At almost $130K asking price, the dealership guidelines are in question.
UPDATE: Nissan has responded with the following statement: "We are aware of the strong demand for the limited-edition Nissan Z Proto Spec. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) are determined after extensive research to provide the right value proposition for the customer, however, the final price of a vehicle is determined by the selling dealer."
The new car dealership model may be in for a dramatic shift. Tesla has been disrupting the traditional dealer business model for over a decade, followed by the Lucid studio and traveling roadshow. Now, the 120-year-old Ford Motor Company is signaling that its dealers are in trouble. But Nissan dealers have been outed as getting greedy with the markups of the new Nissan Z and keeping the limited-edition Proto Spec cars for general managers, and now the Adjusted Dealer Markup (ADM) has hit new levels at Bellevue Nissan dealer in Washington state.
The dealership has a 2023 Nissan Z Proto Spec with a price of $54,915 plus the useless $1,195 protection package. Not bad, right? However, it is the outrageous markup that costs most than the car itself.
"We are asking $129,991. We are taking offers on our 2023 [Nissan Z Proto Spec]." an online sales rep said to The Drive. The reason given for charging an excessive markup of 140% of the value of the car was its exclusivity factor: "There will only be 240 of those made, in the country, there's not many on the ground."
The sticker shock becomes clear when you look at the actual Monroney sticker itself. The ADM is a shocking $73,881 on top of MSRP, adding up to almost $130K!
A markup is nothing new, as we uncovered with the first US-spec cars in the US territory of Guam. In that case, the markup was only $8,300 over the $49,990 Performance MSRP - before we found out the dealer principal had called dibs on the car. However, the Bellevue Nissan dealer is taking it much further. The figure is so high that we don't even know how they came up with the arbitrary number.
At $129,991 that is certainly a lot to ask for a car competing in the junior sports car realm. We reached out for comment to the dealer on the rationale behind the choice here but have yet to hear back. We also reached out to Nissan corporate to find out if there are any safeguards for consumers in this price gouging incident.
But even if you had your sights set on this Ikazuchi Yellow Pearl Tricoat with Super Black interior manual Z but can't afford it, that's fine because there are plenty of better cars you can afford for that money.
Sure the Nissan Z with its 400-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo is fun, even in the snow, as we found out the hard way, but at this price point what else can buyers cross-shop?
The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with 670 horsepower is only a little more than $100,000, but that too will likely be the subject of price gouging, despite GM's best efforts to prevent it.
There are slightly more exotic options like various Porsche 911 trims and the Mercedes-AMG GT. Heck, you could even secure one of the final gas-powered Dodge Challengers in rare convertible form, with a manual transmission, for less.
The dream of an affordable Supra-fighter that could be tuned to play with the big dogs and still save the manuals seems to be disappearing. Well, at least until demand dies down, the Proto Specs are all sold, and a hiccup in the economy comes our way.