Don’t believe the mostly empty lots!
Los Angeles-based car YouTuber effspot stumbled across something we’ve heard about but haven’t been able to dig up solid evidence of: dealerships are hiding a ton of new inventory in secret locations. Now you might think these dealers are putting their overstock vehicles in some secure location like a warehouse or locked lot, and some definitely are, but effspot found hundreds of Jeeps, Dodges, Rams, and Chryslers stashed in a public parking garage, all apparently put there by just one dealership.
Find out what’s really going on with used car prices here.
The guy says he just stumbled across this stash of new cars, trucks, and SUVs while charging his Tesla. We say he has quite the luck, because even though this dealership is hiding its vehicles in plain sight, most people would never notice. Even though these are all Mopars, we have no doubt dealerships selling other brands are storing plenty of new stock off-site.
Why would dealerships be hiding a bunch of their new inventory? Why to convince the few people who are still shopping for new cars that they don’t have much in stock, so they’ll have to pay over MSRP to get what they want. It’s all a big lie and it’s starting to unravel.
Dealers get allotments from automakers that they’re contractually obligated to take. In the past dealers would leave most if not all of these vehicles on their lots and try pushing as much volume as possible, selling most vehicles at around MSRP or even a fair bit under. But during the pandemic supply dropped and suddenly dealerships could charge people all kinds of crazy amounts for new vehicles. And people were paying that because the covid relief cash was swirling around like on some crazy game show.
Now the “free” government money has stopped, inflation is whittling away at people’s finances, interest rates are up, and layoffs are on the rise. That means fewer people are actually buying cars, especially those that are new are marked way up. But dealers don’t want to stop making obnoxious profit margins on their inventory, so they’re trying to pretend like supply is still constrained like during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, on some foolish car shoppers this is working. They arrive at a dealership, see the lot is pretty empty, and believe the sob story that there are hardly any new vehicles. Then the smooth salesman follows that up with a price that’s thousands above MSRP. At least the shoppers are getting their door guards and nitrogen-filled tires.
Dealerships have been running this scheme for months and months, but it’s starting to fall apart despite some media outlets trying to claim there may be no return to normal for the car market. Instead, both the new and used markets are going in only one direction: down. Just how quickly and by how much remains to be seen, but don’t believe car dealerships have hardly any vehicles and need to overcharge you big time for the privilege of new car ownership.