Auto Service World
News   June 8, 2023   by Adam Malik

Just how empty are dealer lots?

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Despite supply chain issue easing, new vehicle dealers are still far off from their typical levels, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. And how severe the problem is depends on where you are in the country.

Shortages of new vehicles stemming from semiconductor issues continue to plague dealers — to the tune of inventory levels still being at 42 per cent of the normal in the first quarter of this year. That, however, is up from less than 20 per cent of normal levels from last year.

DesRosiers asked Canadian Automotive Dealers Association members about their situation. It found the level of recovery hasn’t been spread evenly.

On one end, Ontario is at 67 per cent of normal levels. On the other, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are at 30 per cent.

The consultancy noted that “the recovery in new vehicle supply remains uneven and unequal across the automotive market at the model, brand, and regional level.”

Half of dealers said things have improved over the last year. About a third (35 per cent) said things are the same. About 15 per cent said their situation has gotten worse.

When asked when they expect their situation to improve, most (49 per cent) said it’ll be next year. Meanwhile, 37 per cent think the second half of this year will be the start of improvements. The remaining 14 per cent were most optimistic, expecting a positive change in this year’s first half.

“New vehicle inventory challenges continue, and the improvements seen in recent months have not been shared evenly by all,” said Andrew King, managing partner at DesRosiers. “Inventory levels are expected to continue to improve throughout the year, just in time for the forecast economic recession on the horizon.”

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