COVID Causes Scarcity of New and Used Automobiles — and Leases

Salesperson at car dealership selling vehichles


RON KRATZER, gross sales supervisor at Joel Confer Ford, has been within the automotive gross sales enterprise for greater than 50 years.

Ron Kratzer, gross sales supervisor of Joel Confer Ford in Bellefonte, has been promoting automobiles for greater than 50 years.

“I bought my first automotive after I was 15 years outdated,” Kratzer stated. “I’ve seen all of it.”

Because the COVID-19 pandemic began inflicting shutdowns final 12 months, Kratzer stated his firm “did very properly” when it comes to gross sales.

“This 12 months is a 12 months I by no means would have believed costs may go as excessive as they did at public sale,” Kratzer stated. “The market is so purple sizzling, and the final couple weeks we’ve seen a bit of little bit of a cool-off, however not important. It’s happening from a loopy excessive to a bit of little bit of a standard excessive.”

Nationwide, Kratzer defined, there’s a scarcity of each new and used automobiles.

“Gross sales of latest automobiles within the U.S. are anticipated to shut this 12 months down a minimum of 15 p.c, which might mark one of many business’s worst annual declines since a minimum of 1980,” reported in December 2020.

“A giant half is the scarcity of semiconductors to construct new automobiles,” Kratzer stated.

Semiconductors are “the ‘mind’ inside each digital gadget on this planet,” reviews The Guardian, and the scarcity in chips “has been steadily worsening since final 12 months” as the availability chain was delayed on the similar time demand for brand spanking new TVs, gaming programs, and many others., surged.


The automotive manufacturing scarcity might have an effect on your summer time trip plans, Kratzer warned.

“The automotive rental corporations are literally out at public sale shopping for automobiles for his or her fleets as a result of they’ll’t get new ones from the producers,” Kratzer stated. “That’s additional driving the value up, as a result of usually the rental corporations are promoting at public sale. They flip their fleet from time to time – each six months or so – and so they can’t try this proper now, as a result of they’ll’t substitute these automobiles. In order that they’re retaining them longer and placing extra miles on their rental fleet, and the journey business has picked up a lot that they’re quick on rental automobiles.

“If you happen to’re touring to a few of these resorts, you higher be sure to have a rental automotive lined up, as a result of there’s a number of price-gouging happening. I’ve heard of some ridiculous costs.”


Automobiles at Joel Confer are “turning in a short time,” in line with Kratzer, who has recommendation for individuals who want a brand new automotive.

“I might counsel to anyone who’s available in the market for a automotive, particularly for somebody who actually has to switch their automotive — the outdated one’s simply drained and worn out — in the event that they discover something that’s near what their specs and desires are, I wouldn’t hesitate, I might purchase it,” Kratzer stated. “I don’t see this getting any higher till the top of the 12 months, so far as costs getting relaxed.

“Final month was a superb month,” he continued. “The month earlier than that was a superb month, however now our stock is right down to lower than half on new and half on used, in comparison with what we usually carry. Subsequently, that’s hurting our gross sales quantity fairly a bit.”

Kratzer provides that slowly however certainly, “issues are getting again to kind of some normalcy once more.”

This story seems within the June 10-16 version of The Centre County Gazette


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