Dealers Must Earn the Right to Sell the Challenger SRT Hellcat
On September 9, Dodge finally opened up the ordering process for the all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to dealerships, who likely broke the internet trying to put in their eager requests. There has not been a vehicle launch from Dodge this exciting arguably since the launch of the Viper (whose price was significantly slashed for 2015, possibly to remain competitive with the Corvette Z06 from Chevy). While dealers are going crazy over the initial orders of the new muscle car, they’re going to have to play smart to earn the right to continue to sell the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
That’s because Dodge President and CEO, Tim Kuniskis, will be basing the second allocation partially on how fast dealers are selling the Hellcat, to prevent dealer markup. Dodge will be taking into consideration the Hellcat’s days-on-lot, in addition to the previous 90-days’ sales performance and 30-day inventory turn.
“If you want to market-adjust the car, that’s your right. But if your days-on-lot goes above what the other guys that are selling them at MSRP is, they will end up earning the allocation because their days-on-lot will be lower. They’re turning the inventory,” Kuniskis told Automotive News. “Some dealers are going to have heartburn with that.”
But getting the lion’s share in the initial allocation will also be tough. Even then, Dodge will be examining how much of other products a dealer has sold in the past 180 days.
The fact that the Hellcat is meant to be a halo is exactly why Kuniskis is playing his cards this way. He wants to ensure that the Hellcat is sold fast and on the streets, to get other people excited about it and to respect the brand.
“I want this car out in the marketplace so that somebody is sharing it with 50 of their friends and elevating the brand,” he said. “That’s what I want; not sitting in your showroom with a rope around it. I want people driving these cars, talking about them, revving the engine and having everybody go ‘I want one of those.’ That’s why you build a halo car.”
Dodge’s suggested price to sell the Challenger SRT Hellcat starts at $60,990, which includes destination, but it’s up to the dealers to decide if they’ll tack on any market adjustments.