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Pandemic Impacting Iowa Car Dealers’ Available Vehicle Inventory

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DES MOINES, Iowa – If you’re looking to buy a new car, you might have limited options right now. The pandemic has made its mark on that industry.

If you drive by most dealerships you’ll notice fewer cars in the lots. While Hummel’s Nissan is sitting OK with its inventory of about 335 vehicles right now, they are expecting an impact soon.

“This is a time of year when you’re usually stocking up for the summer market, and they haven’t been able to do that. I haven’t been able to buy extra cars, they’re just, they’re not out there right now,” Mark Hummel, president of Hummel’s Nissan, said.

Hummel says manufacturers are still catching up after shutting down plants during the pandemic. There’s also an industry-wide supply shortage of microchips, foam, and shipping containers.

Stimulus checks and tax season are also having an impact.

“Sales have really gone up,” Hummel explained, “and it’s outstripped the supply and production of the cars. So there’s a lot of activity in the market, they’re just having trouble keeping up with the whole thing.”

What’s happening at new car dealerships is trickling down to used car sales too. Brad’s Used Cars currently has about 40 cars in its lot. Manager Brandon McAninch has had to get creative in bringing in inventory from out of state, places like Florida and Arizona

With inventory being low across the board, McAninch says people should expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars more to buy. On the other hand, it’s a good time if you’re looking to sell or trade-in.

“If someone’s trying to sell their vehicle right now they’re absolutely going to get top dollar for trade-ins,” McAninch said. “So it’s a great time for that and dealerships are needing inventory so it’s definitely a great time for them to sell if they’re looking to get into something different.”

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