It seems unscrupulous dealer markups are still alive and well.
A Mercedes dealership in New York is charging nearly $700,000 for a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, representing a "market adjustment" (markup) of $336,840. Sure, this is one of the greatest creations ever to leave Affalterbach. Just 1,700 examples were produced with an eye-watering base price of $325,000, which is a small price to pay for a highly collectible supercar. But would collectors be prepared to pay more than double the original MSRP?
With this much of a markup, you could almost buy two Black Series supercars, but you likely won't find two if this Rockville Centre dealer's inflation is anything to go by. Interestingly, the scandalous price was shared on Instagram via journalist Jonny Lieberman, but the dealership's listing has now changed its ad to read, "Please call for price."
To add insult to injury, the dealership has tacked on a $3,495 "full paint correction & ceramic pro" fee, bringing the final price up to $678,495.
So-called market adjustments have been plaguing the automotive industry for quite some time, but things have gotten out of hand since the COVID-19 pandemic. We've seen $100,000 markups added onto Corvette Z06 price tags and witnessed dealers asking a king's ransom for a Kia EV6, but this takes the cake.
Interestingly, the dealer's website allows the MSRP document can be accessed, but the window sticker is seemingly unavailable on the website. Perhaps the sales team there got too many calls from trolls who blasted the astonishing markup.
This particular model, finished in designo Diamond White Metallic ($1,515), sports a few desirable options. The vehicle was specified with the Burmester High-End Surround Sound system ($4,500), AMG carbon fiber door sills ($1,200), a carbon fiber crossbar ($1,600), and various driver assists ($875), among other things. Sadly, the images on the listing are of a virtual render rather than the example being sold.
Do the well-chosen options (and relative rarity) justify the exorbitant price and dealer markup? We're not so sure, especially as mileage has not been listed.
Looking at the classifieds, there are approximately 20 GT Black Series models currently for sale in the United States, and all of them are priced between $450,000 and $550,000. Then again, this particular model isn't the priciest model we've seen.
One Miami-based dealership is selling a 19-mile example for $699,999.
These brazen market adjustments have angered customers and caught the attention of several automakers.
Ford CEO Jim Farley has spoken out against the practice and told dealers that future vehicle allocation will be "directly impacted" if retailers continue to engage in markups.
That hasn't seemed to work, and offending dealers continue to take advantage of the current automotive retail climate.
Hyundai, among other automakers, has also said it will punish dealers over excessive markups. "We are writing now because, with great regularity, our customers around the country are voicing displeasure with certain pricing practices which, if left unchecked, will have a negative impact on the health of our brand," said the brand in a statement.
Sadly, there's not much an automaker can do about used cars. And in cases like these, Mercedes-AMG probably welcomes the extra coverage of its sold-out supercar.