Compounding issues for car dealerships leave lots at a bare minimum

Business

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you drive by car dealerships in Central Texas, you may not see as many cars on the lots.

Dealerships have been facing supply chain issues for some time now, leaving their inventories low. A string of Central Texas storms has compounded on top of that for the car industry.

At Killion Auto Sales in Round Rock, the only cars you’re going to find are mini vans and mid-sized SUVs.

Killion Auto Sales Owner Nathan Killion  (KXAN/Kaitlyn Karmout)
Killion Auto Sales Owner Nathan Killion (KXAN/Kaitlyn Karmout)

“We’ve had so many compounding issues,” said Owner Nathan Killion. “New inventory not coming out to new car stores trickles down to the used car industry.”

At Nathan’s shop, there are usually 50 to 60 cars on the lot, but right now you’ll only find a handful.

The pandemic shutdown halted new car production for a few months, then shortly after that a chip shortage hit. Many larger producers have new cars sitting inside the warehouses, but they’re missing the final piece.

“That’s really what we are still feeling right now,” said Killion.

Killion said you add all of that on top of the string of weather events that have ripped through Central Texas, leaving dozens of people with damaged or totaled cars.

“I have customers calling me wanting a vehicle, because theirs got trashed by the hailstorm, and I have no vehicles to buy,” said Killion. “I’m like, ‘I’d love to sell you something.'”

It does make for a seller’s world. Killion said he auctioned off some hail-damaged cars for higher than the norm when the recent storm damaged a few cars on his lot. It still doesn’t make for a great profit generator when his lot doesn’t have much to sell.

“The demand is continuing to increase, and the supply is less and less and less,” said Killion.

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