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Looking to buy a new car? Ordering one could take months

Impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and shipping delays are driving prices up for new and used cars, according to a manager with Subaru.

EAST MOLINE, Ill. — Car dealerships across our area are seeing fewer new and used cars in the lots.

Impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and shipping delays have driven prices up, too, according to a marketing manager with Subaru.

The Quad City Regional Auto Show is happening this weekend, March 4-6, at the Bend Xpo Center in East Moline.

At that auto show, new cars are plentiful.

"We know there's some pent up demand and we want to be able to reach out and fulfill that demand," said Nic Youngman.

That demand is still greater than the current supply.

"As far as inventory scenarios, we're hoping we're getting towards the end of the problem," Youngman said.

Youngman is a zone marketing manager with Subaru. He is based in Chicago, but oversees marketing operations in the Quad Cities region.

"When we look at the number of cars sold in the United States every year, you know we were getting into that 18 million new cars a year," Youngman said.

That number was before the pandemic. More recently, however, the U.S. is selling three to four million fewer vehicles, Youngman said.

Jerry Nylin has noticed the supply issue, as he's looking to buy a truck. He's debating between buying new versus used.

"There's a truck right over there that's like 30-some thousand (dollars) and some of the used vehicles are 30-some thousand (dollars)," Nylin said.

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Posted by Quad City Regional Auto Show on Friday, March 4, 2022

Mike Boyles is searching for an electric car, and is having trouble finding exactly what he wants.

"Basically if I want an electric vehicle at this point, by and large I'm going to have to order it," Boyles said.

Because of that demand, it is taking longer for orders through dealerships to be delivered than before the pandemic, Youngman said.

"Some of 'em are saying you can start ordering in fall for getting 'em in 2023. I don't want to wait that long," Boyles said.

"In some cases it could be probably as short as an eight-week timeframe," Youngman added. "In longer cases it could be up to six months depending on the vehicle that you're really looking at."

Youngman said prices for new vehicles may have also increased slightly. He said those increases are driven by shipping costs and actually getting the vehicles to the dealerships to sell them.

Prices for used vehicles are also increasing, Youngman said. That increase is due to fewer new vehicles in dealership lots. In turn, this causes more demand for used vehicles, driving prices higher, Youngman said.

The Quad City Regional Auto Show is open at the Bend Xpo Center in East Moline until 9 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.    

For more information about the auto show, and for ticket information, click here.

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