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Beware of Dealerships Taking Hellcat Challenger, Charger Orders

After receiving a handful of emails from people who have recently ordered a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, it seemed like a good time to explain the difference between ordering a car through the order bank and simply placing an order with a dealership – as orders being accepted right now aren’t getting you much closer to owning a 707hp Mopar muscle car.

We have talked more than once about how the order banks for the 2015 Dodge Challenger and 2015 Dodge Charger with the 707hp Hellcat Hemi have been temporarily closed while the automaker works to cut through the long list of standing orders. However, I have received emails and read posts online insisting that some dealerships are still taking orders and accepting down payments. This is leading people to believe that their names are being added to the list of vehicles to be built, but orders placed when the order banks aren’t open don’t really do anything, other than allow the dealership to begin earning interest on your down payment while you wait for the car to arrive.

The Chrysler Group has gone so far as to warn prospective buyers to avoid dealerships still willing to take orders, as the list is long enough that these orders might not be filled during this model year. Even with that statement, my experiences working in the dealership world lead me to believe that there are dealerships in the US that will take your cash as a down payment on a car that they might not ever be able to deliver.

Dealership Ordering Explained
The problem is that in the auto dealership world, you can always find someone to take your money so if you have $10,000 in cash in hand, you will likely find a dealership who will take that $10k and put your name on a list with the hopes that at some point, they will be able to hand you the keys to a 2015 Dodge Challenger or Charger with the 6.2L Hellcat Hemi. The problem is that when you place an order on a car that is not available in the order banks, your order for that Challenger or Charger essentially stalls with the dealership. Nothing else can happen until the order banks re-open.

To better explain the problem, imagine that you were considering going to your local Dodge dealership to custom order a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392. The order bank is open for this model, so you could go to a dealership and place an order with the exact features that you want. You could give the dealership $10,000 for a down payment and the dealership would enter your order into the computer system. That order would be sent to the production facility in Ontario and it would officially begin moving through the steps leading to a car rolling off of the assembly line.

2015 Challenger Galleries:
The 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack in Sublime
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in TorRed
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in Sublime

On the other hand, say that you wanted to order a 2016 Challenger SRT 392, which is not in the order banks. If you went to a few dealerships, you would likely find one who would take that same $10,000 and record the specifics of your order, but since there is no order bank access, your car wouldn’t be entered into the system.

Right now, dealerships might be taking orders for the Hellcat Challenger and Charger, but as in the second part of my example above, your new order wouldn’t go any further than the dealerships’ files. Those folks who ordered a Hellcat Challenger when the order banks opened last year had their order entered into the system and a car was built, with more and more of those orders being filled each day. However, ordering one of the 707hp Mopar muscle cars today doesn’t get you any closer to getting either of these monsters any time soon. Really, with so many orders already placed, placing an order when the order bank is closed might not ever get you a Hellcat Challenger or Charger – especially for the 2015 model year.


Bob Connor (not verified)    April 10, 2015 - 8:26AM

Maybe the dealers have a way to make money off this shortage. They take the $10,000 from the customer and place it in an interest bearing bank account (or maybe the stock market) and make money from the interest until the order banks open up. With several deposits the interest could be considerable. Or did I just give a dealer an idea?