Germans having to wait for their new cars amid supply bottlenecks

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Imported cars are parked at Qingdao Qianwan Free Trade Port Zone, east China’s Shandong province. (Photo from CFP)
(Photo from CFP)

Germans are having to wait up to a year for their new cars, largely due to the shortage of semiconductors, market analysts have told dpa.

“Depending on the make and model, delivery times have stabilized at between three and six months for most cars,” Marcus Weller, a marketing analyst at the German association for the motor vehicle industry, said on Wednesday.

Waits for premium models can stretch to nine months or even a year, he added. Manufacturers were cutting back on production as a result of shortages of major components.

Stefan Reindl, head of the institute for the automotive sector in Geislingen predicted the shortages would stretch into next year and could even become worse, with discounts on the official list price no longer offered and prices for used cars rising as well.

“Dealers’ stocks are down strongly,” Weller says. Where in the past customers did not see their model at the dealer, it could usually be ordered from the manufacturer, but this was now more problematic, he said.

Companies like Volkswagen and major suppliers like Continental were forming task forces to search global markets round the clock, for microchips in particular, he said.

Stockpiles of semi-finished cars were piling up on lots at some manufacturing plants, and certain manufacturers were releasing vehicles for sale without the accessories ordered with a view to providing them when they become available.

The entire sector across Germany is repeatedly reporting shutdowns, with production staff sent home for weeks at a time.

Manufacturers are focusing on the more expensive models with higher margins, as evidenced by robust profits.

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