Chatham News + Record
By D. Lard Dolder
It used to be said “a car loses value the moment it drives off the lot.”
The pandemic turned many a market on its head — commodity prices skyrocketed, tourism tanked, gasoline and oil values surged.
But few industry shifts have been as bizarre as auto manufacturing’s.
Case in point: four years ago, a brand new 2017 Ford F-250 sold for $52,000. Last week the same truck sold for $60,000.
“I’ve been doing this for 16 years,” Lynn Gaines, the finance manager at Siler City’s Welford Harris Ford, told me, “and I’ve never seen a market like this.”
Contributing factors are myriad. The most basic and straightforward is that demand has risen exponentially; for a year, many would-be buyers delayed vehicle purchases as they putzed around in their home hoosegows. Raw materials shortages have also made production more expensive for car manufacturers, limiting supply and inflating prices. And a global semiconductor chip shortage is delaying vehicle deliveries to dealerships.
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