Car prices still high as automakers catch-up from supply shortages

Potential buyers at the Midlands International Auto Show say prices depend on several variables.
New car prices continue to drop, but availability continues to be an issue for some models.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:51 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The CHI Health Center is loaded with new cars this weekend. The convention center is hosting the annual Midlands International Auto Show.

Some of the dealers here say we should be seeing more vehicles on the lots around town.

New car availability has been an issue in our area. Car dealers are still trying to work through supply shortages, as consumer demand continues to outpace production and sales. By and large, last year was very good for automakers.

“We ended last year very well,” said Kelly Riegel with Toyota. “The industry sold 14 million vehicles, and this coming year we’re expecting the industry to sell 15 million we’re expecting an increase year-over-year for the industry.”

Riegel says we should see more of these new cars on dealers’ lots by this summer into this fall. But what about the prices? Some of the cars on display here have their prices listed in bold numbers. Others? Well, you’d better pay attention to the fine print.

“About what we expected to see, but for a couple of retired people and a tightwad like I am, the prices make you squirm a little...but you know they’re not coming down either,” said Greg Adams, potential buyer.

But Riegel tells us Toyota tries to stick to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP. The price of the car you choose could depend on the dealer and if they have to find your car in a market outside of where you live.

“They’re not keeping those vehicles in-market to win them back for service and other things they can sell them, whether it’s taking care of their vehicle in the long run or getting their trade-in back in the future,” Riegel said.

So, what is too much and what’s a reasonable price to pay for a vehicle? That depends on a lot of variables and opinions differ, even in the same household.

“I think it’s better in our market or better than it is in other markets because in other places, you see how they have market adjustments that make their prices higher than the suggested retail prices,” said prospective buyer Jen Done.

“They’re all kind of expensive, yeah,” said Brad Done. “But it is what it is.”

The Midlands International Auto Show runs through Sunday at the CHI Health Center downtown. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Electric vehicles are shown off at an auto show

Electric vehicles were also shown off at the auto show.

Large engines have been replaced with a trunk. You can carry stuff in the front end of Ford’s new vehicle.

Kelly Reigel is with Toyota and says his company also has a line of electric vehicles.

“We do offer a full battery electric vehicle as well, and then right around the corner we’re launching the brand new Toyota Crown, and then our all-new 2023 Prius is about to hit dealers lots in a month or two,” Reigel said.

There are many potential car buyers at the car show who are thinking about buying an electric vehicle. But right now many believe electric cars and the country’s current infrastructure is not a good fit.

“Electric vehicles don’t have the range of a gas-powered vehicle,” said Tim Hurt who attended the car show. “I‘d like to see 400 miles out of an electric charge someday.”

Like many other car buyers, Greg and Julie Adams would like to see electric stations lined up like gas stations across the county before buying a car they have to plug in.

“I personally would love to buy one but I think right now it would be tough for us,” Julie Adams said. “We like to travel and I think it’s hard to find places to plug in and recharge.”

“I’m interested in electric vehicles, I got kids spread all over this country and I want to do some traveling when I retire,” said Kyle Clark. “What I’m worried about is charging stations. I don’t know the status of charging stations throughout the United States.”

Reigle doesn’t know when the United States will go all-electric. He believes it depends on who’s in the White House, and a lot of other factors. But some manufacturers are planning to move forward with electric vehicles soon.

“I know a lot of manufacturers are trying to target 2030. Some manufacturers are committing to going all electric in the next five years by 2025 or 27. It’s really going to come down to the infrastructure that’s out there.”