Delayed production of automobile parts causing car shortage

The lot is emptying out at Asa Auto Plaza of Austin, but not for right reason.

“The pandemic has created shortages in a lot of the materials used to produce the vehicles. The semiconductor chips has been a big one, kind of the brains of the vehicle,” said General Manager Tanner Asa. “It’s not just the little guys, I think it’s all dealers are experiencing the same issues when it comes to inventory on their lot.”

Dealers can’t get the cars they need to sell in order to make money. There’s a delay in certain parts because of the pandemic and the production of vehicles has come to a screeching stop.

“After those first couple months went through from them switching to producing ventilators to switching to producing vehicles again, they never caught up,” Asa said. “Our new inventory is probably at about 30 percent of where we typically run for new inventory on the lot.”

Asa says because he can’t get many new vehicles from his manufacturer, he’s filling his lot with more used cars. He says despite the pandemic, demand hasn’t dipped so he’s switching his business strategy to make sure he can keep securing sales.

“A lot of our traffic is drive by traffic and we have customers drive through the lot and they see an empty lot and obviously they’re going to have negative thoughts I’m sure,” said Asa. “I can’t have that vehicle my customer’s looking for here to show off to them, sell them like we normally would. We’re just changing it up by trying to get our customers to order a vehicle instead of pick one off the lot.”

However, Asa says it’ll be months before you’re carrying the keys depending on which make and model you order. For example, if you want a new Silverado, it’s going to be two to three months before you can drive it off the lot.

Asa says him manufacturer tells him inventory should be steady again by the end of the year.

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