As of Friday, there were only 19 – and some had already sold out earlier today. “Obviously it’s a little crazy right now, not just for us but everywhere,” said Ted Smith, Senior Salesperson at the dealership.
Auto sales have gone from a buyer’s market last year to a severe shortage in 2021, a shortage where people struggle to find popular models before they are bought or wait two to four months. for orders to arrive.
The problem is a global shortage of semiconductors, which are now found in most modern vehicles and which do everything from brakes to air conditioning to windshield wipers.
The slowdown in auto production has pushed up the price of used vehicles so much, Smith said, that a one-and-a-half-year-old vehicle can now sell for more than what the owner initially paid.
With several buyers competing for the new vehicles, no one is arguing over price, said Greg Layson, digital and mobile editor of Automotive News Canada.
“This whole inventory situation comes down to economy 101, supply and demand,” he said.
Layson said in his report that he has found that incentives for new cars – used in the past to attract customers – are at an all-time low.
While there are stories of U.S. customers paying more than the sticker price, Layson said he hasn’t seen evidence of this happening in Canada.
However, the supply problem could worsen before it improves, as more than a dozen automakers in North America have slowed down or halted production in recent weeks due to the semiconductor shortage. .
Ford’s chief financial officer told investors last week that the shortage could continue until early next year.
This is bad news for dealers who want to make up for losses suffered last year, when sales fell to around 1.5 million vehicles in Canada from 1.9 million in 2019, said Oumar Dicko, economist. Chief of the Automobile Dealers Association of Canada.
“There is a lot of pent-up demand, new demand created by the pandemic, and now we have to find vehicles to supply these customers,” said Dicko, whose organization represents more than 3,200 new car dealers in Canada. .
Dicko said a recent member survey found more than 90% expect the inventory issue to be their biggest problem for several months.
Canada plans to source semiconductors
“We are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime inventory crisis,” said Flavio Volpe, president of the Automobile Parts Manufacturers Association.
Volpe said several manufacturers have gone through a series of “brown-outs”, building incomplete cars that are parked until semiconductors appear.
He said Canada does not currently produce large amounts of semiconductors, an issue that was at the center of discussions with federal officials and industry at a meeting last month that focused on how Canada could create its own supply.
“I think COVID has taught us that there are only a few products that you need to have a national reserve,” Volpe said. “Not just for the cars, but for everything else we do. “