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Supply chain disruption impacting local auto industry

How is the disruption impacting production and delivery?
Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 09, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Over the span of 18 years, Phil Myers has ordered six Ford F-150s. The longest he ever waited for one is eight weeks. When he ordered a truck back in April from Baxter Ford Papillion, he was told there could be issues.

"I was told there could be a possible delay and it could be July before I saw my truck," Myers said.

Myers, a veteran, needs the truck to tow his RV camper to Arizona for the winter. But right now, he is stuck in Nebraska.

So why is this happening?

Supply chain expert and UNO professor Steven Schulz points to a severe computer chip shortage in the supply chain.

"We put distance education online at a much higher level, we've seen more people stay at home last year, so we see a big increase in video game sales and consoles. We've had this huge change in smartphones again due to 5G technology. All these required computer chips, and so they are all competing for the same type of suppliers and at least from the same suppliers and automobiles get wrapped into that," Schulz said.

Since cars require thousands of parts, UNL Professor Peter Zhu also says some car components might be manufactured in other countries and companies struggle to obtain them overseas.

"There's a huge number of cargo ships. They are stacked along the West Coast of the United States, so they cannot unload their kind of cargoes," Zhu said.

Schulz and Zhu say it's important to look at all your options, in both new and used car markets.

"Is there a substitute vehicle that's available that would be acceptable?" Schulz said. "What do you really need a vehicle for and what would be acceptable? If you're in desperate need of a vehicle, what are the trade-offs you as a customer are willing to put up with at this time?"

"For customers who have a used car and thinking of upgrading to a new car, maybe they should hold their used car for a little bit longer. Wait for the supply chain to calm down a little bit, it's hard to predict exactly when the disruption will end," Zhu said.

3 News Now reached out to Baxter Auto for a response.

"Baxter dealerships, like all dealerships, are experiencing inventory challenges. Manufacturers are doing what they can but they're navigating parts shortages, production delays, shipping and transportation challenges, and more. During this ever-changing situation, we continue ordering and receiving new vehicles and working closely with guests on expectations and updates of vehicle delivery dates," said Aaron Filipii, Director of Communications & Engagement for Baxter Auto.

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