Automakers may offer suggested retail prices, but it's the dealers that are ultimately responsible for the final sale price. Theis quite the hot commodity, and thanks to limited supply, some dealers see dollar signs and are attempting to cash in on the popularity.
The 2017 Civic Type R's, but trying to find one at that price might be hard. While some dealerships will certainly offer the Type R at MSRP, there are reports that dealers across the country are offering what few CTRs they'll get for thousands above sticker, even reaching as high as $10,000.
That's right -- what should cost $33,900 could cost $43,900. There are reports coming from the CivicX forum, where a number of users are calling dealerships for estimates, that market adjustments might be as high as $15,000 in certain areas. That's BMW M2 money, for a Honda. Fellow auto critic Chad Kirchner called his local dealer in Ohio, and they responded with a much more sensible $2,000 markup.
(N.B. It should be noted that markups can be changed at a moment's notice. The information here was accurate at the time of writing, but could very well change by the time you read this. Call your dealer directly if you want a quote on a Civic Type R.)
This might come as a shock to folks new to dealing with limited-quantity performance cars, but I've seen this exact situation play out in the past. When Dodge's Hellcat first came out, dealers were adding tens of thousands to the sticker. The same happened with the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, and a number of other sought-after sports cars.
If the cars don't sell -- although they probably will -- dealers will be left with cars taking up space on their lots. The markup will slowly drop as time goes on and supply expands, but with only a few thousand Civic Type Rs slated for delivery in the US for the 2017 model year, the market may not adjust downward for some time. The early bird gets the worm, but the early bird is going to pay out the ass for the privilege.
Dodge did have some small measures to combat dealer markup. Its allocation process for the 2016 model year included "days-on-lot" performance, which punished dealers for having unsold Hellcats for too long -- greedy dealers offering high markups were most affected by this, because every other Hellcat flew off the lot about as quickly as Dodge could build them.
A Honda spokesman denied my request to go on the record regarding Honda's feelings toward dealer markup. But it's unlikely that Honda will do anything about it, because it's ultimately up to the dealers to set the price and nobody wants to rustle any jimmies. The market will eventually smooth out, just like it did with the Hellcats, which are now a dime a dozen.
But not every dealership is taking this route. I spoke to someone on Twitter about markups, and he reported that his dealer refused to add markups, under the impression that bad press was not worth the extra few thousand bucks. That's a good point -- if consumers are soured, and word of mouth turns negative, it can cost a dealer more than whatever they'd make on top of the Type R's sticker price.
I hate using this phrase, but only time will tell how the markup situation will pan out. Some dealerships seem to have no problem finding buyers at these inflated prices, but as supplies are believed to grow in the 2018 model year, it's likely that patience will pay off for Civic Type R buyers.
Update, 3:42 p.m. Eastern: I believe we have a winner (via Matt Farah) :