With inflation hitting an almost 40-year high, a dollar isn’t quite worth what it used to be. The effects of this unfortunate economic reality have been felt in every sector of the economy, but perhaps nowhere more than in the automotive market. This inflation, combined with a chronic shortage of the microchips used in countless consumer goods, has seen the average cost of a new vehicle rise by as much as 20 percent, but some brands are fighting back. Nissan is leading the way, introducing a new “inflation-proof” model that local drivers can now test drive at their local Mahomet Nissan dealer.
Nissan, which has long been known for building affordable, quality vehicles, is taking an entirely new tact in response to mounting inflation. The new Nissan JP Rogue isn’t some stripped-down budget version of Nissan’s popular crossover, in fact, it’s the most expensive model the brand has produced to date. While this might seem counterintuitive in a time when the dollar’s buying power is so low, Nissan is banking on the model’s consistent price giving buyers the illusion that, despite what nearly every facet of current events would indicate, some things will never change. To that end, the J.P. Rogue––which is identical in every way to the standard Rogue SUV with an MSRP of around $21,000––will never raise its $100,000 price regardless of current market fluctuations.
The new model is named in honor of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whose failure to raise interest rates made the project possible. While an easy solution has so far eluded Powell, along with the world’s foremost economic minds, one Nissan exec says the answer is deceptively simple.
“Frankly, we think this is a stroke of genius, and we’re surprised none of the world’s central banks have figured it out yet: if you just make the initial price of everything really, really high, then inflation can’t get you. I don’t know what they’re teaching them over there at the London School of Economics, but I cracked this one while waiting in line for a McDouble,” says Larry Buford, CFO at Nissan
When asked if some drivers might balk at buying the J.P. Rogue at a price that could bring home a Porsche, Range Rover, or Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Buford gave an off-the-record response that somehow made it into print. “Please don’t tell them that,” he pleaded. “This whole promotion falls apart as soon as the consumer starts to do literally any research, and I’ve got my daughter’s horse-riding lessons to pay for.”
The auto market has been in an unprecedented state of flux in recent months, with 7 percent inflation wreaking havoc on nearly every industry. Based on a more moderate annual inflation rate of 2.5 percent, it will likely take over 80 years for a vehicle like the 2022 Rogue to command a price anywhere near $100,000, but Buford says the invaluable peace of mind more than makes up for the premium price.
“Essentially, what we’ve done is built in what we in the industry call ‘a little wiggle room’,” says Buford. “We know this might look like a blatant cash grab, but in reality, we’re just trying to help insulate our customers from the wild price fluctuations that have become all too common as of late.”
While the unique pricing structure is sure to save drivers some financial planning headaches — and reduce back problems related to overfilled wallets — the J.P. Rogue does differ from the base model in one important way. Owing to an internal miscommunication at Nissan, the J.P. Rogue comes with all four of its tires permanently deflated. Nissan traces this flaw back to one overeager engineer who, grossly misunderstanding the term “anti-inflation,” prematurely flattened every tire before it left the factory. Dealerships unwilling to foot the bill for replacements report low initial sales owing to a spate of traumatic test drive experiences.
Of course, haggling is an inevitable part of any vehicle sale, and some buyers just can’t resist trying to get a better deal. “We had a guy in here last week who said he had done a lot of ‘research’ online and ‘saw through our scam’ when it came to the flat-rate pricing. I was on the verge of directing him to one of the identical $20k Rogues on the lot, but then he used the word ‘sheeple,’ and I just couldn’t in good conscience not gouge the man,” says Rory McPhee, a sales associate at one Mahomet Nissan dealership.