February 2, 2023
waiting to get a new car

A year of waiting to get a new car: why are the delivery times so long?

If you fell in love with the car of the year 2022, there is a good chance that you are still waiting for its delivery, a victim of its success. Previously, it was necessary to count on two years of waiting, but the situation is improving, this delay is rather one year now.

At the Korean manufacturer KIA, the deadlines vary according to the production plant. Models made in Europe can be delivered between three and five months, twice as fast as cars made in Asia. But beware, everything also depends on the type of engine chosen, as Olivier Gelas, the general manager of KIA Belgium, points out:

“The delivery times for plug-in hybrids are a little longer because there were a lot of orders towards the end of 2022. All this is related to the change in taxation for companies. For a plug-in classic hybrid, for example a Sportage, we will rather be around eight or nine months of delivery time. If we take a mild hybrid version, we will wait between five and six months.”

Belgian legislation has indeed changed and plug-in hybrids were fiscally attractive until 2022. Hence this last-minute rush.

waiting to get a new car

This is also the case for the Mercedes CLA, very popular with companies. Count a year and a half before receiving your hybrid, but at least you will receive the one you ordered. While the market has seen limitations on automotive options recently, it seems that is no longer the case, as Bastien Van den Moortel, Head of Communications for Mercedes-Benz, points out:

“We had blocked certain options to avoid too long delivery times. But now, all that is no longer relevant. All options are available.”

A world upside down

To explain the situation, there is always the shortage of electronic chips or the war in Ukraine. And when you think it’s getting better, other problems arise. Henri de Hemptinne is the president of the concessionaire group. In particular, he points to a cause linked to the logistics of the storage and transport of new vehicles:

“The port of Zeebrugge is crowded with cars,” he says. “And there is a lack of transporters to bring these cars from Zeebrugge to the dealerships. It is so congested that it has become particularly difficult to access a car that you want to deliver. For example also, I know that for some brands, there is a problem that the deadlines can be extended from one to three months.”

 the shortage of electronic chips

As the delay varies depending on the manufacturer, model, engine and options, drawing general conclusions is therefore quite complicated. But what is certain is that the more specific the request, the longer the lead time will be, as confirmed by Henri de Hemptinne:

“If you want a truly individualized car with certain options or certain colours, a waiting period between six and eight months is certainly a reality and maybe even for some models, like premium brands, it can be up to a year and a half or even two years.”

year of waiting to get a new car

If all these considerations make you think that it is better to settle for a car that is already in stock at a dealership, know that it is no longer necessarily a good idea if you want to pay less. Through the mechanism of supply and demand, these stock cars have also seen their price increase. The president of the dealers’ group says nothing else:

“And that’s true that it’s an upside down world! Whereas before with stock cars, in general, we benefited from a more big discount, today a stock car, if you want it quickly, you may pay more than if you order your vehicle, which will arrive in six to eight months.”

As the builders deliver little while the demand is there, the discounts are much less attractive than in the past. You won’t get much from the model in the photo above, and even paying between 110 and 200,000 €, if you order it at the show, you will receive it… in 2026.