Home » It Shouldn’t Be This Hard To Buy A New Car

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard To Buy A New Car

Mazda Cx 50 Ts
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*Ring ring* “Hi Thomas, we’re looking at replacing the Elantra.” How often do you buy a new car? Not necessarily brand new, but a new daily? For my aunt and uncle, it happens roughly every ten years, long enough to squeeze out most of the mechanical goodness but short enough that major repairs aren’t a huge concern. As it happens, their trusty Hyundai Elantra is ready to be cycled out. Replacing it would be no easy task, precisely for the reasons you’d expect.

Like most consumers, my aunt and uncle wanted a crossover, which shouldn’t be hard to find. In normal times, I’d be able to recommend any number of decent vehicles, but January was different. With manufacturers hammered hard by a production shortfall, new anything was thin on the ground. Well, new anything that wasn’t a Stellantis product or a Buick.

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Mazda Cx-50 1

We quickly landed on a base-model Mazda CX-50. After all, why not? Its marginal increase in cargo space over a CX-5 should come in handy for road trips, and the combination of naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic gearbox is proven. Plus, just look at the competition, and the Mazda seems worthy of a closer evaluation. Most mainstream Japanese competitors are more expensive simply because they can be, and many similarly-priced alternatives aren’t what I’d consider long-term cars. From experiencing unfortunate build quality firsthand in a Ford Escape to the question marks surrounding keeping a Volkswagen Tiguan for a decade, I can certainly evaluate new cars, but long-term ownership is a complex wheelhouse.

As it turns out, their local dealer had a CX-50 GT in stock, and my relatives fell in love. Who could blame them? With unusually good steering calibration, beautiful appointments, and chiseled good looks, the CX-50 is a catch and a half, a new car that feels every dollar of its price tag. It wasn’t that long ago (okay, maybe it was) that this sort of money bought a small luxury SUV, and even though the CX-50 doesn’t wear a German badge, it still feels luxurious.

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Mazda Cx 50 2

So, theoretically, it should be as easy as calling up a Mazda dealership and placing an order, right? Wrong. Mazda didn’t actually have order books for the CX-50 as such. Instead, as explained by a local dealership, dealers could choose whether or not to take cars allocated to them. It’s theoretically a relatively efficient method of fulfillment, but one that cuts out customer choice completely. Still, we had hope.

Key operating word: “had.” Winter turned to spring, which turned to summer, all without a CX-50 similar to their ideal spec turning up. Oh, and this wasn’t just a local hunt either, it covered a radius of several hundred miles, or several hundred kilometers for metric folk. From the border at Detroit to east of Toronto, not one identically-equipped CX-50 turned up over months of searching, but several were close.

Mazda Cx-50 3

The problem is, most of these base-model CX-50s didn’t actually exist on the lot yet. They were incoming units, likely to be sold before they even touched Canadian soil. Thankfully, markup was a non-issue, but availability? Woof. This might sound silly to people who’ve bought cars recently, but historically, there were two was of doing it: Either put in an order or buy off the lot. Turns out, there’s now a secret third way: Pray. At the same time, it’s difficult to be too mad. The CX-50 is built in an Alabama-based Mazda-Toyota joint plant, and MTMUS is still a fairly new plant. It started ramping production during the last few years, and Automotive News Europe reported in November that “Mazda is having trouble attracting workers and keeping them at the plant, which is still working at one shift some 10 months after its line-off ceremony in January.” In an era of low unemployment when workers often aren’t paid what they’re worth, if better opportunities exist elsewhere, who could blame workers for seeking other placement?

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Once July rolled around, everyone felt out of options. Do we just bump up to the turbo model since high-margin trims seems to be more readily available? At that point, is it worth it to just go with the magnificent new CX-90? Can the Elantra be limped along as a primary vehicle for another six months? Eight months? One year? It really shouldn’t be this hard to hand a company tens of thousands of dollars. In the end, the hunt dragged on long enough that my aunt and uncle gave up on buying a CX-50, but not before an alternative arose. It’s not quite as sizeable, spacious, luxurious, or gadget-laden as a CX-50, but it is far less expensive. Yep, they have a 2024 Chevrolet Trax 1RS on order. How’s that for a sensible pick?

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If you’ve been trying to buy a new car recently, I empathize. It’s rough. While inventory is improving, the overall market isn’t indicative of individual model inventory, and desirable models are likely to be in limited supply. Sure, you could probably get a great deal on a Buick crossover if you just need something now, but do you really want a Buick crossover? For all of those going through a new car purchase right now, I feel you. We’re all in this together.

