BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – You may be wondering about the emptier-looking car lots lately? Well, the COVID-19-related microchip shortage is the culprit and it’s hampering new car sales and the whole automotive industry.
“It really is a tricky time, it’s unprecedented. Throughout the years we’ve had things happen but nothing like this,” says John Howerton, Owner of John Howerton Honda.
Beginning last year, this chip shortage is still going strong, with dealerships being forced to make adjustments, turning their focus on used car sales, and sticking to one simple philosophy to stay afloat…
“Sell what we get! And of course, we are supplementing with used car sales, but we’ve actually faired better than a lot of people in town here, our new car deliveries, although they are quite a bit shorter than they have been, we’ve gotten enough to kind of keep us going,” he says.
Since lower vehicle supplies seem to be the new normal in the car industry right now, all the dealerships can do is remain hopeful and sell what they can.
“I guess the easiest thing to say is the old cliche, this too shall pass. Like I’ve said, in the years past, we’ve had things affect us being a Japanese carmaker, like back when the typhoon hit, there have been some bumps in the road, but I would say you just have to hunker down like everyone else,” says Howerton.
Honda says that they hope to be back to more normal vehicle production by sometime next month.