Global car part shortages explained

Global car part shortages explained

If you’ve tried ordering a car part directly from the supplier or dealership, you may have been told to brace for a long wait. 

You’re not alone. Unfortunately an ongoing global shortage of car parts is causing drastic increases to wait times. 

 Here’s all you need to know about what the shortage is affecting and why. We’ll also shed some light on how to find alternative parts solutions in the meantime.

What is the global car part shortage?

Countries across the globe are feeling the crunch of supply chain issues. It's a volatile cocktail of labour shortages, equipment availability, and a snowball of global bottlenecks.

Unfortunately the automotive industry has become a victim of the supply chain crunch. It is affecting everything from the delivery of new cars, down to the product of individual car parts. Delays are estimated to have decimated the production of new cars this year by 4 million. 

Parts are becoming less accessible by manufacturers, pushing time frame constraints out to 4-8 weeks. It causing a pile up of cars awaiting a service or replacement part.

It’s become a perfect storm of supply vs demand.

What is causing the shortage of car parts in Australia?

Australia stopped manufacturing cars in 2017. Since then, we have been solely reliant on international imports of cars and car parts. This has left us very susceptible to the impacts of global supply chain issues - and it’s been a brutal few years of world events. . 

Most notably, the covid-19 pandemic held up supply out of China, where a third of the world’s cars are made. Factories closed and ports shut down, cutting off a large chunk of the world’s automotive supplies. 

The outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war has similarly forced the closure of manufacturers across eastern-europe. On top of this, Russia produces about 40% of the world’s raw palladium, and a large portion of nickel. Palladium is used to clean vehicle exhaust and nickel is used in electric vehicle batteries.

The chain reaction of the pandemic also brought on a shortage of computer chips and wiring harnesses.

How can I find parts?

Original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts are generally harder to get your hands on than aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are manufactured by a wide range of factories, not just the vehicle manufacturer. This often means they are generally more available and have a quicker time frame on delivery. 

Aftermarket parts can often be just as good - if not better - in quality as OEM parts. It’s often a matter of getting what you pay for, so don’t be afraid to compare parts from several brands.  


All Automotive Parts is your reliable home of more than 2,000 top quality used and new parts available through our parts warehouse. With a range of brands and a team of automotive experts, we can help you source the right part for the job.