(Photo credits: Mazda, Thomas Hundal)

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Matt Smith
Matt Smith
10 months ago

Someone close to me just got a CX50 meridian edition for 0% from their dealer. Its a fantastic vehicle and corners better than most cars I’ve driven. I think the turbo engine is definitely worth it. The higher trims make the vehicle more enjoyable all around IMO.

Dave Garland
Dave Garland
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt Smith

Maybe I’m still stuck on old stereotypes, but would you buy a turbo for a daily driver and expect it to last 10 years of daily driving?

Swedish Jeep
Swedish Jeep
10 months ago
Reply to  Dave Garland

Volvo would like a word…..

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
10 months ago
Reply to  Dave Garland

I’ve had several turbocharged Volvos, and the turbos weren’t ever a fail point.

That said, GM, FCA, and Kia/Hyundai (or, rather, their turbo suppliers) have figured out how to make theirs crack and fail in under 50K miles, which I’m sure makes sense to some bean-counters somewhere.

Hi!
Hi!
10 months ago
Reply to  Dave Garland

Yes, absolutely. I have a 23yo Saab that’s gone 205k miles and is still on its’ original turbo.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
10 months ago

Good on GM for making a desirable inexpensive car. And in regard to availability, my first thought was that GM’s UAW plant had no problem staffing-up, as opposed to Mazda’s Alabama plant. Nice theory, but then I realized that the Trax is imported from Korea.

I think the reality is that domestic companies (including the former Chrysler group) have always been better in terms of model availability than overseas companies, even those that manufacture in North America.

Last edited 10 months ago by Mr. Fusion
SMACFE
SMACFE
10 months ago

WHY DON’T MORE AUTO WRITERS WRITE ABOUT THIS!!!!!!!!! I’m really geting weary of reading glowing car reviews where the author goes through a box of tissues and three pair of boxers but fails to mention that the car is unavailable to order and that the wait time is 14 to 16 months to maybe get a car. This is the most serious issue in the auto industry right along with the skyrocketing prices of new cars and yet nobody mentions it. Every review should have a mandatory section covering the availability of each model, and stop giving the manufacturers a bye on this issue.

Jb996
Jb996
10 months ago
Reply to  SMACFE

I like this idea. As soon as a journalist gets back from their fancy press event, the first stop should be to a local, random, dealer to try to order one!
How many are on your lot to buy now?
How long if I order a base model?
How long if I order the upper trim?
That would be an amazing review!!

Of course we all know that Dealers probably wouldn’t reveal any waiting times until 2 hours of 4 square charade was over.

Jb996
Jb996
10 months ago

Based on nothing but my own cynicism and some anecdotes from friends:

The manufacturers don’t want to sell certain configurations when they have other options. Any other options. As long as sales and production are running about equal, they will always prioritize a higher margin option.
So, ordering a base model puts you at the bottom of the list, which they can reshuffle at any time. They will produce higher trim, higher margin models all day long and never want to get to you. I expect that if they get to a point where they have a shortage of upper trim hardware or there are NO outstanding orders for upper trim models and they think the next one might just sit somewhere; then they might begrudgingly, almost accidentally, make a base model for you.
And my cynical opinion is that there is currently no incentive for them to change. Why increase production when buyers might eventually give in and buy the higher margin model?
We need many more smart buyers like you to bail and buy a Trax instead. Once manufacturers see that they are actually losing a significant number of sales, then they might, MIGHT, try to increase production of lower cost cars in order to recapture the sales that they are currently ignoring.
Of course an alternate solution which is more cynical is that GM will stop making the Trax, because it’s stealing from their higher margin vehicles, so then buyers will again be forced to spend more for a higher model. (See also: elimination of the Bolt and every other small car.)

Brandt S
Brandt S
10 months ago

I think the comment threads have uncovered a vast chasm between the way North American (and specifically USA-based) customers are getting cars versus the rest of the world. Is this due to dealers and the protectionist state laws that allow them to exist? Or are the manufacturers screwing us?

Karl Jacobs
Karl Jacobs
10 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

Both.. the state laws are the worst, because those protect dealers that pour money directly into the pockets of the politicians that write the laws. The manufacturers are are also to blame with the allocations. But it’s mostly greedy dealers that are out of control.

