INDIANAPOLIS — Car dealerships across the country are struggling to keep up with demand. Dealerships can't get cars on the lot fast enough, if at all, because of closed plants and shortages of important parts.
Normally, when you want to buy a car, the only problem is trying to pick which one you want. But as one dealer explained that's not the case right now.
"My lot over there is typically full with an excess overflow of 100 or something cars. It's empty right now,” Bob Falcone, owner of Falcone Subaru & Volkswagen said.
You would think the sight of empty car lots would be a car dealership's dream, but when the supply doesn't match the high demand. We have a huge problem.
"I would normally have about 250 new Subaru's another 100 Volkswagens to begin with at the beginning of the month to start selling. Well, this month I started with 22 Subaru's and about 30 Volkswagen,” Falcone said.
Falcone explained there are three things impacting the shortage:
“One is demand. Demand is way up from COVID. Everybody's been locked down and people want to get out, they want to get cars and start traveling again,” he said.
Then, there's a lack of microchips for vehicles to properly operate.
"A plant in Japan burned down. There are only 3 plants in the world. That just cut it down by one-third of the production for chips."
And finally, the lack of manpower to ship out what they can.
"Even though there are other cars built, they're having difficulty getting them to all of the dealers,” Falcone said.
"To be quite honest, it's a process I don't want to repeat anytime soon,” Brooke McKay, a first-time car buyer said.
McKay explained she has been trying to buy a car for at least seven to eight months.
"I would say the low demand and prices for the cars for even the older models. I was priced out of a lot of the newer stuff because of the supply and demand,” she said.
So, McKay decided to compromise a bit by going for a used car rather than new to finally get the key to her own ride.
"Some compromise on some other things, but ultimately the decision that I wanted in the end,” McKay said.
Depending on what you're looking for, it could take six to eight weeks before getting that new ride, if it’s not already on the lot. But Falcone said there are cases where people won't be able to get the car they want until possibly next year.
Since demand for vehicles is up, so are the prices...especially used vehicles.
Cars are up about 25 percent from last year and trucks are up 44 percent. Much like the housing market, experts said the car market is competitive. But, if you find a used vehicle, be sure to take time to conduct an inspection and check on its history.