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Does a car’s year legally mean year

Chapap

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So the 2023 Kia Sportage is out. It’s not at all close enough to 2023 for that to be a scheduling issue. A car’s year is on many legal documents, but does it actually mean the year it was made? Is it really just a 4 digit code that every manufacturer just happens to use? What if Ford came out with the 3260 f150 next year. Would that fly?
 


Roert42

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The date of manufacture is normally part of the VIN, so my guess would be you could call it a model year 6000 if you wanted and would be no issues.
 

ericbphoto

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Not sure what you're getting at. The "model year" usually starts late in the year before. So, some 2023's are made in 2022. But when you do taxes and registration, they ask for model year. So you would put 2023 on the forms.

However, sometimes minor changes occur throughout the model year. It's not often, but sometimes when you go to the parts store, you need to know when it was actually manufactured so you get the right parts.

As far as actual manufacturing goes, when a vehicle undergoes major revisions, there will be some models manufactured more than a year before the new model officially comes out. They have to build cars to use for setting up the manufacturing process and programming robots. Some are needed for safety testing and certifications, some for marketing and other various reasons. Bunches of new models are built way, way before the new model is ever released for sale.
 

Chapap

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Not sure what you're getting at. The "model year" usually starts late in the year before. So, some 2023's are made in 2022. But when you do taxes and registration, they ask for model year. So you would put 2023 on the forms.

However, sometimes minor changes occur throughout the model year. It's not often, but sometimes when you go to the parts store, you need to know when it was actually manufactured so you get the right parts.

As far as actual manufacturing goes, when a vehicle undergoes major revisions, there will be some models manufactured more than a year before the new model officially comes out. They have to build cars to use for setting up the manufacturing process and programming robots. Some are needed for safety testing and certifications, some for marketing and other various reasons. Bunches of new models are built way, way before the new model is ever released for sale.
My local dealer had a 2023 sportage in the first week of March this year. That seems like some marketing gimmick to me. Having a new model year come out 9 months early. If anything, a big redesign usually comes out a few months late. Seems like they should have called the new 2022 version.
 

ericbphoto

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March is definitely very early
 

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I think it depends...

Was it a new model or a major? If so... good for them on being ahead of schedule.

If it was just the same vehicle with a few enhancements... it's a bit early for 23's
 

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In case you haven't figured it out, a lot of weird things happen in the automotive industry. If you go to the BMW website and try to build a car to order, you won't find an X9. But they've been trickling through my paint shop since 4th qtr last year. There is a lot involved in bringing out new models and even just major renovations to existing models
 

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It’s a model year.
 

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To be considered a 2023, the model has to be in production on January 1st, 2023. They sometimes do stuff that doesn't seem logical to me. Ford never built a 1998 F250 or 350, they built 97's through December and started producing 99 Super Duties on January 2nd of 98 and continued the model year through the fall of 99. One of my old techs would look at the door tag for the model year but instead of the VIN, he'd go by the date- If he saw September or later he called it the next year. And ordered a bunch of wrong parts.
 

Chapap

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I think it depends...

Was it a new model or a major? If so... good for them on being ahead of schedule.

If it was just the same vehicle with a few enhancements... it's a bit early for 23's
It’s a major update. Just interesting they chose to call it 2023.

I really don’t get why all the OEMs and dealerships are trying so hard. Everything sells in minutes, yet they still advertise heavily and hang balloons all over the lot. My guess is they’re afraid of getting left behind once everything recovers.
 

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You cannot start building a 2024 model year vehicle now, as they have not finalized all the DOT/EPA/NTSB specs yet and it is not yet 2023, so no they could not call it a model year 6000 vehicle at this time.
 

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Sometimes manufacturers will do that, when a new model is coming out. They usually do it when a new model is highly anticipated, and they do it more often than you might realize. In fact, when Ford first released the Ranger, they did the same thing. The 1983 Ford Ranger was released in March or April of 1992, because of competition with Chevrolet's S-10. They (Ford) also released the Maverick (2022 model released in June 2021) early.
 

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The model year is whatever the manufacturer says it is. Exceptions and legal issues mentioned above.
Famously, there were no 1970 Shelby Mustangs built. The 1970 Shelby’s were leftover 1969 models and the VIN’s were changed under the supervision of the FBI (and black hood stripes added).
 

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Hyundai/KIA can release a 2023 model basically anytime after they've released the 2022 model. they never suffered from a chip shortage and are far ahead of any competition for production. They released the "refreshed" 2021 Santa Fe in 2020, just after a "complete" makeover in 2019.
 

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Also not long ago I was watching an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage and he said that ALL Duesenbergs were built in like 1929 but the official model year was when the car got a body and was sold as completed, the last of which was around 1934.
 

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