Dealership Markups Are Getting Insane


Mitsubishi Mirage. Image: Mitsubishi

Car buyers and market observers are used to seeing large dealership markups on models that are tough to get — first editions of popular cars, usually, or models that are produced in small numbers, or both.

It’s no shock to see the Ford Bronco or Chevrolet Corvette marked up by thousands of dollars. Motor Trend reported markups of $30K on Broncos, for example. C8 Corvettes are also being marked up like crazy.

While annoying, it’s somewhat understandable, given how the franchise-dealer system works, as well as how basic capitalism and supply and demand work. You don’t have to like the phenomenon, but the logic behind its existence is sound.

Still, we draw the line at an almost $6K markup of a Mitsubishi Mirage.

You read that right. A dealership in Tennessee marked a Mirage — a freakin’ Mitsubishi Mirage — up by nearly $6,000 over its manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP), charging $24,260 for one after a $5,995 upcharge.

This is a result of the greater issues surrounding the industry right now. Inventories are at historical lows, due in part to the semiconductor chip shortage, and pricing for both new and used cars is all sorts of insane.

Still, it’s a bit jarring to see this kind of markup on a car that’s a) produced in large enough numbers that it is far from “rare” and b) marketed as basic transit to those who either can’t afford much or who simply only want the cheapest car they can get, regardless of income.

The Mirage isn’t in high demand, and it isn’t rare or built in low numbers. So this is either a dealership trying to get as much as it can out of each sale, knowing supply is tight, or a store screwing over low-income consumers, some of whom may have shaky credit, as Jalopnik asserts. Or it’s both.

Either way, it’s another reason to not buy a car in the short term unless you absolutely have to.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

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