Sticker shock is fueling consumer anger in auto showrooms.
A New Jersey auto dealer is selling a new Ford Bronco for a staggering 43 percent above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, as inflation reaches historic levels and auto inventory shortages wreak havoc on consumer wallets.
“We are going to be like Cuba soon,” said one customer at All American Ford in Old Bridge, NJ. “No new cars and we’ll all be driving ’57 Chevys.”
A New York City man expressed his truckin’ outrage on social media this week after he found a 2021 Ford Bronco at the Old Bridge dealer with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $34,855 being sold instead for $49,855 – a “market adjustment” of $15,000.
The 43% up-charge was written by hand in black marker on the window decal.
Ford and General Motors issued a warning to dealers last week to curb the practice of adding fees to their suggested price, threatening to reduce future inventory for those auto retailers who don’t comply, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“We encourage dealers to sell at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price,” Ford Motor Co. spokesman Said Deep told The Post.
Shortages are devastating auto dealers, an All American sales manager said, sparking price increases.
“We normally have over 100 Ford F-150s on the lot,” he said, using the popular pick-up truck as an example. “Right now we have only five.”
The dealer offered another new Ford Bronco, an olive green 2021 model, with an MSRP of $37,790 selling instead for $62,970. All American added $15,000 in dealer upgrades plus another $10,000 “market adjustment,” according to the hand-written updates on the window sticker.
The new tally is a 66% increase over the MSRP.
The Post visited seven other showrooms in New Jersey and New York City — Audi/VW, Chevrolet, Honda, Land Rover/Jaguar, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Subaru — and found many vehicles slapped with “market adjustment” prices.
Among them: several 2022 Chevrolet Silverado and Equinox models listed at $5,000 above the MSRP at Quality Chevrolet in Old Bridge.
Auto shoppers in more normal times scoffed at the manufacturer’s suggested price and negotiated down from it. Not these days.
“Nothing is going under sticker anymore,” said an employee in the All American showroom.
Many of those reacting to the price-gouging post blamed runaway inflation under the Biden administration, with some sprinkling the president-insulting phrase “Let’s go Brandon!” in their posts.
The Consumer Price Index rose 7.5% for the year ending in January, the biggest jump in 40 years. Consumer confidence is falling, according to the University of Michigan. Its preliminary consumer sentiment index dropped to 61.7 in the first half of this month, the lowest since October 2011, from a final reading of 67.2 in January.
The automobile sector has been hard hit by inflation and shortages, most notably in semiconductors essential to powering modern vehicles. Automakers are scaling back production of many different models because they can’t source necessary electronics.
“The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect Ford’s North American plants – along with automakers and other industries around the world,” Ford told CNBC last week.