Car chip shortage affects new car sales

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas – Due to a nationwide shortage in semiconductors — or car chips — new car buyers could experience delays when purchasing a new vehicle.

John Roley, principal at John Roley Autocenter, said normally he has around 200 new cars on his lot at his Levelland location, but he has fewer than 20 right now.

Roley said it’s in large part due to a higher demand in new car purchases and less car chips being manufactured.

“It’s not just General Motors, it’s Ford, Toyota, anybody you can think of is struggling with this,” said Roley.

Roley said there’s such a high demand for cars that he’s able to sell most of the vehicles before they hit the lot.

“We presell a lot of the cars,” said Roley. “We had four cars come in yesterday, three were already sold so that doesn’t leave much selection on the lot.”

Amid these changing times, Roley said he has been able to help customers find new cars from states as far as Massachusetts. He said consumers can always reach out to the dealership to find the right car.

“If [buyers] can contact their local dealer, usually he’s got access to something else coming in and they can work it out that way,” said Roley. “If you’ve got your heart set on this and you want to get this, being patient is your best ally on that.”

Roley also said this low production in new cars has caused an increase in prices of used cars, so trade-ins are worth more.

Michael Noel, economics professor at Texas Tech University, said chips can be found in all sorts of products, including cell phones, computers and even toasters.

“There’s no storage of semiconductors anymore,” said Noel. “As soon as it is done on the plant, off it goes, and right now semiconductor manufacturers are looking at about a six-month lead time.”

Noel said not having additional semiconductors on hand to disperse could cause some economic lag.

“From a consumer point of view, it’s going to cause inflation,” said Noel, “It also means that things will be more expensive. You won’t buy them as quickly, you can’t buy them as quickly.”

Noel said this new challenge will last the rest of the year and that consumers should not hesitate to make purchases if they have their heart set on buying.

“There’s no raw material shortages [for semiconductors], it’s all there,” said Noel, “It’s all a matter of putting it together in the factory and getting it to the door. [It] just takes a little time to catch up.”

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