Will the CHIPS Act help new vehicle shortages?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If you’ve tried to buy a new car or truck lately, you know there’s not much inventory to choose from. Chip shortages have caused dramatic delivery delays to local dealers.

Most dealerships have an extremely limited supply of new vehicles on the lot and when customers order, they’re often forced to wait 8 to 10 months for delivery.

Amy Lepsch loved her old Chevy Silverado but, “he has 161,000 miles, stuff is starting to go wrong and I was like this is the time because he’s getting all rusted, to get Arthur here,” she said while pointing to her brand new Silverado that she’s affectionately named Arthur. The truck arrived at Bill Johnson’s in LeRoy on Thursday, Lepsch ordered it at the end of February. “He just arrived today, so, it’s nice to put money in my new truck as opposed to trying to keep my old one going,” she says.

If you take a look around the Bob Johnson lot, you won’t see too many brand new cars and trucks, “I wish we could [keep one new model of each vehicle for test drives] but with the lack of supply we just can’t do that anymore so, whatever we have, we have to sell,” says General Manager Matt Bennett. And they have to lean on their reputation. “We have to rely on loyal General Motors customers to stare at a picture and when it comes in, we hope that it’s everything they wanted to be,” Bennett adds.

The average modern vehicle has between 1,200 to 3,000 different semiconductor chips inside and with the major shortage we’ve seen for the past few years now customers have been forced to take what they can get when they can get it.

The CHIPS and Science Act was signed by President Joe Biden this week. It will make billions of dollars available to U.S. manufacturers to build or expand chip production, “we want to build a future in Batavia, not Beijing and Syracuse, not Shanghai,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a press conference in LeRoy on Thursday.

But it takes time to build plants and ramp up production. “The big affect will be to avoid the next problem so it doesn’t happen like this when the plants are built and they’re going to be built quickly,” Schumer added.

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) – Because of the money that you’ve secured for all these plants, I’m assuming there’s some expectation that they supply our car manufacturers first before they make the chips marketable elsewhere?

Majority Leader Schumer – Yes, there are provisions in there that say this has to be America first. In the manufacturing, in the raw materials and in who gets the chips.