Andrew Bugenis
Andrew Bugenis
10 months ago

I hate the allocation system. Dealers are told what they’re allocated, and that’s that. Or, the network of dealers grabs all the allocations they can so there aren’t any unallocated for people to order from. Yet another reason to hate dealers; if they were manufacturer-run stores, they wouldn’t be competing against each other for stock on nearly the same level.

Alexk98
Alexk98
10 months ago

That’s bizarre they couldn’t order a CX-50, back in August of last year I went to my local Mazda Dealer and picked out the exact CX-30 I wanted. They explained that they check the Mazda build queue for what is unallocated, and for a deposit pull the exact car for me to their dealership. Not sure if that is something that only work for certain models or is not available in Canada, but it worked great for me.

Similarly, I know the Miata Club trim is “special order only” but my guess is dealers will order some directly for inventory since I see some on lots on rare occasion, and my Dad was able to buy one out of inventory near him without needing to order and wait

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
10 months ago

We recently had to replace the Volvo XC40 my wife leased 3 years ago before we got married. After a lot of searching and looking at different models, she liked the Acura MDX. She has had several Hondas in the past and is familiar and comfortable with them. Instead of going new and risking a very high or long term car payment we went used. Somehow she found a 2018 MDX at a Carmax in Birmingham, AL with just of 10K miles. We love it! It only need to have new wipers, cabin air filter and the a/c evaporator cleaned. (funky smell on start up). Best part, it was over 20K less than a new one.

Brandt S
Brandt S
10 months ago
Reply to  Shinynugget

What is it with Carmax and smells? I went into one a couple weeks ago and EVERY last car on the lot, whether 1-year-old or 10, smelled musty and gross. about 10% were smoked in. I went down a Reddit rabbit hole trying to find a theory. Ultimately I determined it’s something to do with how they “recondition” their cars as quickly as possible and then shut them up, park them in the sun, and wait until someone comes to buy the car…

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
10 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

All I can think of is that Seinfeld episode- “It still smells!”

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
10 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

I think you may be on to something regarding the amount of time they sit after the initial inspection and cleaning. My wife and I talked about it at length as she is curious how they missed it during their “125 point” inspection. I don’t think they did I think it developed later. Since we have running it daily and I cleaned it the smell has gone away.

JMJR
JMJR
10 months ago

For almost two years I’d been looking for something to replace my 2014 Mazda3 Sport 6MT.

I was searching for a clean history, low mileage, fairly priced 2017-2018 Mazda CX-5 with a manual transmission (Mazda stopped offering the manual in America in 2016, but kept it around in Canada until 2018).

It’s not a very common vehicle, but I’m stubborn in wanting to stick with a stick, so everyday I would check Kijiji, AutoTrader and Facebook Marketplace. There were high mileage ones, ridiculously overpriced ones, ones with accident history totalling over $10,000, and ones on the other side of the country. None of them were enticing enough.

Finally, one popped up near me and I raced over to the dealer as soon as I noticed the listing. I ended up buying it and my wife and I are thrilled to have it.

So long as your car isn’t about to die or your lease isn’t about to end, hold off for the right deal.

Jb996
Jb996
10 months ago
Reply to  JMJR

I daily a 2014 Mazda3 Sport 6MT !!! (in meteor gray).
150k miles and going strong.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
10 months ago

North America car buyers are clearly getting reamed. Down here in Oz, there’s either a dealer order on the boat or you order exactly what you want. You’ll wait either way but at least you’ll generally get a delivery date to the nearest month…in the first instance!

Space
Space
10 months ago

That Trax is a good color.

JDE
JDE
10 months ago
Reply to  Space

but it is still a TRAX, let’s hope the turbo’s survive.

Josh Turner
Josh Turner
10 months ago

Honda uses this same model and it means I’ve basically decided I’ll never buy one. I spent a few weeks trying to track down a Civic Sport with a stick, and the dealers not only didn’t have them, they couldn’t tell me when they’d get them and couldn’t order one for me. There I stood, cash in hand…and they couldn’t sell me a car.

F that. I bought a Jetta.

Der Foo
Der Foo
10 months ago
Reply to  Josh Turner

Even before the pandemic, Honda was difficult if the dealer didn’t have it on the lot. Hunting for my wife’s Pilot was met with “We don’t have them and don’t know when we will.”

