Just as vehicle sales were beginning to pick back up, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has now brought additional challenges to players in the industry.
According to Regional Product Manager of the Vehicle Sales Department at Courtesy Garage Limited, Samuel Gaston, the demand for new vehicles outweighs the ability to supply as there is now a worldwide shortage in components required for assembling automobiles.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of Thursday’s launch of Courtesy’s newest electric vehicle, the 2022 Nissan Leaf, Gaston said Courtesy’s car sales had not yet returned to pre-COVID levels.
He estimated that it would take another year before those figures were realized.
“Car sales are not back yet to pre-COVID levels as you could imagine because of the effect of people’s jobs and stuff…I don’t think we are back to that level yet. I would say that we are probably at 60 – 70 per cent. We share sales information every month with all within the industry for the new vehicles. I’ve seen situations where a lot of my competitors are hurting from supply so it is not a Nissan thing, it’s not a Toyota thing, it’s worldwide so a lot of the fellows are having issues with supply,” Gaston said.
“The war in Ukraine is in part responsible. But even before the war in Ukraine there was an issue with even producing the cars and getting the components, so it was already affecting the industry. This has now made it even worse and because of the price of gas now climbing people are starting to look at other options.
“Players in the industry are losing sales that they want now. I would say probably in our reality it may be a year or so before we start to see some kind of stability in sales and supply. It may happen sooner depending on how the war turns out but I’d say probably a year,” he added.
Gaston said in many instances Courtesy was receiving significantly fewer numbers of cars than had been ordered.
He said manufacturers were having serious challenges sourcing parts and that had led to a backlog in customers receiving vehicles.
“One of the biggest challenges that we are facing now is to do with the current day situation. I am already getting serious, serious challenges in supplying. The manufacturer of course wants to sell you as many as they can, you want to buy as many as you can, the consumer wants these vehicles like yesterday, but you have some challenges and the war has not made it any easier. There are now major, major issues in supplying the components to build the cars,” Gaston said.
“Part of the immediate challenge that we are going to have is that some people are going to get frustrated but I beg of you to keep your head level and understand what is going on. We are ordering cars three months in advance, so we’re now in April and we’re ordering for June…” [email protected]