The pandemic has changed many things about our lives in the past few years. Working from home, using the internet for communication, and many more things have come to light as significant post-pandemic changes. But did you know the pandemic has also caused strange changes to the automotive industry? From how people shop for vehicles to the price of used cars, here are some odd things happening in the automotive industry because of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Labor Changes and Shortages
Isolation orders caused some warehouses and plants used by automakers and sellers to be temporarily and even permanently shut down. Because of these shutdowns, many people were laid off or moved to different areas in the automotive industry for years. This created backlogs of work and production issues that are still causing problems for the automotive industry years later.
Now that things are returning to normal, labor shortages are still causing problems. Many people aren’t returning to jobs they had before the pandemic began or are more prone to job-hopping. This puts even more strain on the automotive industry.
The Value of Used Cars
Because of reduced new vehicle supply, unchanged or even increased demand for transportation, and labor changes, the price of used cars changed drastically. Used vehicles are practically worth their weight in gold today because of how hard it is for dealerships to acquire and maintain inventory.
Used cars are worth as much or more than some new ones because of these changes, which have enormously changed how sellers and buyers see used vehicles.
Online Shopping and Pre-Ordering
Isolation orders meant people couldn’t go out and shop for cars the old-fashioned way -by showing up at a dealership and test driving the new and used cars you found on the lot. While this caused issues, it also created a positive change by letting sellers focus on online advancement.
Curating a social media presence, making it possible to find out everything a customer wanted to know about a vehicle from the seller’s website, and being able to customize and pre-order new vehicles online all became critical new strategies for automakers and dealerships.
Strange COVID-19-related Supply Chain Issues
The most significant supply chain issue for automakers was microchip shortages. Microchips went into multiple parts when making a new vehicle. Without them, car manufacturers either couldn’t add all of the features they wanted to vehicles or couldn’t make new cars at all.
Because of this, car manufacturers are still struggling with a backlog of car orders, and the market is suffering from it with long waits and high prices.
These unusual changes are interconnected and lead back to one root cause—COVID-19. Will the industry ever go back to the way it used to be? Or are we creating a new normal for the car market in which used cars reign supreme, online shopping is the norm, and automakers are constantly playing catch-up? Only time will tell, so anyone interested in the automotive industry should keep their eyes and ears open for more news going into 2023.
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