U.S. rail network delays derail auto deliveries, according to The Detroit News.
The snow, ice and extreme chill may be gone, but automakers still are feeling the aftereffects of the harsh winter: For months, big delays in the nation’s rail network have forced them to park newly built cars and trucks in guarded lots or to hire truck carriers to get them to dealers.
The delays began several months ago and likely won’t be erased until the Fourth of July, according to one transportation analyst. As a result, some models are in short supply and dealers and customers are having trouble getting them as quickly as they’d like.
The sales hit is hurting profits for some carmakers, as they are unable to sell as many vehicles. And the rail issue has temporarily boosted transportation costs for some car companies — which typically heavily rely on rail — to move new vehicles.
“There is a sizable backlog of shippable vehicles,” Richard Kiley, who heads automotive business at Norfolk Southern Railroad in Norfolk, Va., and chairs the Multilevel Pooling Executive Committee, a rail industry group that helps manage the North America pool of auto carrier rail cars, said in an email.