The majority of appliance manufacturers are still experiencing delays creating the longest lead times in 40 years,
Nearly all appliance brands have lead times increased. Specifically, many dishwashing and refrigeration products are now seeing lead times of over 14 weeks, brought about by component shortages.
While some premium appliances have lead times of up to 20 weeks, such as range cookers and side-by-side refrigeration.
Why are lead times so delayed?
The excessive lead times are due to a number of factors most notably:
- high customer demand,
- component shortages,
- a lack of free stock in the supply chain, and
- difficulties increasing manufacturing capacity
Other widely reported issues that have also contributed to the delays are freight logistics and transport problems, lockdown restrictions in different countries, Brexit issues, and component shortages for large appliances.
Many factories are still tackling social distancing complexities, while dealing with considerable disruptions to component supplies from China.
There are also several logistical problems of getting road freight through international zones that are in complete lockdown.
For the UK, Brexit adds further problems. Enormous delays have been experienced by the transport industry at ports and harbours. In many cases, transport costs have more than doubled and knock-on price increases are common.
Despite the supply delays, big-name appliance brands have seen overall growth in sales in the last year. All brands were said to report year-on-year growth of between 5% and 17.5%.
Now that showrooms have re-opened many realised that consumers need to be educated to expect delays or substitutions when selecting appliances.
The good news is that most consumers are anticipating supply issues due to Brexit and Covid, so have tended to be very understanding over the past few months, often accepting whatever is available.