A few of the world's top automakers are experiencing massive delays getting cars into the country.
Australia is quarantining imports for a unique reason: stink bugs. There has been an outbreak of the insects in the United States, and Nissan, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are being hit hardest. US-built cars are being fumigated before they can enter the country. SUVs are seeing the worst of it, with the Grand Cherokee, GLE-Class, X5 and Pathfinder feeling the pinch. The fumigation process lasts 90 hours, about four days.
Fiat Chrysler Automotive is especially feeling the pinch. Lucy McLellan, corporate communications director at FCA, told motoring.au.com that customers are facing substantial waits in Australia. "With over 70 per cent of FCA product sourced from the US, we have seen at least 30 to 60 days of our hottest product being delayed which in turn has set some considerable wait times for our customers.” BMW builds about 30 percent of its cars in the US, so it's experiencing delays as well. Nissan seems to be weathering the storm the best, telling the Australian auto site that its Pathfinder deliveries were not adversely affected.
BMW and Mercedes are luxury brands, which means a little supply restriction in the form of a forced quarantine could turn out to be a good thing. FCA needs to sell every car it can, so it’s likely sweating a bit more.