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Looking to buy a new car? Auto industry is rebounding from pandemic shortage, but you still may need to wait till 2021 for next year’s model.

The hardest part about buying a new car during the pandemic may be finding a new car.



a person standing in front of a car: Mechanic Mark Petrauskas performs a repair on a customer's vehicle in the service department at the Packey Webb Ford dealership in Downers Grove on Oct. 1, 2020.


© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Mechanic Mark Petrauskas performs a repair on a customer’s vehicle in the service department at the Packey Webb Ford dealership in Downers Grove on Oct. 1, 2020.

While the automotive industry is showing signs of recovery, months of production stoppage, supply chain interruption and stay-at-home disruption has left many Chicago-area dealers with few new cars and lots of empty spaces.

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Adding to the inventory shortage, the new model year — an automotive rite of fall — has yet to hit showrooms in any significant numbers. Many 2021 models may not actually arrive until 2021.

“It’s kind of hard to sell from an empty cupboard when you don’t have any new vehicles,” said John Webb, a principal with family-owned Packey Webb Ford, a 58-year-old Downers

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