How things change. A few months ago, German dealers complained that the sky is falling, and that it’s the end of the car business as we know it – just because German cars sales had crashed from their Abwrackprämien-induced unnatural highs. Now, German car dealers have new reason to be worried: More buyers than cars! Rationing! Come back next year!
Automobilwoche [sub] finds car shortages wherever they look. “Export successes are nice for the automaker,“ says a large VW dealer, “but my customers have to wait longer and longer for their cars, which endangers sales.” Implied criticism: Those bastards send their cars to China instead to their German dealers. What’s more, dealers are worried that they can’t reach their targets and will be cheated out of their year end bonus – not because they don’t sell enough cars, because the automaker can’t deliver.
The problem is rampant industry-wide. One item must be made clear before we look: The preponderance of made-in-Europe cars are made-to-order. You pick a car with all the details you want, they’ll make it for you. Takes about 4 weeks when everything goes normal. Currently, things don’t go normal.
- Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Toyota Germany confirms that “there can be shortages with niche products that are not made in Europe, such as Land Cruiser, HiLux or HiAce. In the past months, our supply situation was not optimal.”
- If you order a Daimler now, they promise you delivery by the end of the year, unless for „a few exceptions, such as SLS AMG, CL and CLS,” says a Daimler spokestress.
- Over at BMW in Munich, „delivery times for models made in the US (X3/X5/X6) reach into the new year.“ If you order one now, you may get it in February 2011, if you are lucky. Want a new 5-Series? Some of them won’t be available until next year.
- Ford has supply problems with cars with bigger bore diesel engines, for instance with the Mondeo, the S-Max or the Galaxy. The Thailand-made Ranger comes with a long wait.
- Renault has problems with the Koleos: 4 months wait. All other cars can be had within 8 to 12 weeks, if you order now.
- Delivery times at Volkswagen: Between 6 and 12 weeks, some models longer.
- The only brand that has abundant cars: Opel. Opel sales boss Imelda Labbé told Automobilwoche: “All ordered cars will be delivered this year.”