How to Find a Hellcat Challenger / Charger Now that Dodge Has Suspended Orders

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in dealership 1 photo
Dodge may have added 1,000 Hellcats to the production schedule, but those cars are going to the people who already have a VON (Vehicle Order Number), so Order Books remain closed. Still, if you’re persevering enough, you can find yourself a blown Challenger or Charger with which you can live happily ever.
Did we say “persevering”? We meant “fetishist”. That’s the attitude you need if you want to apply the good ole “dealer stalking” method. People have been keeping sales personnel busy with this one for years and while it does waste both your and the dealers’ time, if you put enough work into it, it will pay out.

Basically, you’ll have to contact hundreds of [Dodge] dealers around the country in the hope that at least one of them has the [Hellcat] you lust for - the brackets are here because, as we said, you can use this with most new cars out there that are short on supply.

This mindset means truly embracing your customer role, so it’s best to get a dedicated email address, so as not to mix dealer conversations with your personal life emails. Consider it some sort of a temporary second job.

You’ll need to head over to the inventory search feature on the Dodge website and split the country in, say, four areas (the cardinal points should work just fine). Be generous with the distance, go over 200 miles.

Afterwards, start the Hellcat search but don’t just limit your radar to 6.2L machines. You can take any dealer that has a Challenger and Charger into consideration, regardless of the car’s trim level. Yes, we know, it might seem unlikely for a dealer not to brag about having a Hellcat available, but it can happen.

Once you’ve identified these dealers, head over to each one’s website and use the contact form to express your Hellcat interest. You should prepare a standard message that you’ll send to all the dealers. Of course, you’ll have to let the dealer know your actual zip code here.

This is a game that has to be played by the numbers, so you should send about 100 messages to each of the four zip codes you’ve chosen. Your email will be bombarded with replies, and this is where the most meticulous part of the work starts. Still, filtering out all the replies is something that can be done. Many dealers are active on Twitter, so you can keep this in mind as a backup.

Before you head down this world wide web rollercoaster ride, you should know a positive result doesn’t necessary mean you’ll grab one of these muscle machines on the spot. Sure, you may be lucky enough to find one at a dealer that you’re willing to travel (perhaps fly) to. However, you may also end up coming across a D1 order (a slot that has a VIN and is registered for production at the factory), or a car that is on its way to the dealer and has to be prepared for delivery.

As with any vehicle out there, there are customers who have changed their mind, with these dropped orders being one of the fortunate scenarios for you.

Aside from all the typing required on your side, you’ll have to be flexible. Don’t expect to use this method and find cars that are offered for their MSRP. Nevertheless, don’t let an ADM (additional dealer markup) discourage you. Keep talking to the dealer and hold your ground, the negotiation may just pay out.

Expecting to add a few thousand dollars over the MSRP is reasonable. Of course, the trip to the dealer and the gas you’ll be burning on your way back are not on the house. Then again, exotic car producers charge you extra for collecting your car from the factory. A Dodge dealer in the middle of nowhere might not be the mothership, but you get the picture.

Perhaps the most difficult part is having to go with the most frequently used colors and navigating your way through the manual-automatic choice.

Oh and do make sure you stick to the run-in procedure, your kitty needs a hello.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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