When demand sadly outstrips supply.
As much as automakers don’t like them, it’s proving to be difficult to prevent dealerships from marking up hot new cars, specifically performance models. Whether it’s the new Dodge Demon or Honda Civic Type R, two very different cars with not exactly equal sticker prices, dealerships are taking advantage of anxious buyers because, duh, little supply and big demand is profitable. And now we’re hearing from a Reddit user post that Audi is the latest automaker that allows its dealers to jack up prices, this time on the new RS3 sedan.
A user posted an image of a 2017 RS3 window sticker, with the MSRP listed as $66,775. And then there was this, the Market Value Adjustment: $10,000. Total sticker price: $76,775. Even the MSRP sounded a bit high to us, so we double checked the official Audi USA website and, sure enough, we were right. Audi lists the MSRP for the RS3 at $54,900, but that’s without any of the option packages, all of which can easily tack on more than $10k to the final price. So obviously the RS3 in question here has been optioned, but, honestly, an extra $10 grand on top of that that? It’s not fair to directly blame OEMs for the growing trend, but is there more they could be doing to stop its dealerships from adding excessive markups? Yes, but only kind of.
To its credit, Dodge created a US dealer allocation plan for the new Challenger Demon and even created a hotline to provide direct communication between buyers and dealers as part of an effort to crack down on markups. Unfortunately, some dealerships found a loophole and are now using intermediaries on eBay to auction off the right to buy one of their Demon allocations. It hasn’t come to that extreme for the Audi RS3 just yet (another Reddit user commented that their Audi dealer tacked on $2k to the price), but the same can’t be said of the Civic Type R. We just reported on how on Craigslist, not dealers, but owners, are also jumping on board the price gouging game.
After paying thousands above MSRP, a few owners are trying to flip their cars in the hope of making a profit themselves. In one case, the seller stands to make a $22k profit. Crazy, right? Totally, and the Audi RS3 is now the latest price gouging victim.