The car industry has gone through a tremendous transformation in the past three years. And, this is not about electric or self-driving cars.
For a period after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most dealerships were not open at all. Inventory built up. Manufacturers developed backlogs. This changed suddenly. Pent-up demand caused a surge in buying once dealers reopened. Simultaneously, there was a tremendous shortage of the chips used in vehicle electronics systems. Some manufacturers had to shutter assembly lines. Many dealers had partially empty lots.
The average age of the car on the road topped 12 years in 2021. It was a sign of two things. First, cars have been better made in the last decade. Second, the price of new and used cars soared due to shortages. The prices have stayed high. For many Americans, it makes sense to simply keep the cars they own and repair them as necessary.
One of the results of the national car shortage is that some car models are not in stock at all. When dealers do get these popular cars, they are off the lots and into owners’ hands in a matter of days. And, in some cases, they are back-ordered for months. Many dealers have started to change more than the car companies recommend (the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP). This has angered several large manufacturers, and they have threatened to punish these dealers.
Up until two years ago, cars were usually on dealer lots for two or three months before they were sold. Today, the figure has dropped below a month for some models. Among a few, the figure is lower than 10 days. Edmunds made an analysis of this and recently published “You’ll Have a Hard Time Finding These Cars on a Dealer Lot.” Each of the cars on this list stays on dealer lots for less than 10 days. Edmunds also reported on how much of a premium each model has commanded over MSRP.
The car that spends the least time on dealer lots is the Subaru WRX. Its days on lot only average 6.76. And, Subaru dealers have an average mark up of $595 for the WRX.
The WRX is Subaru’s fast sports sedan. Like every Subaru, it has four-wheel drive. The base model has a price of $29,605. The highest price model is the GT which carries a price of $42,395. The car has often been described as extremely affordable, fast, and maneuverable.
Click here to see which car Americans hate the most.
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