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National car shortage impacts North Dakota dealerships

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 9:04 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - We’re all getting used to shortages these days. The latest is a national car shortage.

On a normal year, the lot at Bill Barth Ford-Kia is pretty full. But, sales associates say that’s not the case this year due to the pandemic.

If you’re looking to hit the road in a new car this year, that new set of wheels might be a little harder to come by.

“Plants are having a hard time keeping up, demand’s at an all time high, and inventory is at an all time low,” said Ryaan Morgan, sales consultant at Bill Barth Ford-Kia in Mandan.

Car dealership employees say it’s due to a chip shortage, a result of decreased automobile demand at the start of the pandemic.

“With the new vehicles, everything has technology, and that would include chips and diodes to program or help facilitate those,” said Keith Hapip, sales representative with Bill Barth Ford-Kia.

So, sales associates say if you see something you like on the lot, it’s wise to act quickly if you want to get behind the wheel of a new car, because inventories are low.

“I’d say it’s 40 to 50 percent lower than it usually is. We’ve normally got a whole bunch of half-ton trucks out there. I can see only about five or six out there right now with more coming,” said Morgan.

This has led to an increase in special orders.

“We might not have one of every color, but we can try to get you what you need,” said Hapip.

Special orders come with a wait time of about three months, so plan ahead.

If you’re looking to get rid of a car, sales associates say it’s a seller’s market.

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