One dealer in the Dallas area was the opposite. “No problem. Let’s start talking numbers and get you into one.” Problem was that after talking numbers, they still weren’t answering my #1 question. I finally told them that I was booking my airline ticket 2 weeks out and that I would be there with money in hand on a certain date to pick up. Two days later the Sales Manager called and said that there is a delay. How long? He didn’t know because as far out as they could see their allocations, they had none like I wanted coming in. I was not surprised. Seemed too good to be true. Asked if they’d honor their really good price when it comes in and the Mgr said that they reserve the right to renegotiate any sales contract. Asked why they go through the whole pricing and paperwork and he said that was to ensure that when they did get something in I might like, I’d be first in line. Fother Duckers.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
10 months ago
Reply to  Josh Turner

Honda stopped making the Sport Hatch with the 1.5 liter turbo/stick combo.
The 2.0 NA 6MT has much less power and much worse fuel economy (30ish vs 40ish)
I used my Credit Union’s auto buying service/broker to get my 2020.
They couriered it from a dealer 100 miles away to pick up at the local branch.
I did pay a few grand in ADM, but was way less than the nitrogen inflated TruCoat LoJack VIN etching mandatory dealer installed option crap.

Highly recommend the credit union car buying service!

3WiperB
3WiperB
10 months ago

And it doesn’t get better once you get the car. I made an appointment 3 weeks ahead of time and my dealer still had my truck for 8 days before even looking at it and then took another day to apply 2 software updates. They didn’t order parts in time to fix the other item and I still waiting to hear from them about scheduling that. Then I made an appointment today to get an oil change, since they were included for 3 years. It’s over a 2 week wait for a freaking oil change appointment. Yes I could do it myself, but it’s free.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
10 months ago

You know what’d be a good article?

Which manufacturers allow you to actually place an order and if they don’t, what is the process for a customer to actually get what they want?

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
10 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

I would be interested in seeing a current breakdown. Sounds like Mazda is as bad as they were back in 2015 when we were told the dealer couldn’t even control what they get.

Dodge was easy back in ’08 once an inventory search proved my option list didn’t exist on any dealer lot nationwide. Showed up on schedule with my name on the window sticker, but that was two owners ago.

Alexk98
Alexk98
10 months ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

Interestingly it might be somewhat dealer dependent for Mazda, or maybe not available in Canada, or even model dependent. I just bought a 2022 CX-30 Turbo back in December, and the local Mazda dealer helped me more or less custom order my car. I wanted an exact color/trim combo, and their explanation was essentially “We cannot order exactly what you want, but we can go to the Mazda build queue and ‘pull’ a specific car for you with a deposit” which is exactly what I did. Worked out great minus the 5 month wait from deposit to delivery, but I got exactly what I wanted, and at sticker, and with a decent interest rate, so I can’t complain at all.

Maymar
Maymar
10 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

As Thomas mentioned in the article, it might also be an issue of the specific model, where there’s enough supply issues where they don’t want to commit to taking orders. I’ve had to put in a couple custom orders with GM at work, and the dealer’s told us that they basically wouldn’t take orders for certain order combinations (specific options and such) as there’s effectively no way that vehicle’s getting built (GM even publishes a weekly report as to what the availability on certain models/options are).

V10omous
V10omous
10 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

The “Big 3” domestics all allow it.

JDE
JDE
10 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Is stellantis still domestic?

JDE
JDE
10 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

the crazy part is the number of car companies that are actually suggesting ordering directly from the MFR online versus going tot he dealers at all. I suppose the dealer still gets a small amount from the delivery and setup fees, but I can see where this paradigm shift would be preferable to the people that are willing to order this way and put up the money up front without actually seeing or driving the car they order.

I tend to be the one that looks at what is on the lot and then likes to haggle. But I also never go into a dealership with a “need” to buy another car.

SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
10 months ago

Someone, somewhere (maybe on this site?) said something like, “All cars are turning into SUVs, and all SUVs are turning into Mazdas.”
The photos on this piece are pretty much a perfect example.

Greg
Greg
10 months ago

I’ll admit, I sorta like haggling and messing around with dealers. Once I got over initial hesitation and learned how, it became more a game. I am not saying I’m good, but I don’t mind it as long as everyones being reasonable.

This car market sucks. Take it or leave it, and often they can’t even help you. Direct to consumer can’t come soon enough.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
10 months ago

There’s a quick and easy solution- don’t buy a crossover. Or be willing to buy a car that’s 1-3 years old. Or both! You can get a top trim CPO for the same price or less than a base model new, and with several brands the CPO will essentially be a new vehicle warranty.

