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'The Market Is Insane': Cars Are Sold Even Before They Hit the Lot


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People competing to buy a car.

A shortage of computer chips, combined with a strong economic recovery, low interest rates, high savings and government stimulus payments, have left auto dealers and individuals struggling to get their hands on vehicles.

Credit: Andrea Chronopoulos

Rick Ricart is expecting nearly 40 Kia Telluride sport utility vehicles to arrive at his family's dealership near Columbus, Ohio, over the next three weeks. Most will be on his lot for just a few hours.

"They're all sold," Mr. Ricart said. "Customers have either signed the papers or have a deposit on them. The market is insane right now."

In showrooms across the country, Americans are buying most makes and models almost as fast as they can be made or resold. The frenzy for new and used vehicles is being fed by two related forces: Automakers are struggling to increase production because of a shortage of computer chips caused in large part by the pandemic. And a strong economic recovery, low interest rates, high savings and government stimulus payments have boosted demand.

From The New York Times
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