This article was previously published on April 14, 2021. It has since been updated to reflect current out-of-stock conditions.
There continues to be constraints on vehicle acquisition markets. A variety of supply chain issues continue to reduce the availability of new vehicles. As a result, vehicle inventory at new vehicle dealerships is depleting and there is a shortage of new vehicles available for out-of-stock purchases.
With dealers experiencing limited inventory, they’re prioritizing their stock for consumer and retail sales over fleet sales in order to maximize their margin and allocation levels. Fleet management companies and fleets are finding it more difficult to secure vehicles through dealer inventory due to these events.
Tips for Acquiring Fleet Vehicles
We strongly recommend not relying on dealer inventory to secure new vehicles. Ordering vehicles directly from OEMs is your best chance to acquire the desired vehicles. There may be delays due to chip shortages, but the vehicles will ultimately be delivered. Some MY21 models remain open for ordering. Some MY22 vehicle lines are now available to order and additional MY22 models will open up for ordering in the coming weeks. We recommend ordering early, as we expect supply chain issues to continue to be uncertain in the coming year.
If you’re in a situation where you must rely on an out-of-stock purchase, please indicate what is considered “must have” items, such as color or options. Also be flexible to other packages, colors or specs presented for approval to ensure an out-of-stock can be sourced and secured quickly. The team will do their best to find as close to requirements as possible. Be aware that switching models often results in delays and inventory is selling quickly.
We are experiencing higher fees and markups, with many dealers charging well over MSRP, not honoring fleet sales and fleet incentives, selling at retail only, and charging higher fees for transportation.
When you’re in the ordering process, it’s important to respond quickly to approve vehicles to ensure they’re not sold beforehand.
Dealer inventory is very slim. Vehicles that appear to be available on dealer’s websites are often either not the right specifications or are already spoken for when we contact the dealer.
As always, Wheels continues to keep a close eye on the situation and is in constant communication with OEMs and dealers. If you have any questions, please reach out to a member of your Wheels Account Team.