Dealerships struggle to keep cars on the lot amid shortages, high demand

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Dealerships struggle to keep cars on the lot amid shortages
The global chip shortage continues to plague the supply chain.

If you're in the market for a new car, good luck!

Dealers across the Triangle are struggling to fill their lots with new inventory as the global chip shortage continues to plague the supply chain.

Dave Burrell, General Manager for Crossroads Ford in Wake Forest, has pushed all available vehicles to the front of the lot while most of the spaces sit empty.

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"We have a product that's in high demand, we just have limited supply," he said. "But we hear it's going to get better in the coming months. That could be months, that could be a year. So I always tell people now more so than ever if you see something you like, get it because it might not be here the next day."

Geoff and Calun Vallance are looking for a Ford F-250 and said their search led them to Crossroads Ford where only two are currently in stock.

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"On the one hand, it was the closest to us, but also it had inventory whereas some places didn't," said Geoff. "Do we get one now? Do we wait until the chip shortage kind of goes away and more inventory comes? It's definitely some big considerations."

Michael Jordan Nissan in Durham alerted customers that due to the rubber and global chip shortage, prices are on the rise for both new and used vehicles and that its inventory may last for a few more months, if not weeks.

Alan Broughton, General Manager of Leith Toyota in Raleigh said, because Toyota owns the chip maker supplying his dealership, it's helping them keep up with demand.

However, Broughton's lot is also sitting mostly bare as pre-sales have more than doubled over the last month with customers snagging cars before they even arrive.

"Demand is what's really driving this," he said. "Some of it was chip shortage, some it was COVID related, but it's all just caught up and the consumers are like, 'hey, listen, we're done. We've been in the house, we wanna buy some cars.'"

Regardless of where you're shopping, dealers advise that now is the time to consider trading in your old car.

"Trade-in values are at an all-time high," said Burrell. "So trade-in values are very high right now, which in turn, you're gonna get more for your trade. It gives you some opportunity to maybe put some money or have some equity into your new vehicle."