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Vehicles ordered by County to come with higher price tag

by WayneTimes.com
September 10, 2022

Looking for a new vehicle? Prepare for some sticker shock. Car dealer lots have only a fraction of the vehicles — both new and used — that they typically have. That’s helping send prices to record levels and lifting the nation’s overall inflation rate.

The County found out at last week’s Public Works Committee meeting that it received notice from VanBortel Ford that vehicles ordered for the Sheriff’s Office and EMS will not be built as 2022 vehicles, but 2023 vehicles with a higher price tag of about $8,500 per car.

Purchasing Agent Kaleigh Flynn said that if the order is cancelled and the vehicles are re-bid it will remove the County from their current standing on the vehicle purchase waiting list, and the price of the vehicles will increase anyway.

The issue has been reviewed with the County Attorney, who said the vehicles did not need to be re-bid. Ms. Flynn stated the need for proper justification needs to be given on why a re-bid is not occurring.  

The average new car price hit a record $38,255 in May, according to JD Power, up 12% from the same period a year ago.

How desperate are vehicle buyers? About two-thirds of car buyers paid within 5% of the sticker price in May, with some even paying above sticker.

According to an article by CNN Business writer Chris Isidore: “It’s a perfect storm,” said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist for Cox Automotive. “If you’re not willing to pay near sticker price, there’s someone behind you who is. These issues will likely be with us through at least the rest of this year.”

Prices for steel, rubber, resins and the scarcity of computer chips is driving vehicle costs higher. Ford and General Motors each expect the chip shortage will cost them more than $1 billion in profits this year.

Wayne County Public Works Superintendent Kevin Rooney also serves as the County’s Fleet Manager. He stated that 11 Ford Explorer vehicle replacements were on order, along with  cars for detectives. In addition, one Ford Explorer was ordered for the Wayne County ambulance response service.

Sheriff Rob Milby said he hoped a new bid would go out for next year’s reorder for his department, but the additional costs could be absorbed in man hour reduction costs due to current police officer vacancies.

Rooney added that a $175,000 dump truck price was to increase by $7,000, but that cost was averted.

The Fleet Manager added that six  Chevrolet Malibus are also on state pricing backlog for the County, but he has not learned of their fate. 

Rooney said a transmittal will be presented at the October Committee meeting requesting authorization to pay the additional cost for the cars and state where funding will come from.  

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