LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The car industry has had a bumpy ride during the pandemic, and some of the same shortages are still lingering. If you drive around the Las Vegas Valley, you’ll notice many car dealerships have lots of empty spaces.

The lots have low stock because there’s now been more than a year of fewer cars being manufactured, and that’s led to a trickle-down effect that can hurt consumers wallets when attempting to buy a car.

"Their lot is kind of like the size of ours,” Gavin Delano with Used Car Outlet said. “They're empty. You can go down the street, they're all empty.”

Used Car Outlet can hold 15 cars at their location on Sahara Avenue and another 20 at their other lot. It used to hold more.

"We maybe get one to two vehicles every two weeks. Sometimes it’s none for a week or two," Delano said.

In the spring, they said they saw similar scarcity, but now they say things have not improved. If anything, inventory is even lower.

The empty lots are part of the same car part shortage.

That’s meant fewer new vehicles, which is leading to more competition from dealerships. In return, it’s raised prices, because there are fewer options. There are fewer cars left on the lot even if you buy used, and prices are up around 20%.

Used Car Outlet offers trade-in values that they said are higher than the competition if customers purchase a used car from their lot.

Just last week, the auto industry came together in Las Vegas for the first time in two years at SEMA. The week-long event shows off the latest innovations and improvements in the industry.

VP of Events at SEMA Tom Gattuso said the auto industry overall is doing well despite the shortages.

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"It was really interesting when we saw the pandemic, because we thought there was going to be a dip in sales of products but what we saw also was there were people building projects in their garage,” Gattuso said. “So we had a lot manufacturers that actually experienced record sales."

Gattuso also said the industry is learning from the supply chain issues.

"We've seen our industry even [at SEMA] have different ways of getting product … so the end user consumer doesn’t really notice when there are supply chain issues in the future," Gattuso said.

Industry experts still predict the shortages will last into 2022 and potentially 2023.


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