Hi!
Hi!
10 months ago

Except the used market is out of control right now. You really don’t save much that way if you do want anything remotely popular, because people are antsy for newer cars with brand new having supply issues. Brings up the prices on the used market.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
10 months ago

I’m not that familiar with either vehicle but the Trax is better looking and I assume a few dollars cheaper. That yellow really works too. I have no patience for a company that won’t take my money.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
10 months ago
Reply to  Dodsworth

Better looking? Maybe get your eyes checked.

I do like having colors available, so good on them offering yellow

HOT_HATCH
HOT_HATCH
10 months ago

A Trax? Yikes.

I’ve been in the market for a new car for 3 years now, but I’m not willing to play the current games involved in buying a car. Luckily my 11 year old Jetta GLI has been surprisingly up to the task of working into its golden years with very few issues.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
10 months ago
Reply to  HOT_HATCH

Every review of the new Trax has been basically glowing. If I needed a car it would be my first test drive. If you were talking about the outgoing model, yeah, you might be onto something. But this is just irrational.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
10 months ago

That’s awful. Yes, there are nuances involved, but it seems as though this post-COVID hangover just won’t clear up.

When Mitsubishi Mirages are listing between $18K-20K+ you can be pretty sure something is wrong.

JDE
JDE
10 months ago

wrong is debatable there. The body skins are paper thin, you dent the front fender just leaning on the little guy. and Little is the real issue. they are microcars(kei) in other areas of the world. They are not especially quiet or fun to drive, but they do have warranty, they are fairly reliable, and they are somewhat efficient. they are also the lowest price on the market new.

I think if they flooded the market with Mavericks at the original price point of the base hybrid, which was right at 20K, the Mirage would be no more. but the Hybrid maverick was apparently a loss leader to build up demand artificially so they could site Dealership markup and said demand when they priced them considerably higher later on. Brilliant Marketing for the sheep in the room.

Maymar
Maymar
10 months ago

I get picking the CX-50 over the CX-5 on paper (well, sort of, I still haven’t warmed to the CX-50’s styling), but given that there appear to be CX-5’s in dealers now, any reason they didn’t get that? Coming from an Elantra, the CX-5 should still be a bump up in cargo space.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
10 months ago
Reply to  Maymar

This was my thought. I love the CX-5 – it’s one of the few vehicles I’ll put my reputation on and actually recommend, and I have about a dozen family and friends with them, my wife is even on her third (lease). But if I were choosing between the -5 and -50 I’d get the -50. Newer platform, I like the styling better, and I actually take my current car (Volvo) off the beaten path on a regular basis so I’d appreciate its off-road focus over the -5.
Heck, even a CX-30 is a better choice than a Trax.

In fact, I’d take an MX-30 – yeah, the compromised EV – over a Trax.

Matt Woods
Matt Woods
10 months ago

You are right. It shouldn’t be that hard. Staffing and component issues are reality, and prioritizing higher margin upper trim levels is a reality. But, you should still be able to order a vehicle, and be given an approximate production date. Granted that date may be 4-6 months away, but you should still be able to get a spot in line. Failing to do this is clearly costing sales.
I had a different experience a little over a year ago with Toyota. I was able to order the RAV4 Prime in the trim level and color I wanted, with the options I wanted. I waited 2 months for it, but within a week of placing the order had an estimated build date and ETA (these are made in Japan). We took delivery about a week after the initial ETA. That’s how it should work.

Brandt S
Brandt S
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt Woods

I was under the impression that ordering a Toyota was basically impossible???

David Smith
David Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

As of the last two month’s it is impossible. I’ve been cross shopping a Corolla Cross and a Crosstrek for my wife. Yes, I know that seems made up. Toyota say’s screw you you get what we have. Subaru says, yeah you can get what you want but it’s going to be two plus months. Still haven’t decided since I don’t really have to yet. Hopefully I still have that for a while now while this hot mess becomes clearer.

I visited a Toyota dealer today who had a Corolla Cross listed as “internet Price $29,371 $1,042 under MSRP” Out the door price was $41K plus. I got them down to $35.6K and told them to shove it. I have the option for another Cross at $33.85k that suits my (wife’s) needs just fine. It just needs to have the pesky dash board replacement recall done before I can buy it.

Keeping options open. I’m thinking the Crosstrek is the better option but the Missus really likes the Cypress green. I do as well.

