MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — Before the pandemic, there was a good chance you could buy that brand new car you wanted right off the lot. That hasn’t been the case for the last few months, thanks to a computer chip shortage.
Stavros Kaplaneris, Executive Director at East Tennessee Nissan, said the chip shortage hit larger cities between six or eight months ago. In Morristown, it just hit them about three or four months ago. “Normally we’d have anywhere between 80 and 100 vehicles coming in on a monthly basis, and now we’re getting 15 to 25 cars in on a monthly basis,” Kaplaneris said.
Kaplaneris said the vehicles are built and ready to go. They’re sitting at the manufacturers waiting for that one little component. “So there is a small chip, it’s probably no bigger than the size of my hand, that literally is the final piece to actually putting all the systems together for that car to run.”
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Kaplaneris said the shortage is impacting 2021 and 2022 vehicles — his dealership is working with customers to ensure they’re still getting a vehicle. Sometimes he just has to be upfront about how long they’ll wait if they’re looking for a brand new car.
“We’ll sit down, we’ll have that conversation, we’ll show you a full timeline of our expected date, and you’ll know before you leave, hey, here’s when you’re expecting to get your car,” Kaplaneris said.
They do have some brand new cars in stock, along with certified pre-owned vehicles as well. But, if you’re looking for a specific type of car, you might have to wait a few weeks or longer, depending on the make and model you want.
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Kaplaneris said if they don’t have a specific car available, customers can put down a deposit, and they’ll get a call when it’s in town and ready to go. He said it’s a struggle now, but there’s hope the shortage will be over soon. “There’s definitely a brighter future ahead. We’re supposed to be getting some new cars in October, November and hopefully, by the end of the year we’ll be back up to full capacity again.”