One customer reports a GT2 priced at $13,000 above invoice

Kia has long been in the business of no-nonsense, economical cars and SUVs, but that’s changed with the 2018 Stinger. It’s the Korean automaker’s first “gotta have it” vehicle and its dealership network is apparently feeding on the frenzy. At least two pages worth of forum posts on StingerForum.org detail customer experiences of pricing markups from a few hundred dollars to an exorbitant $13,000 in one case.

Adding insult to financial injury, several forum users report dealerships aren’t very accommodating with test drives. User “Thebkguy,” said he was able to test drive a four-cylinder Stinger but was told no test drives of the Stinger GT were given unless a price was agreed upon and a credit check had been run. He eventually coerced the dealership into a test drive but turned down the purchase over a $10,000 markup. Keep in mind; the 2018 Kia Stinger GT starts at $38,350 and crests at $49,200 for the GT2 trim level. Thankfully, not all Kia dealerships are being so overtly greedy, according to other forum users. Most seem to add between $1,500 to $5,000 to the Stinger GT’s price.

Continue reading for more information.

The Sharks Are Out

The Kia Stinger Gives Dealers Their First Opportunity to Exploit the Markup Game High Resolution Exterior
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No test drives of the Stinger GT were given unless a price was agreed upon and a credit check had been run

It seems no matter how much research, thought, development, and love an automaker pours into a new model, the dealership experience is consistently there to negate customer satisfaction. Kia isn’t alone in this, of course, but these stories surrounding the Stinger are troubling. Keep in mind Kia began by selling cheaply built economy cars that served no purpose besides basic transportation. These are the vehicles Kia brought to the U.S. when it washed ashore in 1992 and began selling cars in 1994. It doesn’t have the brand cache others like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or even Ford. Though it still isn’t in the customer’s best interests, nobody batted an eye when the 2016 Mustang GT350R consistently sold for $20,000 above invoice.

Of course, it boils down to dealerships wanting a cut of the profits made for highly desirable vehicles. People with cash to burn are sometimes willing to pony up for the latest “it” car on the market, especially if it’s a limited edition. Dealers know this and freely tack on extra costs to a vehicle’s MSRP. If the cars aren’t moving, they will simply lower the markup. Otherwise, they would only make a modest sun for selling the car and some kickbacks at the month’s or year’s end. The money from a markup is cash right in the dealers’ pockets. The profits grow should the customer finance the vehicle thanks to interest charged on the loan amount.

The Kia Stinger Gives Dealers Their First Opportunity to Exploit the Markup Game High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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It reduces the overall customer experience by undermining a vehicle’s advertised and widely publicized price

While I’m all for a wholesome capitalist approach to making money in business, dealership markups are just shady and bad for automakers. It reduces the overall customer experience by undermining a vehicle’s advertised and widely publicized price. It also undermines the work automakers do in striving to earn customers’ loyalty by trying to create the best vehicle experience for the money. In the case of the Stinger – particularly the Stinger GT with its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 – the markups simply feel like hungry dealers looking to benefit from Kia’s newfound success.

Do you have a similar experience with dealership markups, regardless of the car or brand? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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More than half of chassis composed of higher-strength steel

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.

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Source: Stinger Forums

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