Do you remember the first time you bought a new car?
Mine was in 2004. The Honda Pilot was in its second model year, and I had to have one.
I did my research and learned everything I could about the SUV. Keep in mind, this was coming up on 12 years ago, and the era of online car research was still in its infancy. I learned enough to know which trim I wanted and the price I was willing to pay.
What I wasn’t prepared for was a little thing called “market adjustment,” a phenomenon that has been taken to all-new levels in 2016.
Back in ’04, the Pilot was a hot-selling number, and the dealers I visited were unloading them within days of receipt.
The car I wanted, a dark green EX-L model, had just come off the truck and was still wrapped in paper and plastic. Everything was perfect, and I began negations, only to discover a $4,000 “market adjustment” on top of the MSRP when the salesman showed me his price.
The short version of the story is that I didn’t pay the market adjustment but still bought the car at close to MSRP.
Market adjustments are nothing new, but some recent controversial pricing on a Shelby GT350 might have you picking your jaw up off the floor. A dealer in New York “has a 2015 Shelby GT350 ready to roll for the no-haggle price of $149,500. Strangely, the sticker for the car isn’t posted, but similar models suggest the ‘market adjustment’ here is at least $90,000. That dealer justifies its price in part on rarity, as Ford only built 137 Shelby GT350s and 350Rs for 2015.”
The base price of the GT350 is about $48,000.
Should such exceptionally massive “market adjustments” be allowed?
A car is worth whatever someone is willing to pay, and the market will determine if the GT350 is a car worth nearly three times its base price. I’d never pay that much, but someone else with a fatter wallet might happily write the check.
How much above MSRP would you pay for a Shelby GT350?