Driving off the lot in a new car might take longer than expected.
Lethbridge Toyota general manager Tim Schipper says, depending on the vehicle’s model, it may take up to six months for the car to arrive at a dealership.
“Before all this disruption happened, we’d average about between 90 and 130 cars in stock. Now we’re around two,” Schipper said.
“Hovering between two and 10 depending on the month and timeframe.”
Most of the vehicles currently parked in Schipper’s lot are already sold and sales aren’t slowing down.
“Massive efforts are being put forth to try to get the vehicles as fast as possible, but a lot of places are seeing a huge amount of demand still,” Schipper said.
That pressure is extending into the second-hand car market.
“Everybody is filtering towards used vehicles right now,” House of Cars sales manager Kelly Plausteiner said.
However, it’s not just used-car dealerships that are seeing a rise in demand, but also private sellers.
While Plausteiner’s inventory remains consistent, he said auto dealers are hunting for used vehicles.
“We pay quite a bit more for used vehicles, just due to the market trend,” Plausteiner said.
“(We’re) paying top dollar for everything we can get our hands on.”
Sales are also reflecting current economic trends. Schipper said he’s seeing more consumers turning to fuel-efficient options as gas prices remain high.
“Huge demand for hybrid vehicles and new electric vehicles are coming down the pipeline. That’s true for every manufacturer out there,” Schipper said. “Fuel economy has been in the past — and now more than ever — a part of the conversation.”
If possible, Schipper recommends people searching for a new vehicle take action sooner rather than later.
“Plan ahead is the best advice I can give you. We totally understand unforeseen circumstances, like breakdowns or accidents do occur, and we do our best to accommodate those situations,” he said.