Enthusiast Cars Still Selling For Sticker Price

It’s no secret that new car sales are slow right now. Automakers and dealerships are offering unheard of incentives. Buy one get one free cars, 0% interest car loans and huge price cuts are the norm, and you’d be crazy to buy most cars for anything more than a few thousand off the asking price. There are a few cars left that are still selling for MSRP though.

The Wall Street Journal talked to to find out which cars are currently selling for the sticker price. The first group is obvious. Low-volume sports cars made by Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Ferrari, as well as BMW’s high-performance M models are all being sold for asking price.

The Mini Cooper is also selling for sticker price. The Mini’s sporty image, BMW heritage, low price and unique styling make it popular with customers who might have picked a more expensive car in the past.

Newly released cars like the 2010 Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Camaro are both selling for the sticker price. Edmunds predicts that the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, which is set to go on sale this summer, will also sell for close to asking price.

2010 Camaro Burnout pic

These new cars have several advantages over older models. First, the novelty of a brand new car always helps sales. Second, newly released cars are being built to match the current demand, so instead of a massive overstock that dealers have to get rid of, there are just enough Prius and Camaro models for sale.

The one thing all these cars have in common is that they appeal to car enthusiasts. Buyers who don’t really care if they go home with an Accord, a Malibu or a Camry aren’t the same people swarming dealerships to get a 400-hp Camaro SS or a 50-mpg Prius. The Camry/Accord/Malibu buyers are willing to wait until the recession ends to make big purchases because a car just isn’t that important to them.

If new car sales trends continue, we could see more carmakers trying to appeal to enthusiasts rather than A-to-B drivers. This could usher in a new era in automotive history where interesting cars win over boring ones. If that happens, maybe someday we’ll look back on all those bankers who bought and sold bad mortgages as heroes and saviors.

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