ANSONIA, CT (WFSB) – Are you in the market for a new car? You might need to be patient.
That’s because while the country is opening back up from the pandemic and returning to normal, car dealerships across the country are still feeling the affects with record low inventory.
Not too long ago, car lots and overflow lots would be packed with vehicles. But across the country, now it’s simply not the case.
If you’re looking to buy, being flexible will help.
Jeep Wranglers remain a popular car at Fitzpatrick Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram dealership in downtown Ansonia, but owner Paul Fitzpatrick says right now, buyers just don’t have a whole lot to pick from.
“If we would normally have 180 cars on the lot, we have 60. I’ve been doing this a long time, 40 years, I’ve never seen it this low and it’s not for wanting the inventory, we have the orders in the system,” Fitzpatrick said.
No matter where you’re shopping, that’s likely to be the case at car dealerships across the country.
With people staying home during the pandemic, car manufacturers slowed down and so did orders for the microchips used for the powertrain, infotainment, and onboard safety systems.
“Chip makers decided, let’s stop making chips for cars because people aren’t buying them. Let’s make chips for personal computers because people will use that to communicated,” said David Cadden, Quinnipiac University.
In fact, according to Edmunds, which rates and reviews cars along with providing appraisals, across the country, new car inventory is down 48 percent from last year.
David Cadden, professor emeritus with Quinnipiac University’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, says that’s also resulting in a rush on used cars too. He says depending on where you shop, you might not get the exact deal you were looking for.
“It’s like the housing market and again, it’s a question of the pent-up demand. It makes it a seller’s market,” Cadden said.
If you’re looking to buy, be flexible, have back-up options when it comes to colors, styles, and models.
At Fitzpatricks, Paul says they’ve actually switched gears with their business model, focusing more on factory specific orders.
“The customer gets the color they want, the equipment they want, just have to be able to wait to get the vehicle,” Fitzpatrick said.
So, how long will this last? Fitzpatrick says he’s been told they could start seeing a bit of an uptick in inventory in August and September, but he says they also indicated it’s still not going to be at the levels dealerships are used to.