Global microchip shortage impacts Eastern Kentucky car dealerships

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Walters Auto Group is feeling the effects of the global microchip shortage as the global and local demand for new vehicles skyrockets as the chip supply plummets.

“It’s a nationwide problem and it’s actually even a global problem,” said Walters Auto Group President Bruce Walters II. “It’s not just here, it’s everywhere.”

Manufacturers are desperate for microchips as thousands of Louisville-built Ford trucks crowd the parking lots of Kentucky Speedway, awaiting the arrival of new chips.

“They have to get that straightened out,” said Walters. “They have to put those chips in the vehicles before they start shipping them, so it’s kind of like the whole pipeline is stopped.”

The low supply and high demand is leaving car lots barren of new vehicles, specifically one of the best selling trucks, the Ford F-150.

“Anybody that’s up and down the road driving past our dealerships can see that the supply of new vehicles, especially trucks, is extremely limited,” said Walters.

The situation is also causing dealerships to change the way they do business and adapt to a new economic climate.

“We’re starting to pre-sell our inventory. We have the window stickers of vehicles that aren’t even here yet,” said Walters. “They’re posted out here in the showroom windows so people know what we have coming, as well as an ETA that the manufacturer has given.”

Walters said he looks forward to seeing the issues resolve.

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