Valley dealerships seeing shortage in new cars

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- If you're in the market for a new car, now may not be the best time to find what you're looking for.

That's because the entire industry is dealing with a shortage of new vehicles these days.

"There is a shortage and there's a supply problem," said owner of Hedrick's Chevrolet, Brett Hedrick.

A rise in consumer demand along with a worldwide shortage of microchips found in cars these days has left dealerships across the country with a limited number of new vehicles.

Hedrick says the impact is being felt industry-wide.

"Some vehicles may require six or seven of these computer chips, and most of them are made over in Japan and China," he said.

Experts are blaming the shortage on overseas factory shutdowns caused by the pandemic and the unexpected spike in demand for laptops and smartphones.

The lack of computer chips has left many dealerships in the lurch when it comes to keeping lots stocked with new vehicles.

Hedrick's Chevrolet is currently carrying just a fraction of the new cars it would normally have.

"We're trying to take orders for people so that maybe in three or four months, they know that they'll have the vehicle that they're looking for rather than settling for something now," Hedrick said.

Don't expect to find a deal on used cars. The shortage of new vehicles has caused used market prices to skyrocket.

"When your new cars sales go down, that means less trade-in, so that means less used cars available," Hedrick said. "We've been actually going out to auctions and the prices are really high because there's such a low supply."

Many dealerships are now offering customers a chance to pre-buy vehicles before they even reach the lot.

The low inventory has also forced dealers to reduce sales staff.
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