter how I cleaned them.

    I kept it for 13 months and traded it for a 2017 SS that arrived at the dealer 2 days before I took delivery during the 20% off sale back in March. Now a happy camper.

  • avatar

    I’ve bought a few lot queens over the years. Our 08 Mazda 5 was bought new in May 09 after spending a year on the lot of a Bronx Mazda dealer. My 04 Lancer Sportback LS was also on the lot over a year and $5000 under MSRP. My 2010 Altima was leased new in 2011 after sitting for about a year for a sign and drive lease by a local mini-mega dealer.. They were either unwanted cars or oddly equipped (15 similar Altima, all equipped oddly and most in the same color.)

    The biggest problem I’ve had is bad batteries and brake rotors that are never quite right. If I find another queen for my next car, I’ll have them replace that right away. Each one was fixed under warranty for those problems

  • avatar
    Peter Voyd

    Nice Coleridge reference!

  • avatar
    Mr. Bill

    Did this once and never again…

    2014 Buick Verano with a build date of late 2013 that I took delivery of in March of 2015. I got a great discount on it, but after a while of ownership, I noticed many paint and exterior trim imperfections that came with the car sitting out in the open on the dealer’s lot for way over a year’s time. Paint spots, mottled clear coat from bird droppings, and dull brightwork were some of the issues.

    As someone mentioned, trade-in value is horrible so I will just drive it until it is absolutely worn out. I keep the maintenance up on it as it is a nice car, but I don’t worry about the exterior cosmetics. In fact, I enjoy not worrying about what could happen to it.

    However, never again…

  • avatar

    Rudi here. Thanks for the replies. Even though my 2011 Charger was not that reliable, we really enjoyed the car’s power…it was some cruiser and it sounded great. To me it was the ultimate q-ship. What initially led me to consider a new Charger was that I had read about Dodge offering 20% off of MSRP on leftover cars (you know, because it’s not a SUV/CUV) and I really wanted the new 8speed auto (2011 was 5speed auto). I priced many Chargers and in the end purchased a 2107 Charger Daytona 392 (black) for 20% off of MSRP and the dealer (over an hour away) offered $2k more for my trade-in then several local dealers. After nearly 4k miles on the car I am loving this car which I named “the beast”. 485hp, 6-piston brembos (4-piston in back) brakes with every option….hated the kid-like Daytona stickers/decals so had them removed. The car sounds (and goes) like the devil….people are shocked by how loud it is….

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