Dealerships just keep getting more brazen with their markups. Taking advantage of the market's supply and demand is understandable—I don't like it, but I get it. However, it just doesn't sit right when you see examples like this one from Bellevue Nissan in Washington. They've got a 2023 Nissan Z Proto Spec with an MSRP of $54,915, plus a market adjustment of $73,881, plus a $1,195 dealership protection package. This brings the total asking price to $129,991, as a Reddit post originally highlighted.
In reality, though, they might not be selling it just yet. It's a long and winding story, so let's start from the beginning. This is how it went when we initially reached out to Bellevue Nissan:
Now, you should be able to buy some other brand new sports cars for the same money, including a Porsche 911 Carrera S, a Chevy Corvette Z06, a Mercedes-AMG GT, and a BMW M4 Competition. All of these are faster, more capable, and more premium sports cars. Don't get me wrong, the Nissan Z is a good car, but it's not 911 Carrera S good.
So why would this dealer slap on such a massive markup? It all has to do with the Proto Spec and its limited availability. Only 240 Proto Spec Z cars will make it to U.S. shores, making them quite rare. Not every Nissan dealer will be able to get one in its showroom, so Bellevue Nissan wants to capitalize on its good fortune. I called several Nissan dealers across the country and, as it turns out, Bellevue is one of the fortunate few to have a Proto Spec Z in their inventory at the moment. This is why they might actually want to hold onto it.
When we first reached out to Bellevue Nissan, we were told that the advertised markup was accurate and that they were taking offers. However, when we spoke to them on the phone Monday morning, a sales manager told us the car isn't actually for sale just yet. Due to the limited nature of the Proto Spec Z, they said they want to keep the car for a little while longer to give more customers a chance to see it.
I asked if the dealer would sell the Proto Spec Z if a customer offered them their full $129,991 asking price, to which they were noncommittal. I then enquired if the markup would be negotiable if and when they do finally decide to sell it and the sales manager said that it would be. Of course, the longer they hold onto the Z, the less demand there's going to be, as more and more dealers start receiving them.
Is the Nissan Z Proto Spec worth paying such a hefty markup for over the standard car? It's admittedly a little bit nicer than the Z Performance or Sport lines. The Proto Spec gets exclusive Ikazuchi Yellow interior trim and stitching, exclusive leather and suede seats, exclusive yellow Akebono brake calipers, and bronze 19-inch Rays wheels. However, all Z models get the optional Ikazuchi Yellow paint, so most of the Proto's visual differences are subtle. And the Z's normal Performance trim has all of the same mechanical components as the Proto Spec.
This is why Bellevue Nissan will probably give in and sell the car if someone with deep enough pockets is impatient enough to pay for it. Customers are hoping that doesn't happen, though, as it might set a precedent for other dealers to adjust their Proto Spec examples sky high when they get them in.