Given the robust customer demand, dealers like Gilchrist could sell many more cars and trucks, if only they had more. Even at elevated prices — the average new-vehicle sales price tops $40,000, up nearly 10% in two years — customer demand exceeds supply.
“It’s pretty evident when you pull onto our lots that there’s not much selection,” said Gilchrist, whose lots carry brands ranging from General Motors and Ford to Nissan and Volkswagen. “Our (sales) volume is falling because of the sheer lack of inventory. It will still fall during the next two or three months.”