Microchip shortage impacts local car dealerships this Memorial Day Weekend

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — The front row of Scranton Chevrolet in Norwich is usually stocked with brand new light duty Silverados. But these days there aren’t enough to fill the whole row.

“We like to stock about 150 light duty trucks at any given time so somebody has selection. We’re hovering at about three and four at a time in stock right now,” said owner Matt Scranton.

His 90 day stock is now down to just 11 days and it’s all due to a shortage of microchips. The new cars are built they just can’t be moved – literally.

“There’s tons of vehicles in the manufacturer lots,” said Scranton. “They’re just not finished being complete because they don’t have the chips.”

Those chips are needed for everything from starting the vehicle to running the computer and unlocking the doors.

“A truck like this vehicle here has about a hundred seventy eight microchips in it,” explained Scranton.

The chips take time to make and they are used for all different devices like computers and appliances so there is a lot more demand than supply.

“What we’ve been told is a lot of the manufacturing of those chips happened near Wuhan China,” said Scranton.

Fortunately for Scranton Chevrolet they took a gamble back in February.

“We typically stock about a million dollars in used cars and we bought four million dollars in used cars in one day,” said Scranton.

That gamble paid off. They now have a good stock of pre-owned cars to offer customers.

Traditionally Memorial Day weekend is a very busy time for car dealerships and that may continue. Cars.com says 43 percent of people surveyed say that they will buy this holiday weekend. They just may be buying used instead of new.

The car market is driving up those prices. Scranton continues to sell cars and collect food for the United Way but it may not see a full lot again until at least October.

“We’re now being told hopefully by fourth quarter,” said Scranton. 

But they’re still not sure about that. 

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