VERSAILLES, Ky.-- If you're in the market for a new ride you’ll probably encounter slim pickings at dealerships across Kentucky due to a global parts shortage.
Bill Kain, new car manager, at Jack Kain Ford tells Spectrum News 1, "This is a national problem. The supply side has just completely fallen."
Car buyers on the hunt for a new set of wheels like Johnathan Payton have had a tough time finding exactly what he wants.
"I’ve been looking several months for a truck that had everything that I wanted for a purchase this big and I had problems finding a truck that had all that," explains Payton.
His quest to track down a 2021 Ford F-series pickup recently ended after tracking down a truck that had all the bells and whistles.
"I don’t understand why there’s not anymore. I’ve figured with the market the way it is there’d be more available," adds Payton.
In Versailles, Jack Kain Ford's biggest threat to new vehicle sales at this family dealership is lack of inventory.
"Had that pandemic not manifest itself we would’ve most assuredly not been in the predicament that we’re in today," suggests Kain.
Kain says a global parts shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic has led to emptier lots.
"I have 12 that are ready to roll where typically we would have anywhere from 105 to 125 units at any given point and time," says Kain.
When the pandemic forced auto plants to shutter last year it triggered a shortage in semiconductor chips.
From power steering to breaking systems to app based entertainment the computer chip is essential to vehicle production.
"The semiconductor shortage has really created a circumstance that is putting a lot of pressure on a lot of places. And it be a great time to get in the semiconductor business I can definitely say that," suggests Kain.
For now, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and other locations across the Bluegrass State are parking thousands of Ford trucks in vacant lots — all waiting on those vital chips.
"When production really starts to ramp up they’re going to be filling back demand you know and future demand is going to be put on the back burner until things start to level out," adds Kain.
In response to the growing concerns about the chip shortage and its consequences, a Ford rep. said in a statement, ”Our teams continue prioritizing key vehicle lines for production, making the most of our available semiconductor allocation and will continue finding unique solutions around the world so we can provide as many high-demand vehicles as possible to our customers as dealers," says Kelli Felker, Manufacturing & Labor Communications Lead at Ford Motor Company.
For now, car dealers remain optimistic as they navigate through the current environment.
"It’s uncharted territory, but what he always says is you know just hold onto that rope you know keep working hard, keep your head down, and we’ll figure out a way through it," says Kain.
The good news — dealers like Kain Ford are paying consumers more for trade ins.
Industry experts predict the shortage could last through the end of the year and possibly into 2022.