Empty spots on lots: Tallahassee car dealers struggle due to supply shortage

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 12:25 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Supply chain shortages have led to empty spots in car dealership lots.

Two years ago, Tallahassee’s Werner Hyundai had about 600 cars in stock. Now, that number is down to 50.

“We’re taking all we can get,” Michael Ward, the company’s used car director said.

Ward has been in the car business for more than a decade but says he’s never seen anything like this.

“I’ve got ten people looking at one car instead of one person looking at ten cars,” Ward said.

With fewer cars on the lot, vehicles that are in stock are selling faster and for higher prices than normal.

“As soon as they come off the truck, we literally have guys going ‘Hey, the car’s here,’” Ward said. “And they’ll get it before the plastic is even off, and they’re signing up while we’re putting it through detail.”

Other local dealerships are seeing similar trends.

“We’re here selling pretty much everything we have—higher volumes than ever,” Nicholas Haggstrom, Capital BMW’s sales manager said. “And the demand for vehicles is just higher. However, BMW is not able to produce cars as quickly.”

Some buyers are even booking flights to buy cars that are in short supply.

“I would say probably one out of five of our clients right now are coming from outside of 100 miles,” Haggstrom said.

This global supply chain problem is driven by a shortage in essential parts, like microchips.

“The microchip shortage started probably back in May,” Chris Kraft, co-owner of Tallahassee’s Kraft Nissan, said. “We thought that we would see the worst of it in August.”

But experts say the issue will last through next summer. In the meantime, dealers are asking customers to remain patient.

Additionally, because vehicles are in high demand, dealers say if you have an extra car, now is a great time to sell.

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