Like most folks, the car business is a mystery to me. And if you don’t think the process of buying or selling a vehicle is perplexing, let me make this point. I have a friend who teaches a college class on how to buy a car.
But this much I know for sure. The new car lots across the Ark-La-Tex are empty and everybody is wondering why.
And on top of that, why does it seem that no politicians – on either side of the aisle at any level – seem to be crying out in defense of the industry. Nobody at the federal, state or local level – anywhere – is demanding that somebody do something to get vehicles to Americans.
But could that be it’s not that nobody cares, but because the dealers themselves are making more money than ever, having found suddenly found themselves in the used car business, where profits are higher.
Here’s what a few auto industry folks had to say about the situation, via text, with anonymity promised.
“Dealers are getting richer than ever selling used cars at 35% over sticker. Owners are hoping that they never see used cars again.”
“Right now service departments are making more than ever before The owners are complicit in the ruin of their own industry. Short term profit over long term stability.”
“It’s monopolizing an industry! Leak out just enough to the public to keep the public blaming supply chain problems, meanwhile getting rich selling and fixing used cars!”
“New car sales were good in 2021 despite lower inventory numbers. New vehicles are being sold before they hit the lot so it appears that there are no new vehicles available.
Used vehicle values increased 39% year over year in 2021.”
“Many new car dealers, especially in larger markets are raising new vehicle prices over MSRP while some of us are not selling for a premium markup. Interest rates are at record lows but rebates are at record lows also. I think this will continue through most of 2022.”