Consumers saying ‘no’ to new as used car sales spike, says auto dealer

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EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Used cars across the country are seeing a massive jump in sales, even with the COVID-19 pandemic. So much so, that keeping up with demand is getting tough for some dealerships.

Doug McAvoy with Camelot Auto says prices on new items are surging. “It’s like that for everything. (If) it’s a car, really a car in this case, or a loaf of bread at the supermarket,” he says.

Those price jumps he says are forcing people to think ‘used’ versus ‘new.’ Also, “there’s just not enough new vehicles around. They can’t build enough new vehicles,” he says.

McAvoy says COVID shut down a lot of production with a lot of things, and manufacturers are having trouble getting car parts, much of it electronics. “It’s a big deal. Rare earth metals are playing into this whole thing with COVID,” says McAvoy.

Consumers he says, being more conservative with their spending, even with stimulus checks.
“So you can’t afford a new one, but you can afford a used one, which cuts into the used car market.”

Reports even say some rental companies are selling sections of their fleets off to customers to balance out demand. 

“I do know it’s hard to find them right now, something good,” says Vicki Henderson of Camelot Auto.

Henderson says another factor here: people holding on to what they have. “I always say, ‘it’s cheaper to keep her.'”

McAvoy says come 2022, pent-up demand will see new cars driving off dealer lots once again. “Really, I think new cars are going to be strong,” he says.

McAvoy did add assembly line regulations means more social distancing, and likely fewer workers putting new cars together. McAvoy did say expect the prices of new cars to jump next year, he predicts inflation will play a role in that. 

Taking a look under the hood of a restored classic car

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