Valley car dealerships adjust to new sales model

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Global parts shortages continue to put a strain on car manufacturers and car dealerships.

Local car lots look a little different now. With shortages on parts and factories closing, they operate in a new way.

Instead of keeping over 1,000 cars on the lot, Scott Simons, President and Managing Partner of CMA’s Valley Dealerships in Staunton, says they have fewer cars.

“We went to a model of having inventory on-ground to ordering vehicles,” Simons said.

When shopping for a car, a consumer might not be able to find the car they want on the lot, but Simons says they can order it for you. He says all of that is because many parts, like microchips, aren’t available right away due to changes in production models.

“A lot of manufacturers went to a ‘just in time’ model, where they produce vehicles with efficiency. The one issue with a ‘just in time’ model, if anything disrupts that model, it throws off all the efficiency,” Simons said.

He says the problem is caused by a combination of things.

“[Factories] may be shut down because of COVID, a factory may be shut down because they don’t have labor, so it’s a culmination of a lot of different things,” Simons said. “I honestly believe we may never see it go back to the way it used to be.”

However, Simons says they’re still happy to help customers, and shoppers have been understanding.

“When challenges happen, resilient people just figure out how to get it done. The community has been so supportive of all the local dealers, and we just sincerely appreciate it,” he said.

He says there may also be a bright side for some customers.

“Because of the low inventory on new, used car values are very high, so you would get a very good trade-in value,” he said.

Simons says ordering a vehicle can take anywhere from two weeks to two months.

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