LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — If you've found yourself in the market for a car your options might be limited—Car dealerships have been working to meet the demand they have seen while bouncing back from various shortages.
Like all businesses, dealerships were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You had to kind of like straggle the customer to buy a car because money wasn't flowing. Cars are hard to find,” said Jaramie Moore, General Manager of First Step Auto Sales.
Moore said that the last two years were difficult when it came to getting customers in the door, and now they've been trying to keep up with a demand.
“Over Thanksgiving break, we had a lot of customers stop in like we were surprised the traffic,” said Moore.
Normally Moore explained they have about 25 to 30 cars in their lot and lately, they have a lot less than that number. To keep up with the demand and have enough options they have had to make trips to larger cities for cars.
“Make sure we get like least four or five cars a week,” Moore added.
Alexander's Auto Sales, a business down the road, said the demand for cars has always been present.
“What's changed is the is the supply and the supply chain and you know, the prices,” said Manager Randy Alexander.
Alexander also added how over the past few years getting cars has been more competitive than ever before for dealerships like theirs.
“I don't think people were trading cars then. That's the thing, they were hanging on to them. They weren't trading them in. And then when the demand is so high, the prices go through the roof,” said Alexander.
They haven't had to travel out of the Natural State to get more inventory because they've instead turned to the internet for help.
“Being able to have wholesale options online is huge and we've been able to do that,” said Alexander.
Although the demand has been high, and supply can be short sometimes he explained that things seem to be getting better.
“Dealers like me, aren't struggling for cars as much as they were,” said Alexander. “So, they're not paying as much and it just starts to the correction process, like going back to normal.”