If you’ve been shopping for a new car lately - or even just paying attention to recent news - you’re more than likely aware that there’s a car chip shortage going on, affecting automotive inventory across the world. But why did the shortage begin in the first place, and what does it mean for you as a car shopper? Toyota of N Charlotte is here with the answers you need when it comes to the car chip shortage.
What are car chips and why are they important?
In order to better understand the car chip shortage, you need to understand what a car chip is and the role it plays in overall performance in your N Charlotte Toyota. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- A car chip is also called a microchip or a semiconductor chip. It’s the brain of modern electronics, and it’s responsible for acting as a type of electrical circuit to control the flow of electrons.
- Car chips are usually made of silicon and have a bunch of minuscule transistors that control the flow of electrons.
- They’re super small - to paint a clearer picture, the transistors on the chips are 100,000 times smaller than a human hair.
- They’re extremely versatile because they can vary in complexity. You’ll find them in everyday things like electric toothbrushes all the way up to the high-tech electronics in your N Charlotte Toyota.
- Creating a car chip is a complex and time-intensive process - a basic chip can take up to 12 weeks to create, while more advanced chips can take up to 20 weeks.
- There are only a handful of semiconductor chip plants in the world.
- The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted both the production of the chips as well as global shipping routes, ultimately resulting in a car chip shortage.
You may think it’s as simple as just opening more plants to more quickly produce additional car chips, but it’s not that easy. Opening a new plant requires years of time to get it established, as well as billions of dollars.
Why is a car chip shortage affecting the car industry?
So why is a car chip shortage affecting the car industry in particular? Two main reasons:
1. Modern cars have a lot more technology than previous generations of cars. Your new N Charlotte Toyota is chock full of entertainment, connectivity, convenience, and safety technology… which means it needs a good number of chips to keep things up and running.
2. The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupted production and shipping of car chips, but also messed up forecasting. In March of 2020, the world pretty much came to a standstill with shutdowns and quarantines. Automotive manufacturers assumed that this would lead to a lower demand for new cars and they were right - but only temporarily. As they forecasted fewer sales and canceled car chip orders, demand dropped for a short time and then bounced back up. However, the car chips weren’t there to meet it… and thus began the car chip shortage.
When will the car chip shortage be over?
So, when will it be over? When will the car chip shortage come to an end and things right themselves? We can’t really say - and neither can forecasters. Some say that it’ll end in the middle of 2022, while others are saying 2023.
All we do know is that we have trucks full of new Toyotas arriving every single day at Toyota of North Charlotte to give you plenty of options, and we’re also offering preordering so you can buy a car online and have it delivered to our dealership. Whether you shop online or in person, we can help you find the perfect new Toyota for all of your drive time needs.
Ready to make it happen? Call Toyota of N Charlotte today. We’re open seven days a week at (704) 875-9199. You can also shop online OR stop by 13429 Statesville Road, just off I-77 at exit 23 in Huntersville.