Occasionally, dealers sell brand-new vehicles that have been discontinued, and in some cases, the cars have been out of production for a long time. Whether they’ve had the car sitting on the lot for years or have unsold inventory tucked away in storage, customers sometimes get their hands on unused gems from years before. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) did some digging and found several “zombie cars” sold last year.
KBB’s parent company, Cox Automotive, owns a wholesale vehicle auction company and monitors sales reports from dealers. The company found six zombie cars sold last year, with Dodge or Chrysler models taking up four of the six spots on the list. The organization notes that there’s no explanation for why so many of the automaker’s vehicles were sold long after their date of demise. Still, an even stranger occurrence was the sale of a brand-new Suzuki car in the United States in 2022.
Dealers sold 194 Dodge Journeys last year, two years after its latest new model year on sale. The much-maligned crossover-minivan mix couldn’t compete with more modern, comfortable family haulers, but Dealers apparently found almost 200 people willing to take the plunge.
The Dodge Dart was last sold new in 2016, yet enterprising dealers found four people to buy new ones a full six years after its demise. Critics praised the car when it was new, offering positive feedback on its handling and demeanor. Dodge failed to capitalize on the Dart’s potential, however, missing opportunities for better performance and tech.
One Dodge Viper – last sold new in 2017 – found a home last year, but this one is less surprising due to the costs of buying and maintaining a high-performance car with a V10 engine. Expensive vehicles such as supercars and high-end luxury models often take longer to sell, maybe not six years like the Viper, but longer than usual.
The Chrysler 200 met a similar end to the Dodge Dart. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said both cars were the “least financially rewarding enterprises” his company had seen in eight years. Still, buyers snapped up two of the slow-selling vehicles last year, five years after its latest new model year.
Volkswagen announced that 2023 would be the last year to buy a new Passat, but buyers somehow found two of the automaker’s other discontinued large sedans on sale in 2022. Two VW CCs were sold last year, five years after the automaker killed it. That’s surprising when the Arteon is on sale, new with better looks and tech.
Suzuki hasn’t even been a player in the U.S. market for a decade, but a former dealer somehow offloaded a new XL7 three-row SUV. The vehicle shared many components with two GM SUVs, so parts and labor should be cheap enough, but it’s still shocking to see a “new” car for sale that was last produced in 2009.