Car dealerships short on new cars - WNEM TV 5

Car dealerships short on new cars

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Thousands of brand-new vehicles fresh off the assembly line are sitting idle in parking lots throughout Michigan.

A train shortage is keeping the cars and trucks from being transported to dealerships across the country.

"If vehicles are not at the dealerships where they're supposed to be, where the public can see them, it does concern me," Walter Plajstek said.

Plajstek will soon be in the market for a new car and he's worried the choices for his new ride might be limited, thanks to a new nationwide vehicle backlog.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin is upset with railroad companies, blaming them for not getting thousands of cars delivered to dealership lots. Instead of being on a showroom floor, they are sitting in storage. The rail industry is blaming the harsh winter for the delay.

"The weather has been good for the last two and a half months, so how long does it take?" Plajstek said.

One dealership said the accumulation of cars in storage isn't affecting them.

"We just don't see any problems that are causing us to lose any sales due to time lapses for deliveries," said Rob Roy, general sales manager at Draper Chevrolet.

Roy has been in the car business for 30 years. He said getting a new four-wheeler on the lot is easier than ever.

"Used to be you told people eight to 10 weeks before they'd see a vehicle. Now we get them as quick as two and a half to three weeks," Roy said. "I think you'll be able to find what you want and if you don't we've got ways of getting them here at our dealership."

Meanwhile Plajstek hasn't decided on a car yet, but when he's ready, he wants it to be something he can get into quickly.

"I'm hoping that the railroad companies will start shipping vehicles and employing truck drivers to get them to the dealerships and everybody is happy," he said.

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