Gouging the Sky: Saturn dealers markup roadster

So you go down to your local Saturn dealer to at least attempt to buy their sexiest offering to date, the Sky. Under the much-marketed impression that Saturn offers no haggle, bottom-of-the-line pricing, you expect to walk in, look at the sticker and walk out with your new drop top for the price printed on the window.

Not so fast.

In a complete deviation from Saturn's long-held tradition of hassle-free car buying, dealers of the famed import fighter are tacking on thousands of dollars to the MSRP of the rarified roadster. Some are blatant with their tactics, adding a markup of anywhere between $3,000-5,000 and labeling it as a 'dealer surcharge.' Saturn has received many reports of this practice and seems intent on pursuing the perpetrators.

While Saturn execs have made it clear to all dealers that any markups are firmly against the customer service philosophy of Saturn, there are ways around stereotypical price gouging. One dealer, cited in Automotive News, is offering a "Galpinized" version of the Sky, named after the conglomerate that owns the dealer, which boasts Chip Foose wheels, uprated tires, cold air intake, sat nav and an option to upgrade the suspension. All those dealer installed accessories bump the price of the Sky upwards of $33,000.

Whatever the market will bear seems to be the prevailing tactic for most manufactures, but with a reputation to uphold, Saturn may have to rethink how they intend to keep demand and pricing in check.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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