Used car demand soars due to chip shortage


Charles Lewis of Ballas Buick GMC in Toledo says sales are up overall, but mostly for used cars. He says if you have an exchange now is the time to buy.

TOLEDO, Ohio – A chip shortage continues to plague the auto industry and many more. But a local car dealership says its sales are on the rise, mostly for used cars.

“If you’ve got a trade-in, it’s probably the time to buy,” said Charles Lewis, Ballas Buick GMC salesperson.

He says sales have been on the rise overall since last year. Chips are reserved for the most popular models, but used cars get all the attention.

“It’s very frustrating if you’re looking to buy a new car,” said customer Greg Twigg. “I asked a friend to buy a used car and he paid as much for the used car as for a new car.”

But Lewis says there is a good catch even though used car prices are higher.

“The prices are a bit higher on the occasion side; however, this is offset by the fact that you are getting a lot more for your trade,” Lewis said.

Why are we in this shortage? Lewis says the whole industry predicted wrong last year, thinking people weren’t going to buy cars. Instead, Lewis says people bought out of panic and profits hit an all-time high in 2020.

“The US makers thought customers wouldn’t buy vehicles, so they canceled all chip orders and put those chipmakers out of business,” Lewis said.

Customers like Twigg think this shortage shows us that we should be making crisps here at home.

“It costs more to make it in the US, but I mean, you’re already paying between $ 30,000 and $ 40,000 for a vehicle – what’s that $ 4,000 or $ 5,000 more?” Twigg said.

Lewis isn’t sure when things will get back to normal, but says there’s still plenty to buy. New cars are available, but you may have to compromise on things like color, trim level, or even a specific model.

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