Local Auto Dealers May See Inventories Rise As Manufacturers Resume Production | WJHL

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JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee (WJHL) – Major automakers will resume production after a stall due to a chip shortage, and that could mean more inventory will arrive at dealerships in the Tri-Cities.

Along the Motor Mile in Johnson City, lots have run out of their usual inventory, and the difference has been notable for months.

“All passers-by think we are going to close our doors because our inventory is so low; this is our lowest point in nearly 15 years that we have been in business, ”said Champion Chevrolet owner and vice president Andy Dietrich.

Although stocks are at an all-time low, Dietrich said that doesn’t mean they have stopped entering. Dietrich told News Channel 11 that stocks are coming in, but these cars are sold even before high demand. So, at the back, the lot itself is not actually replenished.

He said he had high hopes that production and the auto market would stabilize by the middle of next year. Dietrich said his last call with Chevrolet was good news as the holiday season approached.

“They say for the fourth quarter of this year they’re going to build 100,000 more units than in the third quarter, so things are looking up for the first time since March; next week all factories will be reopened, ”Dietrich said.

To put the changes they have seen on the ground into perspective, Dietrich said when it comes to used vehicles, they currently have around 200 available when they were used to 500-600 vehicles from opportunity before the pandemic.

With production resuming and the chip shortage still rife, Jesse Kennedy, Chaparral Buick GMC’s director of operations, said GMC officials he communicates with every week have told him there will be changes. in production in order to put the cars back on the lots.

The changes include cuts to some minor aspects of newer vehicles that people have become accustomed to when buying a new car – features like additional charger ports, heated seats and a sliding rear window, according to the report. Kennedy.

“A lot of the 2021 models are going to be released as a 2022 limited edition, and there will be limited options on them,” Kennedy said.

The reductions are also accompanied by a reduction in prices. Kennedy said these limited edition models wouldn’t be as expensive given the removed features.

He believes it could be years before the market returns to what is considered normal, but also believes the pandemic has forever changed the future of auto sales.

“We’re probably going to get into a special order situation where you come in when you want a new vehicle and select a new vehicle that you can’t ride and drive, but you can choose the options you want and then they’ll build that vehicle for you. Kennedy said. “I foresee this as something that will happen fairly regularly in the near future.”

While dealers await the arrival of new vehicles, used vehicles are on the rise right now. Dietrich said he purchases up to five to six used cars per week, which is a significant increase from pre-pandemic purchases.

For small auto sales companies that only buy and sell used vehicles like Rocky Top Motors, they said the business hasn’t really been disrupted.

In fact, Rocky Top Motors owner Frankie Brian has said that they currently have a few more cars on the lot than usual. He said they pay more to buy these used cars, which is nothing compared to the price of a new vehicle.

Overall, Brian suggests that used vehicles are the best option for buying and selling.

“It just depends on how much people want to pay for their vehicle,” he said. “Used cars have always been a much better investment than a new car. With the money you lose as soon as you leave the parking lot with a new car, you don’t see as much with a used car.

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