Cheap car parts warehouse has been one of the biggest sellers of the latest luxury goods.
Now it’s getting more expensive, with some parts being sold for up to $400 on the black market.
The supply chain is one of many in a booming marketplace, said Robert G. Levenson, director of research at the Car Dealers Association of America, which tracks the industry.
The problem, he said, is that people aren’t buying cars as a “purchase of convenience.”
“The way people buy cars is through the dealer network,” he said.
“They’re looking for an automobile, they want a car that’s going to last a lifetime, they’re looking to save money, and they’re going to want a lot of it.”
As consumers seek out cheaper options, they are being turned off by the cost of parts, and the lack of knowledge about what to expect from the factory.
Levenson said it’s not only a problem with the supply chain but with the cars themselves, which can be built cheaply.
“I would argue that people buy into the belief that if you buy a good quality car, you’re going a lot farther,” he told CNN.
“And if you have a bad car, your whole journey is a disappointment.
I think that’s the biggest problem.
It’s not just about the cost.”
Levensons report shows that a single car can cost as much as $1,000.
It is a luxury that is rarely found on a daily basis, with only a handful of cars on the road, according to Levensson.
Some dealers say the problem is getting worse.
The American Automobile Dealers Assn.
said in a statement it has seen an increase in the number of customers who want to get a “good car” but can’t find one, a phenomenon it says is being driven by “a combination of consumer confusion and industry pressure to drive up the cost per mile for new vehicles.”
That pressure comes from a number of factors, including a lack of information about the new models and how they’ll perform on the roads, the association said.
“We have seen this phenomenon in the past and will continue to see it in the future as the cost continues to increase,” the association’s president, David L. Riedel, said in the statement.
“Many of the newer vehicles are being produced at an extremely high cost, with many of the higher-end models being made with less than half the components that are normally found on the market,” Riedesl said.
The association has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about the problem.
The National Automobile Parts Association says the industry is aware of the problem and is taking steps to address it.
“This is a product that is designed to last,” association president Paul D. Lauten said in an email.
“We are trying to address the issue by making sure that we do everything we can to prevent the supply chains from getting in the way of that.”
The association said the industry’s goal is to get the cost down to where it should be in the long term.