Why does a dealership charge more for the same car?

If you’ve wondered why the prices for similar cars at different dealerships are sometimes far apart, the head of a national trade group for auto dealers can offer one explanation.

And he says the practice is a bad idea.

During a talk in Detroit this week, Mark Scarpelli, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, blasted so-called stair-step incentive programs (where dealers get cash from automakers for meeting sales goals) as programs that ultimately hurt brand loyalty.

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