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Local dealerships dealing vehicle inventory shortages

By LESLIE AGUILAR

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    KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Many car dealerships across the Kansas City metro and the country are experiencing unprecedented inventory shortages for both new and used vehicles.

“I think it’s probably going to last for at least the next three years,” Grant White, owner of Heartland Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Excelsior Springs said.

There isn’t one simple reason for the shortages.

“New vehicles are just not being built because of the chip shortage, COVID shut-downs, the employment issues. There’s just a lot of different things. And it’s not just the manufacturing plants, but the suppliers just aren’t keeping up with the demand,” he said.

2022 models are usually on the lot in August, September, and October. That’s not the case in this year. Usually White would have around 180 new models at this time, right now he only has about 20.

“The 21s will be long gone before the 22s come in,” White said.

Some models won’t arrive on lots until sometime next year.

So many customers are ordering their vehicles instead of shopping off the lot.

“It’s usually taking about three months right now to order a vehicle,” White said.

It’s also hard to find a used vehicle on the lot, because they’re sold just as fast as they arrive on the lot.

Brandi Cox from Kansas City, Kansas said she searched for a pre-owned family car for months before finding on in Excelsior Springs Monday.

“It’s been horrible trying to find one,” Cox said. “Our price range and then what we were looking for, it just didn’t really match up.”

With high demand and low supply, prices are higher than usual. White said paying the higher price is likely worth it, if you have a vehicle to trade in.

“The prices are going to be a little bit higher on the pre-owned signed or on the new side because the manufacturers are not giving a whole lot of incentives like they used to, but the value of the trade-ins are just off the charts. Consumers are getting so much more money than they were,” White said.

Many dealerships, including whites, have hired people specifically to reach out to the public and offer to buy their vehicles, not just former customers, but literally everyone. That’s how desperate dealers are for inventory.

With continued shutdowns for COVID spread at manufacturing plants, plus staffing shortages, combined with the chip shortage, white just doesn’t see the market going back to normal any time soon.

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