Monday, June 23, 2008

A fool and his money are soon parted

We all know that most car dealers are scum. It's just a simple fact of life. We've all heard the stories of them adding to the MSRP of cars in high demand or special limited editions, calling it "market adjustment" or some other BS. Let's just call it what it is, price gouging. Most manufacturers strongly discourage it but they have no control over the dealers.

The latest example comes in the form of the upcoming Corvette ZR1. The base MSRP is to be $103,000, already a substantial figure. Some stories are surfacing today, just as GM announced that only a select handful of dealerships will even be getting an allotment of the car, that some dealers are expecting people to pay up to four times the MSRP if they want to get their hands on one. That would be roughly $400,000 ... for a Corvette! Are they insane? Even more insane would be anyone who would even consider paying this amount. The dealers should just rob you at gunpoint. It would make more sense that way.

Don't get me wrong, I love the ZR1 and I think that it is going to be an amazing vehicle. It represents an incredible performance bargain even at over $100,000. Now when you start talking about paying $400,000 for one it just gets silly. If I were uber rich, I would absolutely try to get my hands on a ZR1, for around MSRP. If I had the money to pay $400K for a car, I wouldn't be considering a Corvette, I can tell you that.

Some can argue that it's very limited production numbers will make it an instant collectible and that it may actually be the pinnacle of a dying breed of cars given the environmental issues and the incredibly ridiculous rise in gas and oil prices. Even with that, I don't see it being worth that kind of money. Maybe the first and last production models will someday approach that value in the distant future but not now. A Corvette priced at $400K is way out of it's league.

This isn't the first car to suffer this and it won't be the last. I've read about dealers charging twice the MSRP for Nissan GTRs and E92 BMW M3s as well. Hell, the Honda dealer near where I live has had a Mugen Civic Si sitting in the showroom and advertised on line for over $40,000. Who is paying these amounts just to be the only one on the block? I don't know. If only I had these kinds of problems.

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