How the Vehicle Production Nightmare Upended Everything and Why Automakers & Dealers Don’t Want the Old Ways Back

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

But There’s No Shortage of Used Vehicles.

Despite the ridiculous price spikes for used vehicles – the CPI for used vehicle retail prices spiked 41% year-over-year in February, and Manheim’s wholesale price index for used vehicles spiked by 38% – there’s no shortage of used vehicles on dealer lots. There is plenty of supply. But new vehicles have been in a historic shortage due to the semiconductor shortages and the ensuing production cuts. And this has changed how the industry operates.

The number of used vehicles on lots of franchised and independent dealers in February (purple line in the chart below) rose to 2.62 million vehicles, the highest since December 2020, according to data from Cox Automotive. This was down by 9% from the average inventory in 2019 (2.88 million vehicles).

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