Car dealerships hit with another issue: lack of new car inventory

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Like so many other industries over the last year, car dealerships were hit hard by the pandemic.

The pandemic brought numerous problems for those selling cars.

Issues with the supply of semiconductors, the fact that people are just not buying cars and production of vehicles was completely halted.

“What they did is they only had one group or shift at a time. Then what ends up happening is they then would get a second shift. Now they’re running three shifts. And as far as in production. So it does take a little bit of time for them to go ahead and get ramped back up,” said Shawn Weekes, a new car sales manager at Kramer Chevrolet.

The latest issue car dealerships are running into is the lack of new car inventory, which not only affects those selling new cars, but those who are selling used cars.

“We do our buying almost on a daily. We’re always looking for inventory. Basically nationwide we’re searching. We do it every day. And then as people come in– I mean we do our best to accommodate to have what they need. But there’s just certain vehicles, makes, models that just aren’t available,” explained Chasiti Wanner, the dealer principal at Torgerson Auto Center.

“We have a lot of folks that are coming in. They’re prepaying or putting deposits on vehicles that aren’t even here yet. So I’ll say probably close to 85 percent of the units that we have coming in are already presold to customers,” explained Weekes.

Both dealerships are seeing a hike in prices being dolled out for used vehicles as more and more shift their focus to near-newly used cars.

“The new dealers are buying used inventory which is driving up the prices, which make it harder to find inventory,” said Wanner.

“It’s really shifted the pricing and the way things are moving. It’s really driven the used market up as far as pricing. And also value as far as trade values,” explained Weekes.

This week, Kramer was only able to get 10 new vehicles out on their lot.

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