The coronavirus crisis, which has forced a halt in automobile production at various times around the world, has put sand in the gears of an normally well-oiled machine - that of supply and demand in the automotive industry.
While business is gradually resuming across North America, some dealerships are still struggling with inventory issues. The example of some American dealers located in Iowa shows just how fragile the balance is. It’s too early to tell if the same problems arise in Canada, but it’s instructive to look at the new challenges facing some dealers south of the border.
One case in point, as reported by Reuters, is that of Jerry Bill, who runs a Ram dealership in Iowa. The coronavirus has him worried, but not, as you might assume, about a lack of buyers. Rather, the concern is a potential lack of vehicles to meet demand.
He is clear about the near-term challenge: "Our biggest issue will be if we don't get more inventory." The dealership, Stew Hansen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, sells about 2,700 new vehicles a year in Urbandale, a suburb of Iowa's capital Des Moines.