STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) – Labor and supply shortages continue to impact many industries, including auto dealerships.
Many factors, like rising COVID cases in China, war in Ukraine, and labor shortages in the United States, have changed the way car salespeople do their jobs.
Scott Simons, general manager of CMA’s Valley dealerships, said instead of trying to drive a car to the lot and sign the paperwork in a day, buyers often place the car online and have the car delivered. .
“We have around 225 vehicles that are pre-sold. You can walk past a dealership and say, “they don’t have a lot of cars there.” Well, if a truck is coming and people are waiting for it to come, that truck can deliver in the morning and that car is gone in the afternoon,” Simons said.
Simons said it’s not just a problem in the Valley or the Commonwealth; it is widespread.
“We always feel like there’s going to be inventory issues because there’s not just a shortage of chips, it’s a shortage of labor, it’s a shortage of COVID-in-China, so all of these parts are made in all of these different countries, not just here in the United States,” he said.
This means consumers need to buy cars differently. Start shopping early, so a dealer can get you into the car you want.
“If a consumer is considering purchasing a vehicle, I would contact your local dealership as soon as possible because this timeline may be longer than what you are used to,” Simons said.
Even though it takes longer to buy a car than in the past, Simons said it’s becoming more convenient.
“In the past, before COVID, most transactions happened here. Now they contact us through the internet, we go out and do video tours of what they’re buying, we share videos that we have on file, and they buy it without ever coming to the dealership. We had to pivot, but car dealerships are resilient and we will figure out how to take care of those customers,” he said.
He said Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram often have the most cars in the field, but you can always order other vehicles, like Hondas.
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