Car prices are falling, but some vehicles are selling way above MSRP

New and used car prices around Phoenix are below MSRP and experts expect it to drop a bit more. But higher-end cars are selling well above retail.
Updated: Aug. 9, 2023 at 7:45 AM MST
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GOODYEAR, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) — Car lots look a lot fuller than they did a year ago. “Certain brands have an influx of new inventory, like Buick, for example,” said Whitney Yates Woods, owner of Yates Buick GMC in Goodyear. “We’re getting tons of Buicks. Last year we had no Buicks on the lot.”

A lot of people put off car shopping when inventory plummeted. Now the supply is back, but interest rates have soared. Still, the influx of inventory may be good news for car shoppers. “It means you can get a good deal,” Yates Woods said. “Rebates are back. Manufacturers are starting to offer discounts. The dealerships are offering discounts because we have to keep our new car inventory turning.

Vehicle search engine iSeeCars crunched the numbers and found in the Phoenix area, new Buick Encores are selling at 6.1% below MSRP. That’s $1,500 in savings. The INFINITI QX80 is 3% below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is 1.2% below MSRP, for a savings of $608 off of the list price.

“[Prices] are going to probably moderate for another six to 12 months, but if we go down another 10% on average new and used prices, I think that’s realistic,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst for iSeeCars. “The one exception being EVs. Electric vehicles, new and used EVs, have dropped like a stone.”

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While consumers may realize some savings on certain new vehicles, others are still selling above MSRP, according to iSeeCars data. The Porsche Macan leads the way in the Phoenix area, selling at 33.5% above MSRP. That’s more than $20,000 over the manufacturer’s suggested price. The Corvette is selling for 27.2% above MSRP, and the MINI Hardtop 4 Door is 26.5% above MSRP. “People who still have the money to buy their fun car, they’re willing to pay what it takes to get it and those cars are still expensive,” Brauer said.

For car shoppers who prefer to stick to a stricter budget, used car wholesale prices are seeing a modest decline of about 4%. “We’re seeing, on average, used cars aging on the lot, which is good for the consumer,” Yates Woods said. To snag the best deal, do some research before visiting a dealership to find out how long the car you’re targeting has been on the lot.

“Sometimes we will take a loss on those cars that have been sitting for 90 days,” Yates Woods said. “It’s cheaper to sell it to you as the consumer than take it to the auto auction and sell it there.”

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