Car dealerships nationwide experiencing empty car lots

Published: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - If you’re in the market to buy a new vehicle, you may not be having much luck. That’s because of a nationwide issue which has left car lots nearly empty.

Across the country, dealerships are facing an inventory shortage because there is a lack of microchips being produced that are needed to run a vehicle.

Lawrence Searcy is the CEO of Walker Automotive in Alexandria and said, “There’s probably 200 of these microchips in the average car. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturers cut back on their orders for microchips, thinking that the car business would go down when in fact, the car business took off.”

Car manufacturers have cars fully built and ready to send to dealerships, but because of the microchips being backlogged, the vehicles cannot be complete.

Searcy said normally they like to have a 45 to 60 day supply of vehicles in their inventory, but now they only have a 10 day supply. Dealerships are also selling vehicles to customers before they even hit the lot.

“It’s almost become a just in time type business for us,” said Searcy. “When the truck pulls up, most of the cars on that truck have already been sold.”

The cost of a new vehicle has increased because of the shortages and dealership owners are saying that now would be the best time for anyone looking to trade in their vehicle.

“The new car supply is way down which has led to an increase in the number of dealers trying to sell used cars to fill that void for the people that still want cars,” said Searcy. “You will get top dollar for your trade-in. At the same time, because there is a lack of supply of new cars, new car pricing has gone up as well.”

Searcy believes that the car lot shortage could last through the end of the year.

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