The Overheated Car Market Has Made Some Buyers More Rational

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Photo: Chevy

The New York Times has a wonderful story today about the way people buy cars in this, the year of our Lord 2021, a year that has seen new car inventories fall off a cliff and, subsequently, prices on new and used go way up. It turns out, if you’ve always been a Chevy Silverado guy, you might now be a Nissan Titan guy.


Consider Mr. Ed Wood, who is not the director of many a camp classic because that Ed Wood is dead. This is a different Ed Wood, an electrician who is 63 and who tried at first to get a new Silverado but was thwarted, and told the NYT about it.

“All sold out,” he said. “I went around and around with dealerships, then branched out to F-150, Ram, Sierra and Tundra and found either no stock available or crazy markups.”

It led him to the Titan from Nissan, typically in the middle of the pack of carmakers by sales, after General Motors, Toyota and Ford. Nissan’s pickup was more available and surprisingly appealing.

“Titan is definitely a strong contender now, and it wasn’t even on my radar when I started,” Mr. Wood said. “As a big guy, I found the seats to be extremely comfortable.”

Consider also the case of Edgar Zurita, who initially wanted a Kia Telluride but was also thwarted.

Edgar Zurita, 43, of Fairfax, Va., veered hard from his initial choice. “We needed lots of space and seriously considered a new Kia Telluride S.U.V., but the markup of $18,000 for one on the lot was too much,” Mr. Zurita said.

“So we switched to shopping for minivans,” he added. “Still, Kia Carnival and Toyota Sienna were jacked up $12,000. I don’t like getting ripped off, so we ended up buying used, a 2019 Kia Sedona SXL van with 20,000 miles. It was a lot less expensive, and vans are more useful. Plus, I won’t lose as much when it comes to resale.”


Mr. Zurita has no regrets switching to a van. “It’s certainly the best car for a family,” he said. “We drove to Pennsylvania with six people and their luggage aboard. It was very comfortable.”

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Perhaps it is happened to you, not even with buying a car, in which you thought you knew exactly what you wanted going in, only for that thing not to be available, forcing you to think outside of the box and figure out what you really need. Which is maybe what you should’ve done in the first place. And while it’s probably impossible to quantify how much this happening on a bigger scale, you can easily imagine that it is, if people haven’t given up on the market completely. I always said the Titan deserved more love.

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