Global microchip shortage hits Australian car buyers
A worldwide scarcity of microchips is leaving new-car buyers dangling.
Australian new-car buyers are waiting up to six months for some makes and models due to a global shortage of semiconductor microchips that has forced manufacturers to delay new model launches and, in some cases, temporarily close factories.
The shortage of microchips, which are used in modern cars to control everything from power steering to cruise control and infotainment systems, has impacted virtually every automotive brand in Australia and around the world, causing stock shortages of new cars, and in turn an increase in demand – and prices –for used cars.
Major car brands including Mazda, Hyundai, GM, Ford, Jeep, Jaguar/Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Renault and more have scheduled temporary plant closures at some sites, and many more have cut production volumes, resulting in lengthy delays for new-car customers around the world, including in Australia – just as demand for new cars is surging after a dramatic COVID-fuelled decline in 2020.
Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) chief executive James Voortman says almost every dealer in Australia has been affected by the chip shortage, but it is the most in-demand models that are experiencing the longest delays – up to six months in some cases.