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Labor and supply shortages continues to impact car dealerships

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Labor and supply shortage continue to impact many industries, including car dealerships.

Many factors, like increasing COVID cases in China, the war in Ukraine, and labor shortages in the U.S. have changed the way car salesmen do their jobs.

Scott Simons, General Manager of CMA’s Valley Dealerships, said instead of test driving a car on the lot and signing the papers all in one day, buyers often place the car online and get the car delivered.

“We have roughly 225 vehicles that are presold. You may drive by a dealership and say, ‘they don’t have many cars there.’ Well, if a truck comes in and people are waiting for it to come in, that truck may deliver in the morning and that car’s gone in the afternoon,” Simons said.

Simons said this isn’t only a problem in the Valley or in the commonwealth; it’s widespread.

“We still feel like there’s going to be some inventory issues because there’s not only a chip shortage, it’s a labor shortage, it’s a COVID-in-China shortage, so all these parts are made in all these different countries, not just here in the United States,” he said.

That means consumers need to go about buying cars differently. Start shopping early, so a dealer can get you in the car you want.

“If any consumer is considering purchasing a vehicle, I would contact your local dealer as soon as possible because that timetable could be longer than what you’re used to,” Simons said.

Even though it takes more time to buy a car than it did in the past, Simons said it is increasingly convenient.

“In the past, before COVID, most of the transactions happened here. Now, they’re contacting us through the internet, we’re going out and doing video walk-arounds of what they’re purchasing, we’re sharing videos we have in archive, and they’re purchasing it without ever coming to the dealership. We had to pivot, but car dealers are resilient, and we’ll figure out how to take care of those customers,” he said.

He said Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram often have the highest number of cars on the lot, but you can still order other vehicles, like Hondas.

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