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Car Buyers to Find Sparse Lots This Labor Day Weekend – What’s News

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Marc Stewart: Walmart raises its minimum wage. Plus, more automakers cut production amid the global chip shortage and how that’s making it even harder to buy a car.

Nora Naughton: If you find a car that works for you, you should really walk away with it in that moment.

Marc Stewart: And why some Millennials are taking a break from work. It’s Friday, September 3rd, I’m Marc Stewart with the Wall Street Journal. Here’s the A.M. edition of What’s News, the top headlines in business stories moving your world today.
We begin in Japan, where prime minister Yoshihide Suga said he won’t seek re-election as ruling party leader later this month, effectively ending his term after just a year in office. Suga’s decision to step down may bring

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Used car prices up, new cars hard to find

The general manager of McKinney Automotive on Calhoun Memorial Highway in Easley told WYFF4 that his inventory of new cars is low. The brands they sell include Ram, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Mazda. “Normally we would have 500 new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram’s on the ground. We started this month with 54,” said general manager Daniel Black. With fewer new cars coming in, he said the demand for used cars skyrocketed. “Everything is selling. Right now, we’ll have someone come in and make us a ridiculous offer at 11:00 o’clock. And by 2:00 o’clock the car is already sold to someone else,” Black said. CNBC reports that used car prices are up nearly 30% from a year ago. Many automotive plants shut down or slowed production during the pandemic, and Black says some are not caught up yet. Plus, there is an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips across the globe … Read More

How to find a deal

Springtime car-buying season is here, and many hopeful buyers are ending up with a severe case of sticker shock in 2021, because used car prices are higher than ever.

Gary Heflin, owner of Courtesy Automotive, is busy these days.

Eric Oliver, owner of Beyond Exercise gym, has bought two cars from Heflin in the past, and he plans on buying an SUV from Heflin.

“I prefer buying used,” Oliver said. “You can get some good used vehicles in very good shape.”

But used cars are not such bargains anymore, with Edmunds.com reporting prices up 14% over the past year.

Heflin said there are several factors, and one is that new car prices have hit a record high of $40,000 on average.

Combine that with rental fleets no longer flooding the market with cars and buyers flush with stimulus checks, and you have a supply-and-demand imbalance.

“There’s a lot

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