Dealers Warn Buyers: New Vehicle Supply Is Vanishing


Five Star Ford
Photo Credit: Five Star Ford in Dallas
I’ve been talking about this for weeks on the Car Pro Show, but it’s always nice to get affirmation from others. I also warned about inventory shortages in a May post you can read here. At the time I cited the fact that it was a certainty given that factories have been closed for two months, which means no vehicles arriving at dealerships. Also, I noted that dealers have been selling out of the inventory they had on hand since late March.

Well, those predictions are now ringing true, and the inventory shortages are well underway. They’re also making news headlines - as is one of our CarProUSA Certified dealership networks. Our DFW Premium Show sponsor Five Star Ford is quoted in articles addressing the issue that were recently published in the Detroit Free Press and on CNN.

“We have back orders on everything,” said Sam Pack, president and CEO of Pack Auto Group based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, the Detroit Free Press reported. “The Ford Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, Super Duty, Mustang, Ranger. But the Ranger is our shortest availability of all our vehicles. All four of our Ford dealerships have a total of 14 Rangers when we normally would have 100.”

Sam Pack owns the Five Star dealerships in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, four of them Ford, one Subaru and one Chevrolet. Pack tells the Detroit Free Press his Chevy truck shortage is worse right now than his Ford truck stock.

“We’re short of inventory in all vehicle lines. The Chevy inventory is more severe than Ford, particularly Silverado. We have 22 light duty (Silverado) pickups in stock. We will run out in June,” Pack said, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. “And we will run out of F-150s at the pace we’re running now if, in fact, production doesn’t keep pace.”

Pack told the Detroit Free Press they usually sell about 300 F-150s a month. He also predicted the inventory shortage for dealerships to run another 60 to 90 days.

Kelly Blue Book notes the inventory shortage as well.

“Inventory levels have tightened as the economic recovery has begun, but little new supply has arrived yet from the factories that restarted in May,” says Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Automakers have now reopened factories and report running more shifts to meet demand. Challenges remain however. For example, Ford, which resumed production May 18th, recently had to temporarily pause production at its Chicago and Kansas City plants to deep clean when a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Five Star Ford in Dallas was mentioned specifically in a separate recent car buying story published by CNN. CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena reports that Five Star Ford sales were actually 45% higher than they were last April according to general manager Brian Huth. Huth told CNN sales fell sharply when the coronavirus lockdowns started but sales bounced back when they perfected their online sales system.

“People have been looking at our inventory online for a long time, but actually being able to Amazon this thing to death is pretty awesome,” Huth said, as reported by CNN.

Even though Huth tells CNN that even though inventories had been built up to meet spring demand, lots are thinning out.

“I’m in trouble,” he said. “I’m going to run out [Ford] Rangers,” Huth tells CNN. Huth also reports a shrinking supply of Mustangs which typically are a hot seller in the springtime. Even his Ford Explorer and Escape inventories are running low.

To read the full CNN article click here.
To read the full Detroit Free Press article click here.

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