The next best time to buy a car isn’t until people start buying cars again. This sounds counterintuitive, but it lines up with how the new and used car industries are working right now. There’s increasing demand for new and used cars right now, but unfortunately, there just isn’t enough supply to fill that demand. This is raising the prices of all cars across the board. The pandemic started the problems, and world events keep exacerbating those problems that continues to see a growing car shortage in Colorado and the rest of the country.
Before the pandemic, there was already a decreasing supply of computer chips. The pandemic slowed most production of goods, bringing a screeching stop to these chip manufacturers. Car manufacturers need these chips to run the onboard infotainment systems that almost every car built past 2013 has standard on their vehicles. This has slowed down production of new cars and made it almost impossible for dealerships to replenish their inventory.
If the chip shortage ends, will the car shortage end too?
It’s not only the delay in computer chips. For parts to come in, dealers and repair shops sometimes wait three times longer now for parts to come in. For imports, they may have to wait even longer. Recent estimates expect this delay to continue until the end of 2023, but recent estimates expect that this could last even longer.
Car dealerships started the pandemic strong. New light vehicle registrations were up 19% in the first nine months of 2021. People still want cars. It was almost even more important to have your own car after more people feared taking public transportation. But dealers were not able to replenish their stock, and by the last three months of 2021, car registrations were down 11.4%.
Things looked to bounce back in 2022. The chip shortage is still a thing, but supply lines have opened up and are working at full capacity again. Experts expected that as soon as companies got through their year-long backlog of orders, things would get back to normal. However, Ukraine is the home of many car manufacturer factories. Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and BMW all had to shut down facilities during the recent war, which dropped production once again. The companies could not catch up before things slowed down again, leading to this car shortage that’s affecting Colorado so severely.
What if I just buy domestic vehicles?
And there are problems at home, too. The chip shortage has caused the market for rare minerals to skyrocket. Many of these rare minerals can be found in the catalytic converter that all vehicles have to have. Thieves have taken to stealing these from cars parked on dealership lots. Colorado is now the state with the highest number of catalytic converter thefts in the United States.It’s creating additional problems for dealers who already have more than enough on their plates to run their businesses.
Colorado Springs has never been safe when it comes to vehicle theft. It remains the highest per capita in vehicle thefts in general. In Colorado Springs, dealers on Motor City Drive have banded together to hire night security to combat these rising thefts. It’s costing each dealership $1000 per month. This is creating even more costs, and unfortunately, employees are seeing the results come out of their paychecks.
Automotive dealers just don’t have the income anymore to offer competitive salaries or raises. This is making it harder to maintain employees. So, with the addition of a slow supply chain and vehicle shortages, customers have to wait even longer for general maintenance with the smaller staff.
How does Colorado fight the Car Shortage?
The solution is simple: get more factories to make more cars. This will increase supply to meet demand, which will lower prices. The lower prices will allow the dealers to make higher profits, and thieves will be less likely to continue if they’re not getting prices that justify the risks. But all of this is out of the hands of these dealers. They will just have to weather the storm and wait. Until then, if you really need a car, there are some options available. They’ll just be a little more expensive than if you waited. The best thing today is to not only search for a vehicle at your local dealership but also look in other cities and states as well. The perfect car is still out there; it’s just harder to find.
If you do find that perfect vehicle, and you need to ship it back, you can always find a trusted, licensed, and bonded company to help with the shipping. Colorado Springs Auto Transport is an excellent option. They have been serving the Colorado community for over 15 years and can ship to or from any state in America, including Alaska and Hawaii.