KC Auto Show reflects availability, affordability issues

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City Auto Show has returned to Bartle Hall after last year’s hiatus due to the pandemic.

The committee said the industry is still struggling to come back from the supply shortage.

Anyone trying to buy a vehicle this year knows it’s not easy. The lack of computer chips has limited the supply of new vehicles, forcing many buyers to wait and pay sticker price or more.

Used car prices remain high, and buyers often pay more for a used car than the same car would cost to buy new.

At the auto show, there was evidence of limited inventory for buyers, with the absence of displays from several manufacturers, including Honda. But when consumers can get their hands on the new car, event organizers say the vehicle is better than ever.

“Availability in the short term will continue as it is now,” said Larry Carl, CEO of the Auto Dealers Association of Kansas City. “Forecasters and economists are looking at 2023 and possibly 2024. This could be the new normal for another 12 to 18 months. But it’s still very difficult to predict. Recent actions by the administration and microchip investment may help that, but it will take some time for online.

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has focused attention on electric vehicles, with the government offering a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicle purchases, starting for most models next year.

Many of the latest electric vehicles are on display for buyers to check out, including: Ford F-150 Lightning, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Volkswagen ID-4, Kia EV-6 and the Subaru Solterra prototype.

There is also an indoor electric vehicle ride along where consumers can see what it’s like to drive an electric car.

Admission to the event is automatic, now through Sunday, is $20 per adult at the box office, or $15 each if purchased online at kcautoshow.com.

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