With the Canadian border still blocked up, it is impacting the automotive industry right here in North Alabama.
In a statement from Toyota Motor North America, the company says, “Due to a number of supply chain, severe weather and COVID related challenges, Toyota continues to face shortages affecting production at our North American plants.”
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama is one of four Toyota plants currently impacted by the Ambassador Bridge blockade.
The supply chain hold up is one of many problems facing the automotive industry right now, which could cost you more next time you head to the dealership.
Both new and used car prices are skyrocketing. Some used cars are selling for more than the wholesale price right now. It is all because of supply and demand, as supply keeps being impacted by chip shortages and now the latest border protests.
“With what’s going on in Canada, it constantly delays what we can do here in America and how fast the supply chain gets back,” says Mario Miller, the sales manager at Bill Penney Toyota.
Miller works at the number one Toyota dealership in all of Alabama, and they are struggling to get enough cars on the floor to meet demand.
“Even though we’ve had the best year that we’ve ever had, with no cars on the ground, the demand for cars is still rising. So that’s the crazy part,” he says.
Demand is rising even as dealers increase prices by 10%, 20% and even 40%. All to make up for the lack of supply.
“My 25 years of being in the automotive business, incredible what we are seeing on the landscape,” says Miller.
He says most Toyota parts don’t come from overseas, but actually Canada. They are the company’s number one trade partner, which makes the recent trucker blockage even more concerning.
“We have to worry about, hey, if the truckers are not getting product across for the manufacturers to build cars and finish the product, that’s gonna definitely delay,” says Miller.
There is no telling when business will be back on track.
“No end in sight, and that’s the scary part,” says Miller.
Bill Penney Toyota says they had their best sales year ever in 2021, even with the increased prices. They sold about 6,000 new and used cars, compared to 4 or 5 thousand in years past.
Miller says if you are in the market for a new or used car, the most important thing is to remain flexible. Be flexible on the type of car, the model, and even the timeline. Some cars are on back order for 12 months.
If you want something now, have multiple options in mind so the dealers can really work with you.