GM prohibits dealers from reporting sales before delivery
Dealerships and automakers across the industry continue to struggle with scarce inventory. Retail inventory, which includes vehicles on dealer lots and vehicles in transit, hovered around 850,000 for three months, said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data and analytics at JD Power. This compares to more than 3 million under normal circumstances in recent years.
The chip shortage is just one of many factors preventing dealers and customers from getting the vehicles they want, Jominy said.
“That’s it. It’s paint resin. It’s tires. It’s wiring harnesses. It’s headlights. It’s radios,” he said. “If that was one thing, we could probably have a solution. But the reality is that it’s the tiered supply and logistics issues that make a quick resolution extremely difficult.”
Dealerships are often billed for vehicles before they leave the assembly plant. In some states, they can officially sell a vehicle to a customer as soon as they receive their invoice and certificate of origin. Before the pandemic, dealers could be sure that the vehicle would arrive a week or two after being invoiced.
The crisis has left dealers unable to answer many questions from customers about when their vehicles will show up.
“Sometimes you get [the vehicles] in three months, and sometimes you get them in seven,” the Minnesota Chevy dealership said. the [customer] calls you 9,000 times asking where his vehicle is.”