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On my way to work I noticed a 2011 model year Hyundai on the lot of a local dealer. 2011. Why?

This bothers me for a few reasons. Mainly... it's not 2011. And by that I really mean that it is not even CLOSE to 2011. It is still mid February of 2010. We're barely into the first quarter! How can you even call that a 2011 model when it's not even close to that year? And that also means that production of that model would have started some time last year - in 2009!

I can live with testing and concepts two years before your model debuts... but the actual production of it? Aren't we a little ahead of ourselves here?

Another reason this bothers me... mileage. Take a second to think about it - the current average mileage for any vehicle is probably somewhere between 12k and 15k per year. This car will have that many miles before it even gets into its own model year! So look ahead to 2013 when this car now has about 40k miles on it. If you go by model year, that's a 20k per year average - which kills resale. Comparatively, if you call this a 2010 with 40k miles in 2013, that's only about a 13k per year average... which is way more "average."

So what's the deal? This is probably the largest model year to release year gap I've ever seen. Even Toyota really doesn't start selling the next model year vehicles until around July of the year before. That seemed like a long gap before. Now it has just been shattered.

What can we do? Not much actually. In some situations I think they should just take a year off and push that design out another 6-10 months. But they won't. This is the car industry and you always need to have your latest and greats out NOW! DO IT! MOVE! BUILD IT! SELL IT!

Eh hem.. sorry. So if you want to pick up a car super early to say you have the most recent one and don't mind taking a kick to the balls on resale value - there's a 2011 Hyundai for you just down the road from me.

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ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “New Car Releases are Out of Control”

  • Tomas

    February 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    The simplest solution would be for the gov’mint to say that when the particular example became available for retail sale was its model year.

    For example as soon as the unit you saw at the Hyundai dealer was put on the lot for retail sale it became a 2010 because it was available for sale in 2010.

    (My 2005 Scion xB, built in October 2004, would be a 2004 because it was placed on the lot for retail sale in December 2004. If they had waited a few days it coyld have been a 2005.)

    The model year would change, then, on January First: Anything that is put on the lot for retail sale before January First is last years model.

    Even better would be simply to tie it to manufacture date: Made in 2009? It’s a 2009!

    (And I agree that selling what is supposedly next year’s car in February of the year before is ridiculous.)

    Quick question: If a manufacturer can apparently randomly assign a model year to a vehicle it produces, if there is a drastic change in federal requirements for the next year, that the vehicle does not meet, can they just say they are still building last year’s model?

    Tom