LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Now is not the best time to buy a car with the country facing a vehicle shortage due to the pandemic: despite that, a local economist said that there are still options out there.
Dr. Michael Pakko said if you're in the market for something very specific, then you may want to wait.
You can still find a new vehicle, it's just maybe not the one you really want.
At Campbell Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram: they're feeling the supply strain the pandemic has caused.
Typically Campbell has up to 700 new vehicles in stock, but as of Friday there has been a huge drop-off as there are only 49.
Despite that, Bill Veuleman, General Manager of Campbell Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, said things aren’t as bad as the empty car lot might make it appear.
"Our in-transit units, we end up selling quite a bit from that list. I had 98 this morning that was in transit. That 49 is really 150 to be able to sell from because those will be here in the next couple of weeks,” Veuleman said.
So, what does this shortage mean for a person who needs to buy a car?
"If you are really interested in getting a specific model or features, you really need to order in advance and plan to wait while the inventory is replenished,” said Pakko.
He said the shortage has boosted the cost of new vehicles, but not as much as used ones.
And luckily at Campbell, used car sales are helping them stay afloat.
"I've got about 250 pre-owned cars to choose from. So, some of the people who bought new in the past are buying pre-owned now, so we've been very fortunate on that aspect as well,” said Veuleman.
Now, you are probably wondering how much longer the vehicle shortage will last.
Pakko said it’ll probably be a problem for longer than you would like.
"The distributors that specifically supply the auto industry are looking at a back log of shortages that will last well in to 2022, if not 2023, so this is going to be a persistent problem,” said Pakko.
So bottom line: when it comes to shopping for a new car the experts say patience and observation are your best bet to land that perfect ride.