Auto suppliers working to meet demand of new car sales - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Auto suppliers working to meet demand of new car sales

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RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

New cars are flying off the lots at a rate faster than suppliers can produce. After years of sluggish auto sales it's good news for auto dealers.

Industry experts say it's a sign that the economy is improving with more cars on the road and in demand.

Doug Wilson is the owner of Wilson Hyundai/Premier Kia. He says the Sonata, built in Montgomery Alabama, is very scarce and the Elantra is difficult to keep in inventory.

That's because new vehicle sales are up and industry according to experts, manufacturers and suppliers are having a tough time keeping up with demand.

The Wilson dealership has a 35 day vehicle supply when its normally a 60 day supply. The Alabama plant is running three shifts to fill inventories.

"In '08 and '09 a lot of suppliers went bankrupt and went out of business," said Wilson. "So when business gradually improved in '09,'10,'11 and 12 and 13 to the point now here car sales are up but a lot of the parts manufacturers can not keep pace with the automakers."

Auto web site Edmunds.com forecasts 204 auto sales at 16.4 million, the highest since 2007.

New vehicle sales steadily climbed over the summer. The Nissan plant in Canton has an annual production capacity of 450,000 vehicles.

Manager of Corporate Communications, Justin Saia, said the company is constantly working with suppliers to eliminate waste and localize production.

Nissan is investing $50 million dollars in a new one million square foot facility for suppliers to meet dealership needs.

The Nissan Canton Supplier Parkway will add 400 supplier jobs, which is an addition to their current Supplier Logistics Center currently on site.

Bill Lehman, President of the Mississippi Auto Dealers Association, said the average age of vehicles on the road today is about 11 years. He reports that the demand for fuel efficiency and available credit are driving the automotive purchases.

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