Out of Stock: Used car wholesalers struggle with demand for pickups, crossovers

Toronto, Ontario — They aren’t grizzlies, but reports are indicating that Canadian used car showrooms are looking pretty bare these days as the wholesale market struggles to keep up with increasing demand for used pickups and crossovers.

According to industry leaders in the used auto wholesale market, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought on the difficult conundrum of there being an increase in demand among consumers for pickup trucks and crossovers, but also a desire for cheaper vehicles, as a result of the economic uncertainty of the last year.

This has proven to be a tall order for the used car industry and wholesalers are having to rely heavily on individual customer sales to make up for a lack of inventory on the part of distributors.

“We’re buying a lot of cars from customers directly [because there] aren’t enough cars in the wholesale marketplace,” said John Hairabedian, CEO of the Quebec-based HGregoire dealership group. 

“We’re doing as many deals as we can.”

A Windsor, Ontario Volkswagen dealership recently reported that they managed to push three 2018 Atlas crossovers in and out their doors within the same week.

General manager Ruth Ravenberg said that, “Sometimes we can almost just wholesale a car for what we think it should be retailed. That’s how hot we think the market is.”

This inventory strain is not expected to ease anytime soon as the industry still finds itself in a microchip shortage that is affecting many of major automakers and manufacturers.


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