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The impact at the lot: Car dealerships seeing shortage

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Knoepfler Chevrolet shortage

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- A global shortage of semiconductor chips could mean an impact for you at the car dealership. The chips are used in several industries and in multiple aspects in a car.

The little piece of equipment is having a big impact on car dealerships.

"It's a little piece that goes into our components that then go into our cars and without it we can't make a complete build," said Ben Knoepfler, co-owner of Knoepfler Chevrolet in Sioux City.

So, lots full of produced vehicles are sitting idle as they wait for the chip. For now, that means slimmed out lots and emptier boards.

Normally about 270 car keys hang on the wall of Knoepfler Chevrolet. But now you'll only find about 12 new cars and a handful more used ones on the lot.

"If you go onto the website, you'll see a lot more vehicles because we are going to show the stuff that is coming in as well," said Knoepfler.

Another impact to customers: the price.

"We have seen a little bit of some money come off some of the rebates from the manufacturers," said Knoepfler. "However, a lot of that is offset with used prices coming up as well."

Demand, driving the market.

"So we would normally have a three to four month supply of cars sitting out on the lot and the consumers would come and shop from that," said Knoepfler. "When we run out of the buffer, the month's supply of cars out on the lot, we would just switch to a model where we are ordering cars specific to the individual."

Tailoring the car to what you want.

"If you want to buy a car and you really really want to buy a red one and there is a red one out there but it has a sunroof, maybe you didn't want a sunroof but you buy it anyway because it was red," said Knoepfler. "The car you order is red without the cost of the sunroof that you didn't want."

While some dealerships are noticing a parts shortage because of shutdowns during the pandemic, Knoepfler said that's not a big issue for them.

Knoepfler said they feel optimistic that the chips will be back to full production by mid to late summer.

Michaela Feldmann

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