In today's chapter of "Dealerships Are Terrible..."
Every time an eagerly anticipated new model comes out, we see stories about auto dealers adding exorbitant markups. It happened with the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it’ll happen with the mid-engine Corvette, and it’s actively happening with the 2020 Toyota Supra.
The price-gouging dealership in question for the Supra is Bill Penney Toyota, in Huntsville, Alabama. The dealership has listed a Toyota Supra Launch Edition for $167,000, or $111,750 more than the limited-edition trim’s base price. With just 1,500 units available, it’s fair to say the Launch Edition is a hot ticket, but we aren’t entirely sure it’s worth triple the price that Toyota suggests, though.
As a reminder, Toyota bases the Launch Edition on the Supra Premium, a car that starts at $53,990. The Launch Edition adds black wheels, red mirror caps, a serialized, carbon-fiber Launch Edition badge, and red leather upholstery. Toyota, perhaps recognizing that that’s not a whole lot of gear, charges a reasonable $1,260 to upgrade from the Premium to the Launch Edition. Bill Penney Toyota, which has one Supra Premium listed at $63,000 (again, over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price), charges $104,000 to make the jump.
Pouring a bit of salt in the wound is that the Absolute Zero Launch Edition in question isn’t even technically a new car. According to a report from Car and Driver, the dealership’s owner purchased the car, put some of the 182 miles on the clock, and then listed it for sale. We’re guessing he didn’t have to pay a markup.
According to the C/D report, the dealership’s owner is basing its exorbitant price on the limited nature of the Launch Edition – Toyota is only building 1,500 Launch Editions and only 500 of them will be wear Absolute Zero paint and red upholstery – and the scarcity of the standard car. Speaking to Car and Driver, the dealership’s general manager said the southeast dealership region, which covers North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, is only allocated 10 Supras per month. As justification for a $5,000 to $10,000 premium – what the dealer said customers have been willing to pay for the four previous Supras that have left the Bill Penney showroom – that’s not unreasonable. As justification for an $111,000 premium, it’s absurd.
According to the report, the dealership is firm in its $167,000 asking price.