Chip shortages are changing the way consumers buy cars
It’s been a tough year for those looking to buy a new car. Dealerships have had less cars to sell which is causing price hikes and long waits.
The question many are asking is simple: why?
It’s all about a chip shortage. These chips, also known as semiconductors or microchips, function as the brains of electronics.
Carmakers are struggling with shortages of those chips, which are embedded throughout vehicles and whose production hasn’t kept up with the intense demand.
"Usually I carry about 4 to 5 million dollars worth of vehicles on the lot," said Pat Ringold, owner of Benna Ford in Superior. "Right now we would struggle to get about a million and a half on the lot – that’s just in the new vehicles."
If a buyer is looking to buy a car off the lot, they should be prepared to pay more as prices have changed to meet demand.
Otherwise, putting in factory orders has been a popular alternative for local dealers.
Ringold says with these factory orders, buyers can get the vehicle they want, when they want it and with the equipment they want.
The downside? Time. Orders take about 8 weeks to come through.
According to industry analysts, these alternatives will likely be the new normal until the chip shortage is resolved.
Estimates are saying U.S. manufacturers will make around 2 to 5 million less cars this year and as for when we can expect this chip supply issue to end – analysts say likely not before the next year.