‘We’re going to be like Cuba’: Car dealers jack prices amid inventory crunch as Ford, GM issue warnings

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A New Jersey auto dealer is marking up vehicles as much as 43 percent over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price as inflation and supply chain issues take their toll on the struggling industry.

All American Ford, located in Old Bridge, NJ, is one of several area dealerships that are trying to cope with customer demands while also making ends meet, The New York Post reported. The customers are not satisfied, however.

“We are going to be like Cuba soon,” a prospective buyer told the Post while browsing the Old Bridge dealer’s lot. They went on to lament that the market trends were leading to a situation with, “No new cars and we’ll all be driving ’57 Chevys.”

The dealer has made handwritten adjustments to a number of the price breakdowns displayed, scrawling in black marker “market adjustment” fees coming to $15,000 in some cases. One 2021 Ford Bronco with a typical manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $34,855 was now offered at $49,855.

An employee of Old Bridge said they can’t even negotiate under current constraints. “Nothing is going under sticker anymore.”

The manager explained that the “market adjustment” fee wasn’t just because of the 7.5 percent inflation over last year. They simply don’t have the inventory like they used to.

“We normally have over 100 Ford F-150s on the lot. Right now we only have five,” he said.

Those inventory concerns may only grow worse for the dealer, however, as parent companies are trying to protect their assets as well.

Ford and General Motors have issued warnings to dealers threatening the supply of future models if additional fees aren’t reigned in, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Said Deep, a spokesman for the Ford Motor Company told the post that while they can’t tell the dealers what to charge consumers, “We encourage dealers to sell at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.”

These threats come as chip shortages have already forced production lines to roll back.

“The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect Ford’s North American plants,” CNBC reported on a statement from Ford. “Behind the scenes, we have teams working on how to maximize production, with a continued commitment to building every high-demand vehicle for our customers with the quality they expect.”

Meanwhile, Old Bridge has another 2021 Ford Bronco on their lot with $15,000 in dealer upgrades and another $10,000 “market adjustment bringing the price to $62,970, 66 percent over the MSRP of $37,790.

With shares in Ford down by 13.5 percent already this year it seems the economy is wreaking havoc on individuals and corporations alike.

Rather than offer solutions or plans to get out of this ongoing crisis, President Biden appears to be offended that he is being questioned on what he has done and, instead, pushes the blame to others after over a year in office.

“But look, at the time what happened,” Biden said looking at how we got here instead of how we will move forward, “let’s look at the reason for the inflation…”

To those impacted by inflation, the reason is clearer than the president thinks.


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