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As the pandemic has affected us all for nearly a year now, a lot of things have changed, and so has the auto industry. With more people working or schooling from home and workplaces shutting down or adapting their in-office needs, vehicle usage has gone down for some (especially in the early stages), while others have increased in their appetite for vehicles through the need to ensure their own safety in higher-density transportation or living options. The common thread to both of these is inventory. Vehicle production plants are workplaces themselves, in North America, overseas and worldwide, affected by shutdowns, lockdowns or who just simply haven’t been able to operate at normal capacity to accommodate proper health and safety guidelines for physical distancing. That creates a bottleneck on the amount of new vehicles produced, as well as parts intrinsic to each model. Read on and understand the challenges of this shortage on both new and used vehicle inventory, how we’ve been moving forward and how this could positively impact you as a vehicle owner.


Demand for New & Used Vehicles Rising During COVID-19


As people grow increasingly used to what it means to live in a pandemic, some slivers of normal life have returned over the year, albeit with some adjustments. Thus, there’s been an uptick in people wanting to shop for a new or used vehicle as living and working in our new world changes itself. Whether it’s needing a vehicle due to moving away from a large urban hub to avoid the hustle and bustle of many people in close quarters, having a remote job that lets you work from anywhere (thereby reducing the need to drive), or wanting to avoid the possible contamination hot spots of public transit and ride-sharing services by having your own mode of transportation you can trust, demand has seen a surge. This high vehicle demand, though, is now met with a shortage of new vehicle inventory, and possibility of effects on used vehicle inventory as well.



Lack of Inventory with High Vehicle Demand

Supply chain realities have been realized in the COVID-19 pandemic, through the shortages of production on some new vehicles, along with a lesser amount of used vehicles available due to increased demand. When there is a shortage in production of new vehicles, prospective buyers who are steadfast in their model choice ultimately create a larger demand than there is supply for with new vehicles. While some customers will wait, many turn to the next option which is to look for a used vehicle of the same model (or comparable). Unfortunately, as used vehicles are already one-of-a-kind, the overall supply is also limited, and used vehicle inventory supply is limited to the number of existing owners who are willing to sell or trade-in their vehicle, whether to a dealership, wholesaler, auction or private buyer. To combat this, dealerships, like us at Southside Dodge, are now turning to customer outreach to actively seek out those high-demand models. If you’re not tied to your current vehicle, this is the best possible time to guarantee that you can receive the highest possible valuation for your existing vehicle simply due to market demand, but the worst possible time to try to sell privately, as the pandemic has also placed most people in a slightly less fluid financial position to be able to pay cash to you directly (not to mention, the lack of comfort most people currently have with agreeing to meet a stranger in person to complete the transaction).

Future of Vehicle Inventory in the COVID-19 Pandemic & Beyond

As has been the theme of the entire pandemic, the future and its effects on the auto industry and vehicle production through the end of the pandemic and beyond is uncertain. There is plenty to be excited about with people’s reinvigoration and want for vehicles, but one that must be met by the continued realities of new vehicle production and current customer buying habits. Even with a vaccine and an increasing return to “normalcy” it will still take time to return to the levels of production of new vehicles and used inventory options that we enjoyed pre-pandemic. What has been shown is the auto industry’s ability to adapt, and people either realizing or remembering how important a vehicle can be to their way of life, no matter the changes.



Trade-in Your Vehicle at Southside Dodge

If you’re ready to trade-in your vehicle, we’ll buy it here at Southside Dodge in Red Deer! It’s a simple process to trade in at our dealership, where we make the entire experience quick and convenient, in an environment that you can trust, so you don’t have to deal with the risks or hassles of selling privately. Need something to drive home in afterwards? We’ll also do everything in our power to help find your next vehicle, too. If you have any questions about our process, or just want to get the ball rolling on trading in your vehicle, please contact us, today!

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Categories: Dealership