War in Ukraine, Covid-19 … In the Channel, long months waiting to receive your new car

Baptiste Marcelin, representative at Aubert Volvo, regrets the lack of visibility of highly fluctuating delivery times at the moment. (©Jean-Paul BARBIER/La Manche Press)

” In waiting for the delivery “. By the entrance of the concession, the message is announced. Until Aubert Volvo as with all dealers, the time limit for the delivery of a new car extends since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and the covid crisis

“Today I am selling a car that will be available in September. Four days later, the time frame changes to November, and one day later it can become December. We have no view. †

Baptist Marcelinthe commercial field

According to brands and concessions, the delay can reach: up to 18 months

Full order books

Difficult in this one terms by to survive† Concessions are paid upon delivery of the vehicles. “Obviously, without the delivery of the vehicles, there is no money income † We recorded up to -40% turnover during the trimester “, regrets the seller

Even under these circumstances, sales continue to follow each other. “The market is doing well. For example, this week we have 38% increase when taking orders† It’s almost the most annoying thing, the order books are full’, Baptiste Marcelin argues.

no parts

If the shortage of semiconductors is a problem in the manufacture of new vehicles, it is also a problem in garages. “For example, it takes three weeks to get an electronic handbrake button. And without the technical control will not take place! explains William Pertuis, who is responsible for used vehicles at Aubert.

An impact on the second-hand market

Fortunately, according to factories, the dealer manages to have a few vehicles delivered. But the delivery rates do not follow, and are random

“We sometimes get messages from the factory that they won’t deliver five models, for example. That’s problematic. Three of the five models on display are sold here. But I can’t deliver them, otherwise I won’t have any models to exhibit, and therefore no more tools to work with. †

Baptist Marcelin

In the Aubert second-hand department, the number vehicles for sale decreases also.

“Between the customers referring to this market and the trade-in that no longer takes place, we now spend more than half our time looking for vehicles,” explains William Pertuis, the manager. I used to even allow myself to sell them to garages! †

Faced with strong demand, price increase. “Today, on average, a used car is sold 1,500 to 2,000 euros more expensive”, explains the manager used vehicles. all that is special is expensive as the saying goes.

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> > > “Orders but no cars”

Interview with Valéry Lecoutour, president of the Cherbourg dealer association.

Valéry Lecoutour is director of Garages du Rond-Point and president of the Cherbourg Dealer Association.  It paints a pretty bleak picture of the car market.
Valéry Lecoutour is director of Garages du Rond-Point and president of the Cherbourg Dealer Association. It paints a pretty bleak picture of the car market. (© La Presse de la Manche)

News: According to registration figures, the car market fell nationally in March and by almost 20% compared to last year. And in Cherbourg, at car dealerships?

Valery Lecoutour: It’s catastrophic. The problem is the same with all brands. At all dealers, the order books are full, but there is a 6 to 9 month wait to get a new car. In my 30 years as a dealer I have never experienced a situation like this. It is very frustrating to have orders that cannot be fulfilled.

How do you explain this situation?

NAV: We no longer have a car because there are no more electronic parts. They are all made in Asia, and with the Covid and the incarceration of Chinese cities like Shanghai it is impossible to obtain these components. Unfortunately, in all cars and on many parts such as the gearbox…

How long did this situation last? Is it just the health crisis?

NAV: The crisis started in 2021 but has been exacerbated with the new wave of Covid sweeping across China and especially the incarceration of entire cities. It is now very difficult to get new cars, and this is reflected in the second-hand market. Given the delivery times, people fell back on this market. The problem is that many people have opted for the opportunity, and this market is also fueled by the recuperation of new cars. It is the snake that bites its own tail.

Do you see a way out of the crisis?

NAV: Not really. Added to this Asian health crisis is the war in Ukraine, resulting in an increase in raw materials. Steel, in particular, has risen and this is reflected in the price of new cars. Prices rose by 2%. Finally, there will be a problem with 100% electric cars very soon. To make them you need rare metals for batteries. They are increasingly difficult to find and there is a risk that they will run out very quickly if the market takes up too much space. But this time it’s no surprise, we knew the well would dry up very quickly. The consequences of all this will be dramatic. We come out of two difficult years and fall back into a series of problems. This is not yet the case with us, but dealers have to say goodbye to employees, partially unemployed. But this time there is no more state aid… Some concessions really stand still.

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