Car dealership inventory should be better in coming months

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Leaders in the automotive industry said March through May is one of the two peak seasons for purchasing cars, but supply chain issues and microchip shortages are affecting dealership inventory.

Ryan Gremore, President of O’Brien Auto Team of Bloomington-Normal said he felt the impacts of supply chain shortages in late summer 2020, which caused many dealerships to have a smaller supply of vehicles.

“But it was really not until maybe the summer of ’21 when it all went haywire when you started seeing dealership lots with no cars, inventory was so hard to get, you’re waiting months to find a new car,” said Gremore.

Leaders said the microchip shortage was created by overall demand in the electronic industry.

Gremore has seen this shortage first hand.

“Most consumers are wanting the models that have the higher trims, and the more equipment, the higher safety features on the cars, and so because that requires more chips, you’re seeing fewer selection in those models,” said Gremore.

Dr. Sandeep Jagani, an assistant professor of management and quantitative methods at Illinois State University, said global supply chain issues also have an effect on the automotive industry, from labor shortages, driver shortages, even prices for shipping containers from China, but he said the microchip shortage could soon be resolved.

“I would say that at least six months is what we should wait until the chip shortage itself is mitigated, not the entire supply chain disruption issue,” said Jagani.

Gremore is also optimistic about the coming months for purchasing automobiles.

“Logistics are getting better, we are seeing more cars than we were, I would say late summer and early winter, so the spring and the summer selling seasons look to be good,” said Gremore.

Although Gremore is optimistic about the coming months, he’s not sure if the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine will have a further impact on these supply chain issues.