Automakers may have a suggested retail price, but the final word is with the dealers. That's why shopping for a newmight be a little tricky, depending upon where you live.
Pricing for the battery-electric Bolt EV is all over the map -- literally. Only seven states are selling the car right now, Automotive News reports, but those states have wildly different markets, and thus pricing is a bit... disparate.
AN found one dealership in California offering to take $4,439 off the price of a Bolt EV. Other dealerships in the Golden State are incentivizing Bolt EV sales between $2,000 and $3,000. This is clearly a great thing for buyers in California, because once you add in the $7,500 federal tax incentive, it pushes the Bolt EV's price well below $30,000. For comparison, the average cost of a new car in 2016 was $34,077.
TrueCar's data shows an average national discount of $2,200 for the Bolt EV in February, an $800 bump over January.
It's not all roses around the US, though. AN noted that several dealers (from locations undisclosed) had their Bolt EVs marked up as much as $5,000. While a lack of manufacturer incentives means dealers cut into profits when cars are marked down, these premiums could bring in a sweet little profit.
Capitalism is a complicated thing. Dealerships occasionally mark up niche vehicles based on perceived demand, although it's more traditionally applied to high-end sports cars like the Nissan GT-R or . The idea is that the market can bear the additional cost, and people will still line up to shell out. If they don't, the premium goes away, but it may come at a cost of future loyalty.
On the other hand, pricing like the building is on fire isn't going to pad anybody's profits -- in the short term, at least. In the long term, low prices and thinner commissions can foster loyalty. After all, you're probably more likely to gab about a joint if you got a sweet deal, which can drive additional customers in that direction, offsetting those lower prices with volume.
Prices will likely settle down over time, but if you're aching to become one of the first Bolt EV buyers in your respective state, it may be wise to do some comparison shopping between various dealerships.