Northern Michigan Dealerships Impacted by Microchip Shortage

The microchip shortage is impacting dealerships nationwide and Northern Michigan dealerships.

At the Babb Ford dealership in Reed City, they say it’s the weirdest situation since being in the car business. They have been open since 1954.

“We’re helpless; we have to wait for the manufacture. There are tens of thousands of vehicles sitting on the companies lots waiting for chips,” said Robert Horan, Babb Ford General Manager. “So we can’t do anything about it.”

Before the microchip shortage, Babb Ford would have about 70 new cars on their lot. Now, they have about seven to ten at a time.

They’ve had to get creative to stay alive. Babb Ford has increased their used car inventory, got customers out of leases early and stepped up its services.

Used car dealerships are also feeling the impact of the microchip shortage.

“On our lot, we average a dozen to 15 trucks now I’m lucky if I have two, three or four trucks on my lot,” said Ray Bradford, Severn Motors General Manager.

Bradford also said on average, each week, they bid on 50 cars and they’re lucky to get a handful.

On Tuesday, Governor Whitmer announced a plan to help tackle the shortage.

She says the state is helping to open a new chip maker in Bay City, Michigan, to bring the supply chain from China to Michigan.

Until then, dealerships will work to stay afloat.

“This car business is in your blood, so you got to like it to begin with,” said Horan. “I like it, so it isn’t too much to be motivated; it’s just another hill to climb.”