Car prices up as inventory low at some Triangle dealerships

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Car dealerships are among those businesses feeling the pinch from the supply-chain crunch.

"This would usually be stuffed full of inventory," said Mark Roberts, of Capital Auto Group, as he pointed to a car lot.

Roberts said they only have 11 of their popular new F-150 trucks on the lot at Capital Ford in Raleigh, with 11 more coming in. Usually, they'd have more than 100.

"They shut down a bunch of Ford plants to make these masks," Roberts said. "And it's been very slow to come back online and then you couple with it, the chip shortage and it's just way behind on the production of vehicles right now. Trying to ramp things up again, but it just it hasn't gotten back yet; supply chain issues."

One dealership showroom in Durham last week was empty.

And you'll have to pay more for cars.

"Everything's up," Roberts said. "I would say in some cases, double digits. Most single-digit increases in percentage."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of new cars has gone up nearly 9 percent in about the last year.

Used cars have gone up 24 percent.

Roberts has these tips for those looking to buy a car.

"I think the smartest thing to do right now is come in and try and find a lightly used, pre-owned vehicle, something one or two years old," Roberts said. "You can find a lot of the same features that are in the brand new ones. Something that's already out there, obviously doesn't have the chip shortage problem and is already here."

If you're looking to sell your used car, Roberts said you can get more for it now.

"Lots of people are turning their cars in because they're paying more for cars," Roberts said.

Hanna Imports in Raleigh only sells used cars.

Sales Manager Isaac Ward said they're seeing more demand for electric vehicles.

"With gas prices, changing economy," Ward said. "Fuel costs right now is probably the primary reason and we try to get all types."

Like new cars, you'll have to pay more for used cars, too.

"Used car prices are going up, yes," Ward said. "But that's why we try to keep enough cars so we can make it fair for the consumer."

At Hanna Imports, the inventory is at 75%. They haven't been affected as much as dealerships selling new cars but their inventory is lower than it was before the pandemic.

Roberts is seeing some improvement.

"The new cars are tight, inventory is low on those, but it is starting to improve," Roberts said. "We're getting trucks in. It's a little better but still nowhere near where it used to be."
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