With the restart of vehicle manufacturing across the world, the Wheels Vehicle Production and Delivery team wanted to provide an update on OEM production, dealer inventory and delivery dates.
We are in constant communication with our OEM supplier partners and are working hard to ensure all canceled or postponed orders are promptly rescheduled. Nearly 100% of Wheels vehicle orders placed prior to the March shutdown are rescheduled—with 70% already built and en route to the destination.
In addition, 75% of orders placed from March through May are either built, en route or scheduled for production.
When dealerships reopened, we experienced a slower than usual rate of vehicle delivery. As a result, we established a 30-person, cross-departmental vehicle delivery taskforce to ensure deliveries were occurring in a timely manner. Nearly 3,500 vehicles arrived in June, which is more than the previous two months of deliveries combined. For reference, we saw more than 4,600 vehicles arrive at the dealer in February.
Be aware that manufacturer plant closures combined with the model year turnover, has also affected available dealer inventory. While auto plants are back up to pre-pandemic levels of production, it will take some time to replenish dealer inventory.
We are already seeing the effects when searching for units out of dealers’ stock. There is limited availability of many vehicles, packages, options and colors, making it more difficult to fulfill client requests. In some cases, we are experiencing higher fees or markups for dealer trades and transportation.
To help us facilitate the Out of Stock ordering process, please provide detailed information on mandatory features versus non-mandatory features. Have second and third color choices in mind as dealer stock may be limited. It’s also important to respond quickly to approve vehicles to ensure they’re not sold before you provide approval.
OEMs are beginning to publish model-year 2021 specifications and pricing information. Here is the current estimated time of arrivals for the most popular models:
Ram trucks: mid-July
Transit Cargo van: mid-July
Silverado and Sierra 1500: late July
Ford F150: mid-August*
Ford Super Duty: mid-September*
Subaru Legacy, Outback and Forester: end of August
*These OEMs will release order guides soon.
Manufacturers are currently scheduling for the end of August or September. For the current model year, there are still popular fleet vehicles available to order, such as the Ford Escape and Ram 1500 (DS). Their order cut-off date is expected in October.
As you begin or finalize your ordering planning for present needs and in the future, keep this information in mind. These uncertain times make early planning for your new vehicle acquisitions even more important. The Wheels account team is here to support you through the vehicle planning process.