Supply issues take car buying in Arizona down a rocky road

Nov 12, 2021, 11:45 AM | Updated: 1:31 pm
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)...
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

PHOENIX – If you’re in the market for a new or used car in Arizona, good luck finding one.

Global supply chain issues are making it tough for people to find a new vehicle and automakers are struggling to find semiconductor chips and other parts for their cars, trucks and SUVs.

That is trickling down locally.

“If you need a new car or even a used car, they’re very hard to come by. … It’s a supply issue that is going to take a while to resolve,” Valley economist Elliott Pollack of Elliott D. Pollack and Company told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Things aren’t that much better with preowned cars, either. Used vehicle prices increased 38% over the last year, according to the Used Vehicle Value Index.

“There aren’t very many used cars around because people aren’t trading in their cars to buy new cars,” Pollack said.

Analysts say that record-high consumer prices for vehicles — new and used, as well as rental cars — will extend into next year and might not fall back toward earth until 2023.

“We’re far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of controlling COVID, but a lot of the countries that we get our supplies from are still having trouble keeping their factories open and running at full capacity,” Pollack said.

Ports and freight yards haven’t been able to handle the traffic that resumed after COVID-related restrictions were lifted. That has snarled global supply chains.

Even if auto production were somehow to immediately regain its highest-ever level for vehicles sold in the U.S., it would take more than a year to achieve a more normal 60-day supply of vehicles and for prices to head down, New York consulting firm Alix Partners has calculated.

“When you do get the supply chain starting to work, factories are going to have to run at full capacity for quite a while, not only to meet pent-up demand, but the level of inventories at the wholesale and retail is way down,” Pollack said.

“You’re going to have to fill the inventory hole,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Supply issues take car buying in Arizona down a rocky road