Have you ever seen a 1996 Jeep Wrangler? How about a 2001 Cadillac Escalade? If you’re about to say yes, hold on and think again. A number of models through automotive history have skipped model years.
Even though your car may have been manufactured or sold in that year doesn’t mean that’s what year it is. If that sounds confusing, it’s because model years are confusing. Though a car might be, for example, a 2015, doesn’t mean it was actually built in 2015. Car companies want to have the car already at dealerships by the start of the year. So, in most cases, the new model year is released in the last quarter of the previous calendar year. A 2015 might be introduced in October 2014, say.
That’s not a hard and fast rule, though. Automakers can release a new model year as early as January 2 of the previous calendar year. That is to say, a 2015 car can be sold as early as January 2, 2014. Sometimes car companies will make a new generation of a car an early release. In other cases they might extend the sales of one model year into the next calendar year if the new generation is not yet ready. That is how most skipped model years happened. Here’s a quick chronological list (more…)