Local car dealership hit hard by global computer chip shortage

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 8:19 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - There is currently a global computer chip shortage that’s hitting car dealerships hard. WTAP spoke with Parkersburg’s Louis Thomas Subaru about how they’ve been impacted.

If you pulled into Louis Thomas Suburu on Monday, you’d see some cars outside but, when you walk in the building, you’d be met with a display room that’s almost empty.

Owner Louis Thomas explains that, while you might not think computer chips when you think cars, one car alone can contain 30 or even 50 chips.

While summer wasn’t too bad, due to the shortage, there’s been a period of three months in which the dealership has been allocated just a third of the normal amount of cars...and it’s not just new cars being impacted. Thomas said many of their used vehicles come from trade-ins on new cars so that supply has been down as well.

He said, “This is unprecedented. You know, I’ve been in the industry for 42 years and I’ve not seen anything like this. So, you know, it will pass. You know, the question is when.”

Thomas said he was originally under the impression that the issue would be taken care of by this fall but it’s now clear that that will not be happening. Now the hope is the situation will be worked out sometime in 2022.

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