COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues change car-buying experience, dealers say

April Ancira, chairperson of Auto Dealers Association, predicts these issues could continue for months

SAN ANTONIO – Buying a vehicle isn’t what it used to be. Now, it might take you months to get the new vehicle you purchased, or you have to pay a lot more to get one that’s used right now.

April Ancira, chairperson of the Auto Dealers Association, says supply chain issues, chip shortages, and other factors have brought on these latest trends.

“People are now having to defer to used cars in order to get something pretty fast. So the problem with that that makes is now the used cars are a bit more expensive and I am actually saying bit a little bit lightly. A lot more expensive than they were in previous years,” Ancira said.

But she says those who are buying online and waiting are happier with what they get, although they might be paying more.

“Customers come in. They know what they want. They come in and purchase the vehicle and they are happier than they were pre-pandemic,” she said.

Sales are also up for dealers and, there’s less haggling, she said.

“There are tons of trucks and cars sitting at plants fully loaded, ready to go, just missing the chips. And the minute they get the chip in their pop, they’re on their way to the store,” she said.

She says it makes dealers nervous when they don’t see lots full of vehicles, but that’s just the way business is now. And she predicts it will be this way for a while longer.

“I’m just hoping in 12 to 18 months we’ll see some semblance of normalcy. So people are able to purchase a vehicle when they need to,” she said.

About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.