With few cars, shoppers drive home in their second choice, or third…

Mr Korum believes a revamped full Nissan line-up has helped sales, but a shortage of competitor models is drawing even more people to his showroom, he said.

“It’s not just pickup trucks,” he said. “People who can’t find RAV4s, CR-Vs and Civics will find the redesigned Rogue and Sentra a pleasant surprise. Sales are growing. If we could get them, we could sell a lot more.”

Edgar Zurita, 43, of Fairfax, Virginia, deviated sharply from his initial choice. “We needed a lot of space and were seriously considering a new Kia Telluride SUV, but the $18,000 price for one on the lot was too much,” said Mr. Zurita.

“So we switched to buying minivans,” he added. “Yet Kia Carnival and Toyota Sienna were pushed up $12,000. I don’t like being ripped off so we ended up buying a 2019 pre-owned 2019 Kia Sedona SXL van with 20,000 miles. It was a lot cheaper and vans are more useful. Plus, I don’t lose that much when it comes to resale.”

Kia was short of Tellurides before the pandemic, thanks to strong sales. Recently, it introduced the Carnival minivan (Sedona’s successor) with an SUV look. “Carnival has been a huge setback for those who can’t find Telluride or don’t want to wait,” said James Bell of Kia’s global media relations agency.

“We are seeing a reset of the market,” he added. “People understand that vans exist for a reason: they are exceptional for transporting people. We are also seeing buyers who are much more flexible, shrinking to Sportage when Sorento is not available or moving up to higher trim levels when they wouldn’t before.”

Used cars may be cheaper than new ones, but their prices have skyrocketed too. Carvana, which sells and supplies used vehicles online, offers eye-opening numbers. It sold 96 percent more cars than a year earlier, according to its second quarter results; revenue increased 198 percent to $3.3 billion; and gross profit was $552 million, up 268 percent.

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