As we recently found out, the 840 HP Dodge Demon lives up to all the hype. Despite Dodge’s best efforts to encourage dealers to sell at MSRP, some dealers are turning to auctions to get top dollar without sacrificing their order timing.
While a manufacturer cannot determine what a dealer sells a car for, Dodge came up with an incentive program where the dealers that agreed to sell their Demons at or below MSRP would get priority orders, dealers that sold their car for a markup would get their cars later. It was a good idea, in theory.
According to Automotive News, some Dodge dealers are using intermediaries on eBay to essentially sell the right to buy the car at sticker price. Basically, the scheme works like this, a Dodge dealer gives an allocation at MSRP to an intermediary, that person then auctions off his or her right to buy the car at sticker price. The buyer would still be technically paying sticker price for the car thus keeping the priority order, but paying the intermediary a hefty sum to get that spot.
Automotive News spoke with one of these auctioneers who said he had an “outside relationship” with the dealer selling the car and said “”there will be somebody directly from the dealership contacting the winning bidder prior to any money being exchanged so that the deal is understood from both sides.”
Other dealers are using auctions as what they consider a fair way to determine who gets to buy a Demon, but the proceeds would go to a charity.
From the story -
Bill Marsh Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Traverse City, Mich., the dealership’s single Demon will be sold for $1 under the sticker price, but the right to buy it will be auctioned off among the dealership’s existing customers for the benefit of four local charities, says marketing director Mike Kent.
The auction solved a conundrum for the no-haggle dealership, Kent says, “which is ‘How do you maintain the integrity of one-price when the value of the car goes beyond its MSRP?’ This gets us beyond that.”
Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis admitted the automaker is basically powerless to prevent these kinds of sales, “We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer.”
With only 3000 cars being made for the American market, it’s no surprise these types of markups are happening and if Dodge really wanted to prevent them the solution is simple... just make more Demons.