This is not the best time to shop for a new car. Dealer inventories remain thin due to production constraints caused by supply chain shortages, while automakers must create models without some key features for which components are unavailable just to keep production lines running.
For example, we recently test drove a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 that had a $25 sticker price credit for not having a heated steering wheel (promising a later upgrade). The $112,000 Cadillac Escalade we drove showed a $50 credit because it wasn’t equipped with an electronic steering column lock. Other items most commonly left over from delivered models to facilitate production include infotainment touchscreens, wireless charging pads, heated seats and some audio systems.
And that’s if you can find the vehicle of your choice in stock at all. Ordering one from the factory is an option, but it’s hardly a practical solution for someone who needs a car sooner rather than later, especially if their current ride is about to come off a lease or face a major overhaul .
Supply and demand issues, as any Economics 101 student can attest, have pushed prices up significantly. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average mass-market vehicle sold for $43,942 last month, the highest transaction price on record. Luxury models cost an average of $66,476, which is about $1,100 above their MSRP. Rising gas prices (no pun intended) are fueling demand for electric and hybrid vehicles. Transaction prices for EVs are now nearly 14 percent higher than they were a year ago, while hybrids are going for a whopping $8,453 more than they were in mid-2021.
Of course, not all factory new cars, trucks, and SUVs are in short supply and able to command such high markups. Some brands are hotter than others, again due to supply and demand issues. KBB says that while new vehicles from Honda, Kia and Mercedes-Benz averaged 6.5-8.7 percent above their sticker prices in June, those from Buick, Lincoln and Ram sold for about one percent below their MSRP.
Clearly, the models that are in the least supply at dealerships, due to lack of delivered inventory and/or overwhelming demand, will not only be the hardest to find, but will be the hardest to drive off the lot of any kind discount. Shoppers will find the biggest markups on red-hot models like the Ford Bronco SUV, which was so big that dealers stopped taking orders for the 2022 model year. To determine which new vehicles are currently in the most demand and the most -low supply, the automotive website iSeeCars.com looked at more than 224,000 transactions that took place in June to determine how many days a model remained in a dealer’s inventory before it was sold.
The top model in this regard, the Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV, stayed in stock for just 12.9 days before being pulled from the lot. The industry average is currently 37.2 days, while in the pre-pandemic era 50 days was considered typical. Below we present the 20 fastest sellers.
It’s more or less the same story at the end of a used car lot, where EVs, hybrids, and small cars sit in storage for the shortest intervals. According to iSeeCars.com, the Tesla Model Y crossover tops that list, holding on for an average of 24.9 days before being sold. Other scarce used models include Tesla’s Model 3 and Model X, the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime, and the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. Attesting to its current demand, we’ve seen the 2021 Mach-E listed on used vehicle sites for an incredible amount $17,000 more from their original sticker prices.
In the meantime, car buyers are advised to remain opportunistic and be both open-minded and open-minded in order to find something as close to their chosen vehicles as they want them to be equipped. “Inventories of new cars are expected to remain tight through 2022 as microchip shortages persist and as automakers struggle to meet pent-up demand,” said iSeeCars executive analyst Carl Brauer. “Buyers need to act quickly if they see the vehicle they want for sale, and buyers will likely need to be flexible about color and trim options for the models in demand.”
Meanwhile, here are the fastest-selling new vehicles on the market right now, based on iSeeCars.com data, for which buyers should expect low inventory and high prices, noting average days on sale and transaction prices:
- Subaru Crosstrek: 12.9 days; $30,299
- Honda Civic: 14.1 days; $26,480
- Subaru Forester: 14.7 days; $34,319
- Honda CR-V: 17.7 days; $34,698
- Subaru Impreza: 18.5 days; 24,881 dollars
- Kia Telluride: 18.6 days; $46,447
- Kia Forte: 18.6 days; $23,084
- BMW X3: 19.4 days; $52,079
- Ford Bronco: 21.5 days; $57,579
- Hyundai Tucson Hybrid: 22.3 days; 36,371 dollars
- Subaru Outback: 22.9 days; 37,942 dollars
- Kia Sportage: 22.9 days; 33,967 dollars
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: 23.7 days; $36,767
- Nissan Kicks: 23.7 days; 24,277 dollars
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: 24.1 days; $55,043
- Chevrolet Trailblazer: 24.1 days; $27,523
- Mercedes-Benz GLE: 24.7 days; $75,240
- Toyota Camry: 25.9 days; $30,998
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (Hybrid): 25.9 days; 62,731 dollars
- Toyota Highlander: 26.4 days; 46,332 dollars
You can read the full study here.