New and Used Car Dealers Feeling The Pinch As Demand Rises And Inventory Remains Flat
CHARLOTTE, NC – Car sales are skyrocketing, but there is still concern about inventory and used car prices.
“We’ve never seen anything like it,” said Audrey Mehasseb.
She has been selling cars for 26 years and has spent her last year at Uptown Auto Sales.
“It’s good to sell, but the buying we’re overpricing. Two, three thousand over what we’re having to pay for the cars,” explained Mehasseb.
Used cars are in high demand as new car dealers are facing inventory shortages.
“It’s low. It’s very low. Like I said it’s very difficult for us to buy,” said Mehasseb.
Used car prices are up 18% in May compared to a year ago. Car factories across the world and in the US are just now coming back online after rolling shut downs during the pandemic.
Plus, the roll out of Covid relief funds put cash in people’s pockets.
“We’ve seen a lot of folks get a lot of stimulus checks this past year. And when you start adding those up per family it starts adding up to a pretty hefty chunk of change,” said John Connaughton, an economics professor at UNC Charlotte.
He says low interest rates and a computer chip shortage are also playing a roll in the low supply and high demand.
“Today, we really aren’t dealing with cars nearly as much as we’re dealing with computers with car parts on them,” said Connaughton.
He believes the hot market likely isn’t going to cool.
“This is not something that is going to go away anytime soon,” said Connaughton.
While some used car dealers are struggling to stay open, Mehasseb says they’re determined to get by.
“We’ve been here for 26 years and we know how to buy right and sell right. So we’re not going anywhere,” she said.