CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Demand for golf carts is up amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is not predicted to slow down any time soon.
The global golf cart market increased from $1.62 billion in 2020 to $1.69 billion in 2021, according to Fortune Business Insights. The industry is projected to grow to $2.55 billion by 2028.
Golf cars, as Carolina Golf Cars calls them, are selling fast at the dealership.
"A cart is something you push, and a car is something you drive," Barrett Kittrell, sales manager at Carolina Golf Cars, said.
Before the pandemic, Kittrell said the dealership typically sold between 50 to 75 cars per month during its busy season. After March 2020, he said it's seen spikes upwards of 100 to 150 sales a month.
"Most people were just stuck inside and just looking for some sort of way to get out of the house," Kittrell said, "We saw a lot of people in their neighborhood just buying golf cars and just using them to ride around."
After the initial surge in sales, Kittrell said the business started seeing supply chain issues.
Before March 2020, he said a new golf cart order would typically take two to four weeks. Now, it could take 10 to 12 months.
"We’re hoping that we see some improvements in 2023," Kittrell said, "but I guess it all depends on how it all comes out with the shortages."
Carolina Golf Cars is trying to plan ahead for the year by working to keep up its inventory for people who want to get a cart sooner than 10 to 12 months from now.
"We’ve got a lot of cars on order to help prepare for the busy season and hopefully have enough stock to fulfill all the orders," Kittrell said.