Car dealerships facing short supply, low sales

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ROGERS, Ark. (NewsNation Now) — If you’ve been in the market for a new vehicle, you may have experienced the effects of supply chain problems at car dealerships.

The market for new and used vehicles has spiked significantly in 2021 as the global chip shortage, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, has constructed automotive production. However, as shortage woes continue, manufacturing delays continue to boost prices and stall sales at dealerships.

Many of those massive car lots have become parking lots — emptied because cars are in short supply.

Before the pandemic, consumers could walk into a dealership lot to buy whatever vehicle they were set on. Now, many consumers cannot choose which color vehicle they get when purchasing a new car. Automakers are being forced to prioritize the production of some cars over others, sending buyers scrambling to try to find what they want.

Meanwhile, that shortage mixed with shipping issues across the United States is affecting local auto repair shops, from oil filters to brake parts. It’s taking mechanics longer to get what they need to fix vehicles.

“Parts are the hardest part of our job, ’cause without those, you can’t fix the car, ” said Joey Tessman, who owns Joey’s Auto Shop in Iowa. “But it’s been very challenging trying to make sure you can still get the parts that you want, the quality that you want, and still be able to give the customer a turnaround time that works with them.”

All of these issues combined — the supply chain problems, short supply of auto parts and short inventory of vehicles — have led to the slowest car sales month of the year, according to Edmunds, a publisher of auto industry information. Not only was September one of the slowest months, but the third quarter of the year was also down 13 percent from 2020.

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