Local car industry faces inventory concerns | News

Local car industry faces inventory concerns | News

BILLINGS – If you’re in the market for a new car here in Billings, you better act fast. Some dealerships say they’re having a hard time getting new inventory to their lots.

Blake Underriner, with Underriner Honda, says his new car inventory is much lower than usual.

He said most years there are more than 100 brand new cars on the Honda lot, but right now there are roughly five to 10. And when they do get new cars, he says, those cars are not on the lot for very long.

If they’re not already sold before arriving, new cars only sit on the lot for a week or two before they’re gone.

Underriner says it’s been decades since the auto market was like this.

“With Honda, it was back in the ’80s. I wasn’t around to witness it but from what I’ve heard, right when they came off the truck, the cars were already sold, and we had nothing on the lots in the ’80s, but not since then,” Underriner said.

And it’s not just cars, it’s car parts too. The folks at Northland Auto, who sell aftermarket parts for cars and trucks, told me they planned ahead for this and have inventory stocked up.

But delays are inevitable.

“We’ve got plenty of snowplows on hand, but I ordered those in January and they got here in September,” Owner Greg Kemmis said.

The auto industry is expected to get back to normal in late summer this coming year.

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