Remember the very public mess that Dodge encountered with some of its dealers when the Hellcat debuted in 2014?
It's not going to go through that again when ordering opens up Wednesday for the 840-hp Challenger SRT Demon.
Dodge said Tuesday that the allocation method for a limited edition of 3,000 Demons in the U.S. and 300 in Canada will give priority to vehicles sold at or below the Demon's $86,090 sticker price, including delivery and gas guzzler tax. Demons sold above sticker will be produced only after the "priority production" is completed.
That will put pressure on dealers not to place immediate profit-rich markups on at least the first run of Demons, due to arrive in dealerships this fall.
"We learned a lot when we launched the wildly popular SRT Hellcats," Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands for Fiat Chrysler, said in a written statement. "We've taken that information and created an allocation plan that is clear and concise, builds on Demon's position as the Dodge//SRT halo and makes it easy for our customers to understand how they can put a Demon into their garage and, ultimately, out on the drag strip."
When Dodge launched the 707-hp Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats in 2014, some dealers tacked on tens of thousands of dollars in mark-ups, while others accepted and held hundreds of deposits from consumers even though they had no chance of receiving sufficient allocation to fill those orders. The process strained relations between FCA and some of its Dodge dealers.
"We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer," Kuniskis explained in the statement.
The dealer allocation will work like this, Dodge said:
Terms for Canadian dealers and their 300 units were not announced.
The acknowledgment document must be received by Dodge's Demon Concierge before production for the vehicle will be scheduled. The acknowledgment document also "provides a detailed list of safety considerations, technical specifications and features on the vehicle" to the consumer, Dodge said.
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