▶️ Local dealerships struggle with low inventory of new cars


If you’ve tried to buy a new car recently, then you know there is a shortage of new vehicles.

Production slowdowns due to COVID and a lack of computer chips are contributing factors.

The new car shortage is effecting dealerships here in Central Oregon.

Normally there’d be 280 new vehicles on the Robberson Ford lot available for purchase. Right now, there are less than 40.

“It’s like the housing market. I feel like you want to sell but then you don’t want to buy because everything is so expensive or there’s not a lot of options,” Abby Christiansen, a shopper at Robberson Ford, said.

Shoppers like Christiansen are the most impacted, and sometimes have to sacrifice what they want for what they can get.

“We can get them but not to the degree in the past,” Jeff Robberson, a dealer at Robberson Ford, said.

Robberson says most of his cars right now are pre-orders, purchased before they even arrive on the lot.

The few delivered without a deposit are often purchased literally as they are unloaded.

“You have to think a little further ahead,” Robberson said. “You are either going to buy an inbound unit and we are taking a lot of orders. Those are going to take anywhere for 60 to 90 to 120 days to get and in some cases even longer.”

“There’s just a limited selection,” Robberson said. “It makes it harder to want to buy because there’s only a few options.”

Christiansen did a little shopping Thursday as she waited for her vehicle to be serviced.

“I want to be able to trade my truck in, but I don’t want to get rid of my truck and then not have an option to purchase another vehicle,” she said.

Both domestic and foreign car dealerships Central Oregon Daily News talked to said their new car inventories are low.

The lack of inventory is putting a dent in the tradition of kicking tires and taking test drives.

“Most people kick things on the internet anyway,” Robberson said. “We have some representative models of most everything. It’s not like what we are used to for sure. It’s a shock for me when I drive in here in the morning. Where did all the cars go?”

Robberson says Ford plans to ramp up production this summer and begin delivering larger volumes of cars and trucks to dealerships this fall.


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