If you’re looking to purchase a new car, you are going to have to wait.

Shipping delays caused by the Covid pandemic combined with a global semiconductor (chip) shortage has meant a dramatic reduction in the supply of new vehicles. In the United States, Ford recently cancelled shifts at two of its car plants and said profits could be hit by up to USD $2.5 billion this year due to chip shortages. Nissan is idling output at plants in Mexico and the US, and both Toyota and General Motors have also had factory downtime in 2021. 

Toyota New Zealand has been heavily affected, with a list of over 10,000 backorders. “We are doing our best to get more stock into New Zealand,” says Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand General Manager of New Vehicles and Product Planning. “We are experiencing demand like never before, especially for our hybrid variants, and we've got customers opting to wait upwards of six months for vehicles like the RAV4 hybrid in order to get what they want.”

There’s currently a four- to six-month wait for Toyota customers wanting some of the more popular models, with an average wait time of 16 weeks. “We now have more than 10,000 backorders and we just can’t get the supply to be able to fill these quickly,” Steve says.

Other new cars in short supply include the popular Kia Sportage, which went from 320 sales in July 2020 to half that total in July this year. The delay in bringing new vehicles into the country is also having a knock-on effect for the used car market, which adds to the shipping delays of the last 14 months.

Reported for our AA Directions Spring 2021 issue

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