Automotive, Industry Ideas, Insights

The hidden bright side of the automotive inventory shortage

By Motoinsight - Jan 13, 2022

The supply shortages that people can’t seem to stop talking about (sorry) have had a split impact on the automotive industry. On one hand, sales volumes and inventory levels are a fraction of what they were in 2019; on the other hand, every car that enters your lot is a guaranteed sale.

This has had a strange effect on the market. Just look at this window sticker for a 2022 Toyota 4Runner, which has a $30,000 price hike listed on the options list as a “market adjustment.” Strange times, indeed.

“With limited inventory due to a computer chip shortage, 82% of consumers are paying above sticker price for a new car” via CNBC and Reddit

Source: Reddit

While the lack of automotive inventory has thinned out the sales pipeline at most dealerships, the actual act of selling a car has never been easier. According to Car & Driver, dealership revenues in the United States increased for July 2021, compared with the same month of 2019.

Supply scarcity is good for dealers

This trend won’t last, though. Eventually, supply will rebound and lots will once again be full of shiny new cars complete with all the requisite semiconductors. When that happens, dealers may find that, despite all the supply insecurities we face today, there’s a lot to miss about car sales in the year without inventory.

Dealerships across the world are desperate for inventory, but that’s only because car buyers are equally desperate. Many shoppers are so eager that they’ll buy sight-unseen, often taking a car that doesn’t meet their initial expectations. No heated seats? Well, if that’s what’s available…

Not feeling the love? We have some great tips for selling more cars with less inventory!

What happens when things go back to normal?

Right now, you could probably sell a low-mileage 2019 model over the phone. But what happens when shoppers once again hold all the cards? Do things really need to go back to the way they were?

Well, not quite. Many dealers will certainly return to the previous status quo that had them frantically working every lead in the hope that, maybe, one of them might become a sale. Emails, phone calls, follow-ups… it’s a cycle to which many dealers are doomed to return. But you don’t have to.

How can you keep this advantage?

One thing that the pandemic proved was the effectiveness of a good digital retailing platform. With the right online tools, many dealers found, even before supply shortages, that they could sell cars faster and to a wider audience than ever before. See how a MotoCommerce user sold cars to people hours away, long before the pandemic!


When inventory returns to the automotive industry, customers won’t feel the same pressure to buy the first available vehicle they find. Instead, your shoppers will gravitate towards the dealership that offers the right vehicle and the right shopping experience.

Your dealership, but better

The best shopping experience isn’t just a benefit for buyers, though; it’s a major advantage for you and your team. A strong, omnichannel digital retailing platform is largely automated, allowing your customers to do most of the shopping on their own. When they do reach out, the top digital retailing tools also offer automated follow-ups and price-drop alerts as well, increasing engagement without any effort from your staff.



That’s how good digital retailing platforms will lead your team into a future that has all the inventory you need, and all the consumer interest you’ve become accustomed to this year. The right digital tools don’t just make life easier for your customers; they make life better for you.

Ready to sell more cars? See how your dealership can thrive online today.

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