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Car shortage continues, features higher prices and empty lots

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:45 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Rob Curtis works at Auto Wholesale in Wilmington and is baffled by the current car shortage.

“I’ve been in this business since about 1990 and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Curtis.

Auto dealer lots are looking a bit bare and it’s mainly due to a nationwide computer chip shortage. But, it’s also a supply and demand issue.

“As to the economy, the changes and the inflation we’ve seen lately, it’s quite a difficult journey,” said Tony Brannock, the owner of Seaport Auto Sales.

Prices for used cars are shocking buyers.

“Cars that are usually about $5,000 to $6,000 dollars have been about $8,000 to $10,000,” said Samantha Kittrell, who is searching for cars.

It’s even impacting dealerships with new cars, putting the brakes on customers looking for a new ride.

“We do try to locate cars at other dealers if that is an option and quite frankly people are having to settle now; you know, they might not be able to get the exact car they want,” said Andy Craven, general manager of D&E Mitsubishi. “It might be missing one option or not the exact color they want.”

However, professionals in the industry are hopeful they’ll be able to get back into gear with lots filling up to normal levels in the coming weeks.

“We’re just hoping it’ll free up soon, it looks like in the next month or two actually everything is starting to plateau some,” said Rob Curtis, sales manager of Auto Wholesale.

So, if you’re looking for your next sweet ride, you might have to wait.

“Inventory acquisition is definitely on everyone’s mind — ‘How can I get more inventory?,’” said Craven.

A question that still remains unanswered.

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