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Global computer chip shortage hits local car dealerships

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Posted at 7:25 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 19:31:14-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you're looking to buy a new or used car, now might not be the best time. A computer chip shortage offset by the pandemic is creating a major impact on inventory and prices.

Dave Hufana, General Manager at Rayyan Auto says it's all about supply and demand.

"Obviously when you know supply is short, demand goes up, prices go up and that's what happens. That's the American way," said Hufana.

The supply of critical computer chips is causing a lot of issues in the car industry for buyers and their customers.

"If we don't have those chips in those cars, they can't build them," said Hufana.

Supply was impacted during the pandemic as manufacturing production was cut and automakers halted operations.

Hufana says as the market tries to catch up, the supply of new cars is thin.

"I mean new car stores, there's no cars there, I mean you can drive by the major franchises, I'm not gonna say names in Lexington, but their lots are empty. They're filling their lots with used car inventory to make it look like there's a lot of cars," said Hufana.

A new car lot on New Circle Rd. in Lexington was a lot less full-on Wednesday than people are typically used to.

"I've been doing this, 35 years I've never seen that happen before and it's all because of the chips," said Hufana.

Not only are new cars hard to come by but used car prices have also gone up.

Data from Car Gurus shows that overall average used car list prices are up around 30% with trucks up 44%.

"I hate to say it's a bad time to buy a new car because I don't want to knock the business that's paid for my family, for my life, but it's probably not the best time to buy a new car," said Hufana. "We do shop for that preowned inventory and obviously the price is going up at auction or wherever we source our cars from impacts us because we have to pay for more for them. We have to charge more for them the banks have to accommodate us on book values and how much they'll loan versus the car itself. So it's affected the business all the way around."

As we wait for yet another thing to return back to normal, auto experts say hopefully in 2022.