In my decades of working in automotive sales, I’ve never seen it like this.
Who could have ever predicted that a global pandemic would cause a swift and serious dent in automotive industry? But it’s here, and we now must overcome obstacles we’ve never faced before.
COVID-19 certainly has had a severe impact on the availability of vehicles. Try buying a Kia Telluride. Near impossible since automotive plants like Kia literally shut their doors for a few months with no production resulting in a shortage of vehicles available to you. After initial supply and manufacturing disruptions, the industry is now experiencing a demand shock with uncertain recovery timeline.
Many Michigan auto workers returned to their jobs in mid-May during the COVID-19 pandemic. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Fiat Chrysler restarted several plants in Michigan, kicking up production after weeks off during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders.
But, a returning outbreak of COVID-19 at some plants coupled with the rising number of infections and deaths being reported around the U.S. only adds to concerns about its potential impact of an already hard-hit auto industry.
Right now, U.S. dealers have only about 2.6 million vehicles in inventory, 1.3 million less than they did in June 2019. That’s a nine-year low, according to some research organizations. Showroom stocks are particularly low when it comes to the high-profit pickups and SUVs that remained in reasonably strong demand throughout the lockdowns.
Sales of pre-owned vehicles in the U.S. have come back after dropping 38% in April, when states were shut down and some dealerships closed. In June, used-vehicle sales rose 17% above the pre-pandemic forecasts, according to research firm J.D. Power.
These are certainly unprecedented and challenging times for all of us that demand patience and understanding. We are here to help you through this pandemic and will do our best to locate and deliver your next vehicle without stress and hassle.
Thanks for listening.