New car customers must contend with limited inventory, higher prices

General Motors has announced it will halt the production of trucks for one week. It is the latest blow to the auto industry at a time when buyers are already paying more.

News 12 Staff

Jul 23, 2021, 9:20 PM

Updated 1,004 days ago

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General Motors has announced it will halt the production of trucks for one week. It is the latest blow to the auto industry at a time when buyers are already paying more.
“I’ve been through the energy crisis, 9/11 – but it’s never been like this. Never like this,” says Ralph Marano, owner of Marano and Sons Auto Sales in Garwood.
Marano says that his lot has never been this empty before. Inventory at the dealership and others across the state is low for many reasons, including factory shutdowns during the pandemic and a computer chip shortage.
But demand remains up, driving up the price for new and preowned vehicles.
“It’s tough for the customers now because people who are in dire need of a car, they’re in dire need. We try to give them quality. That’s why we’ve been here so long. But it’s harder and harder,” Marano says.
Those who can wait for supply to go back up and prices to go down, have the luxury to do so. But no one knows when it will happen.
“It’s a tough call. If you need a car – you’ve got a car, maybe costs a couple hundred to keep it going, keep it going because you’re going to pay through the nose like we are,” Marano says.
Amy and Steven Rubin said that they could not wait for a new vehicle. They are longtime customers of Marano and Sons.
“We wished we did it sooner. But we needed one now. It was time, we had to come,” they said.
Industry experts say that going a bit further to find a car, being flexible with make and model and trading in an older car can help ease the sticker price.
New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers president Jim Appleton says that the industry will stay this way for a few more months. He says he is hopeful that by early next year inventory and prices will be back to normal. He recommends buyers work with their dealers.


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