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To say the past 18 months have been extraordinary would be an understatement — and the automotive industry has ridden the ups and downs of the pandemic like no other. 

While there were initial dire predictions of slow car sales, the industry has in fact experienced the opposite. Consumer demand for cars has only been trumped by demand for home and business technology, with both industries after the same thing – semiconductors.

Semiconductors, or computer chips as they are widely known, are hot property in the COVID world and when car manufactures cancelled orders, predicting a downturn in sales, unfulfilled orders were quickly snapped up by tech companies. By the time the car manufactures cottoned on to the surging demand for new cars, their semiconductor orders had moved to the back of the queue.

To put this into perspective, Apple and Samsung are the world’s largest consumers of semiconductors and spend $150 billion on semiconductors between them. The whole motor industry combined, only purchase $37 billion. It costs billions of dollars and up to five years to build a new semiconductor plant while a single computer chip takes between six and eight weeks to create. With no way to increase computer chip production, car manufactures are having to react by rationalising the model range they can build, opting to build less tech heavy models to alleviate the number of chips needed to complete a car.

Thankfully, cars are still being produced and flowing to the Bundaberg Motor Group showrooms with many happy customers picking up their new cars every day. The time from order to delivery may have been stretched, but there are still cars on the yards to choose from and cars available to order. Supply will eventually catch up to demand but isn’t predicted to normalise for quite some time, so the best time to make your purchase is now.

 

Christopher Makin is the General Manager of Bundaberg Motor Group. Their new purpose-built facility features new vehicles in nine brands, and a large range of quality used cars.