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Omaha dealerships coping with vehicle shortage

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Are you on the lookout for a new car? The next few months may be challenging to find exactly what you want.

“I’d say right now our lots are best-case scenario half full,” said Tyrone Williams, President of Baxter Crysler Jeep Dodge of Bellvue.

After a tough 2020, things aren’t getting much easier for some metro dealerships. They’re now short on cars because factories aren’t able to finish building out vehicles.

It’s all because of a microchip shortage.

“When the pandemic started everyone really didn’t know what the impact was going to be so a lot of manufacturers thought that they should cut back supply. It made sense at that time,” said Williams.

Now, the impact is being felt. Those chips help to control important things inside your vehicle. Everything from safety features to your windshield wipers.

“It does make it more challenging for the salesperson when a customer comes in to be able to find the right cars.”

Dealership owners say they are trying to work around that by special ordering vehicles for customers. Even then, it could take weeks for you to get the perfect car.

“We’ve been doing a lot of order-outs for customers. So that’s kind of a good way to do it. You are locked in with incentives right now so whatever the rebates are today you are guaranteed that. If they get better when the vehicle shows up… we can get better rates. And people are guaranteed to get exactly what they want,” said Dan McMullen, VP of McMullen Ford.

Dealers say it’s only having a slight impact on the price of new vehicles. But if you’re looking to sell a used car — you’re in luck.

“It’s driving up the used car market so used car prices are higher than they have been in a long time,” said McMullen.

Experts say they anticipate inventory picking back up by the end of the year once supplies start to catch up.

“It will all be all right. A couple of months from now, we will be all good,” said McMullen.

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