The Real Story Behind The Challenger Hellcat With The $150,000 Markup

Illustration for article titled The Real Story Behind The Challenger Hellcat With The $150,000 Markup

Despite what you've heard, the $150,000 dealer markup on a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat is real. Well, real isn't the right word. It was actually a very clever trick and a really funny story.


I just got off the phone with the sales manager at Perry Dodge in San Diego, and here's the full story.

They had just received a Challenger Hellcat that wasn't yet ready for sale, so they put it in the back lot where nobody could see it. "My manager told me where it was," the sales manager explained to me, "and it still took me five minutes to find it." The car was tucked away far from sight, even blocked off by two other cars.

Still, you cannot underestimate how much people want to set eyes on 707 horsepower, and people were sneaking back there to see the car.

What the dealership was afraid of was people making offers on the car right then and there for sixty or seventy grand, demanding that the dealership meet their price.

So they figured they would put a ridiculous markup on the car so that nobody would make any offers on it. That's when they stuck the sticker on it with $150 grand for "San Diego Market Adjustment."

And it worked, people stopped trying to buy their Hellcat that wasn't for sale in the first place.


But then somebody took a picture of the markup and the photo went viral.

Not long after, stories started coming out that the thing was a hoax or that it was a travesty. "That's when we took it off and put a 'Not For Sale' sign on it," Perry's sales manager explained.


In the end, the markup sticker was real, just not in the way you thought it was. The people at the dealership sounded a little exasperated about the bad publicity they were getting from people who didn't know the full story, and wished that they had gone even more ridiculous with the markup so people would know it was a joke.

"I wish I had put a million dollars on it," he said. "Then I would've gotten more likes."


Jonathon Klein

That isn't stopping other dealerships from actually doing this though. Here's one from near my house.