By Ashley Pavlakis and Menka Suresh
The car market in Long Island has suffered changes due to disruptions in the supply chain and the increasing pace of inflation, experts say. The cost of cars went up by 4.2 percent in 2023 across the United States, a study by J.P. Morgan Research shows. On Long Island, these new conditions present both challenges and new opportunities for car dealers.
“Dealerships need to be able to cover their monthly expenses with less than ¼ of the inventory that was available to them in prior years which is likely why we see market adjustment,” Kim Deasy, a saleswoman at Hyundai of 110, in Farmingdale, said.
On the side of used car dealerships, agents are eagerly looking to buy people out of their current lease in an effort to bring in more inventory.
“With the used car market, because the new car market doesn’t have a lot of inventory, dealerships and people that would normally be buying new cars are looking for used cars. So used cars are scarce, which is also driving the price up,” Anthony Dicicco, self-employed entrepreneur at A.K.A Leasing inc. said.
Dealerships are also having difficulty acquiring car parts, and the delays keep prospective buyers waiting for months.
“Inflation has taken a toll on car parts because it’s becoming harder for people to find parts for their cars as they may be on backorder because the supply does not meet the demand,” Kevin Ramirez, a former mechanic for Toyota, said.
Dealerships base their inventory on past sales. Number and type of vehicle are taken into consideration when deciding which cars maintain a presence on the lot, are brought in, or let go.
“Each store is allocated a certain amount of vehicles per month,” Deasy said. “I can’t speak in blanket terms for all dealerships or manufacturers, but the allocation amounts tend to be based on how many cars the dealership has sold in the prior month(s).”
Thomas LaRocca, a prospective car buyer, has put a lot of thought into his next car purchase. He intends to fully explore his options ranging from Jeep Wrangler to Subaru Forester to make the best decision.
“The first thing I always look at is price, is this something I can afford overall and as a monthly payment?” LaRocca pondered. “Inflation is something that comes and goes and is always present in a sense. I always want to pay under the sticker price so I will always try and work out a better deal to not pay as much.”
Though inflation has been at a record high, it is starting to come down, Dr. Panos Mourdoukoutas, an economics professor at Long Island University said. This should help prospective car buyers in the coming year.
“And that’s good news for middle and low-income Long-Islanders,” Mourdoukoutas said.