New car gross sales dropped about 26% in September.

DETROIT — In a standard month earlier than the pandemic, Con Paulos’ Chevy dealership in Jerome, Idaho, bought round 40 new autos. In September, it was solely six. Now he is obtained nothing new in inventory, and each automotive, truck or SUV on order has been bought.

Final month, what occurred at his dealership about 115 miles (185 kilometers) southeast of Boise was repeated throughout the nation as manufacturing unit closures resulting from a worsening international scarcity of laptop chips crimped U.S. new car shipments.

U.S. new car gross sales tumbled about 26% in September as chip shortages and different parts-supply disruptions reduce into the choice on supplier heaps and raised costs as soon as once more to report ranges. That despatched many annoyed customers to the sidelines to attend out a scarcity that has hobbled the business since late final yr.

Automakers bought simply over 1 million autos in the course of the month, based on Edmunds.com, a determine that included estimates for Ford and others that did not report numbers Friday. September was the bottom gross sales month of the yr, Edmunds mentioned.

For the third quarter, gross sales had been 3.4 million, down 13% from the identical interval a yr in the past.

Automakers on Friday reported some fairly poor numbers. Normal Motors, which solely experiences gross sales by quarter, mentioned its deliveries had been off almost 33% from July by September of final yr. Stellantis, previously Fiat Chrysler, noticed quarterly gross sales dip 19%, whereas Nissan gross sales had been down 10% for the quarter.

Honda’s U.S. gross sales fell virtually 25% final month, and had been down 11% for the quarter. At Toyota, gross sales had been off 22% for September however up simply over 1% within the third quarter. Hyundai reported gross sales off 2% final month however up 4% for the third quarter. Volkswagen third-quarter gross sales had been down 8%.

“September outcomes present that there are merely not sufficient autos accessible to satisfy shopper demand,” mentioned Thomas King, president of information and analytics at J.D. Energy.

The common gross sales worth of a brand new car hit a report $42,802 final month, breaking the outdated report of $41,528 set in August, J.D. Energy mentioned. The common U.S. worth is up almost 19% from a yr in the past, when it broke $36,000 for the primary time, J.D. Energy mentioned. The auto worth will increase have helped to drive up U.S. inflation.

Normal Motors, hit exhausting by non permanent plant closures final quarter, expressed some optimism, although. Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America, mentioned the pc chip scarcity is enhancing.

“As we glance to the fourth quarter, a gentle movement of autos held at vegetation will proceed to be launched to sellers, we’re restarting manufacturing at key crossover and automotive vegetation, and we sit up for a extra secure working atmosphere by the autumn,” he mentioned in an announcement.

The scarcity and loopy excessive costs for each new and used autos started with the eruption of the pandemic final yr, when many states issued stay-at-home orders. Costs plummeted, and automakers shuttered factories for eight weeks. The ensuing decline in provide got here simply as many cooped-up customers wished a brand new or used car to commute to work or to take highway journeys with out coming in touch with others.

Whereas the auto vegetation had been shut down in April and Could final yr, laptop chip makers shifted manufacturing to fulfill wild demand for laptops, gaming gadgets and tablets. That created a scarcity of automotive-grade chips, an issue which may not be totally resolved till subsequent yr.

Due to the excessive costs, sellers massive and small are reporting report earnings, however Paulos fears these days is perhaps over. He is paying the payments and making a living with used automotive gross sales, in addition to service as folks maintain their autos longer. He is hoping the brand new auto scarcity has hit backside and says GM seems to be bringing extra factories again on-line.

“We gained’t be having any stock to point out folks right here,” Paulos says. “If we don’t get some provide to the sellers, the report earnings we had been making are going to show into report losses, I’m afraid. It’s exhausting to maintain your self with no new movement.”