Trouthawk
Trouthawk
10 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

Back in October my wife and I were getting tired of waiting for inventories to rebound so we decided to start calling around about how we could get on a list for a new Highlander Hybrid. One afternoon I called about 10 Toyota dealerships and the first 9 basically told me it would be 6-18 months and they had no idea what they were getting from Toyota in any given month. The guy at the 10th dealership told me he just got notice that they got a “bonus allocation” of two Highlander Hybrids from Toyota that would arrive in December and that I could reserve one if I put a deposit down ASAP. It wasn’t the trim we wanted but it was Cypress Green (which looks great and was our top choice) so I put the deposit down on the spot. The car actually did arrive in December and we paid MSRP for it.

Each dealership handles their waiting lists differently, but I think they basically jot down what everyone wants and then try their best to allocate whatever Toyota happens to give them. I don’t think there are strict rules and priorities, so I would be persistent calling a lot of dealerships and you might get lucky like I did.

The Cyclist
The Cyclist
10 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

What did they tack on to get the final price to $41k? Dealer markup after the MSRP discount?

David Smith
David Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  The Cyclist

There wasn’t really an under MSRP price. That was an internet price or some such shit. The price on the offer sheet was 35.5K along with 2 dealer fees, a mysterious document fee, the normal $500 just because fee. Then the rest was tax, title and tags.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
10 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

Yeah, internet price? What a scam…should be illegal for them to play all these games

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
10 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

Good on you for telling them to shove it…screw these dealers totally screwing everyone

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
10 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

Same. Maybe some dealers are better at getting allocations than others. Or more willing to work for a customer.

I don’t mind waiting personally, but after seeing so many stories of dealers pulling the rug out from under people who waited by trying to force markups or “oops I sold it to someone else” nonsense, I really don’t feel confident in playing the waiting game where I have to trust one of the traditionally most sleazy businesses in existence.

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt Woods

I too am surprised by you custom ordering a Toyota, and not being able to order a Mazda. I ordered my RX8 exactly how I wanted it almost 20 years ago, and know someone that almost ordered a CX5 in 2019 but the dealership found one 2 states away and offered to get them that instead. The downside / upside I always thought of ordering a car is you immediately forfeit all incentives but get exactly the car you want for exactly its’ MSRP. I guess someone paying MSRP now works against the dealers favor instead of in their favor…

I only know 2 people who bought new cars after the before times. One was my impatient sister who wanted a Highlander no later than this weekend in early 2022, (screwed, then screwed again when buying a baby compatible car :), and the other a friend who wanted a specific Miata. The Miata took from early-Dec 2022 when ordered until late March to show up, but it came exactly as ordered at exactly the MSRP, and with 7 miles on the odometer just like my RX8.

V10omous
V10omous
10 months ago

The downside / upside I always thought of ordering a car is you immediately forfeit all incentives but get exactly the car you want for exactly its’ MSRP.

In the before times at least, you did not forfeit incentives, and in fact could lock in the incentives at the time of order. Then if they were better at the time of delivery you could use those instead. There really was no downside to ordering other than waiting.

Brandt S
Brandt S
10 months ago

Yep, I agree. It simply shouldn’t be this hard. If you want a new car, you basically are at the mercy of whatever a dealer ordered or was allocated months ago, and they are almost always the worst colors (black, white, gray, silver with black interiors). Bland. I want color, so I’m forced to search nationally. And of course this “colors” the used car market too, since whatever is new right now is used next year.

I wonder how this all works in Europe (article idea, hint hint)? Do dealers have the same vast parking lots full of ready-to-buy bland boxes with pre-selected option packages (doubt it)? Or can you actually order something? My experience is USA-based. The only time I’ve ever ordered a car was in 1995 from Chevy for a very specific set of options on one of those new-fangled 4-door Tahoes. But as far as I can tell, the only way to order a car these days is to go luxury, and even that’s a real crap shoot. Maybe with Porsche if you want to wait. Perhaps with Volvo if you want to do European Delivery. I’ve contemplated ordering an Audi with exclusive paint colors but it’s so expensive that even I don’t think it’s worth it.

I’m in the market now to replace my wife’s VW golf with a more 4-person and their shit family car. So I feel everyone’s pain when it comes to the market.

Max.B
Max.B
10 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

I don’t know about now, but I bought a new Toyota in Europe in the middle of the pandemic (June 2020) and it was perfect.
I got the exact specifications I wanted with no mark-up and or dealer add-ons.
It was delivered two months later, a week before the estimated date.

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