Challenging road remains for car dealerships in face of chip crisis

How is car chip shortage impacting car dealerships?
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:32 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 7:56 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Much like the COVID virus, the car chip crisis never seems to end. The U.S. Commerce Secretary said the country faces an “alarming” shortage of semiconductor chips, based on a government survey of some 150 companies that make and buy chips.

It comes down to perspective. You may want that blue-colored vehicle, but may have to settle for the brown one, all because of the ongoing chip shortage.

There is no doubt B.J. Perkins is feeling the impact of the semiconductor chip crisis.

“Sales and parts for cars,” said Perkins, Executive Manager for Tuscaloosa Townsend Nissan.

Before the pandemic, and before a large fire overseas at one of the chip manufacturing plants, Tuscaloosa Townsend Nissan sold around 140 new and used vehicles per month. Today?

“Total for new and used right now is around 80 cars,” said Perkins.

Case in point:

“One of the things the average person doesn’t understand is there’s not just one chip in a car. The Nissan Versa requires 250 chips. If you’re looking at one of our electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, that car can require up to 2,500 chips,” Perkins said.

The shortage of car chips doesn’t necessarily mean a crisis for the car buyer.

One other Tuscaloosa dealership says the chip shortage has forced them to work smarter. In fact:

“That’s the first question people ask me, ‘Do you have any cars?’ We were able to sell more cars last year than we’ve ever sold,” said Brooke Meissner, Executive Manager of Tuscaloosa Hyundai.

There is a general sense this crisis will eventually work itself out, some believe by the third quarter of this year.


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