Sunday, June 20, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021

No chips for new trucks means big bucks for used trucks

By James Raia
Hold off selling your old pickup truck to the first person who offers you $5,000. It could be worth $50,000, or as much as a new truck.

Across the country, but notably in states like Texas where pickup trucks reign, supplies of new trucks are surprisingly thin. The reason? Car parts, particularly computer chips, are in rare supply.

A chip shortage for new trucks mean used trucks' value dramatically increased.
A chip shortage for new trucks means used trucks’ value dramatically increased.

As a result, vintage Ford and Chevy pickups from the ’70s and ’80s are selling for 10 times more than their worth before the COVID-19 pandemic.

New trucks waiting in parking lots

According to several media reports including Drive.com, Ford is storing thousands of new Ford F-150 pickup trucks at the Kentucky Speedway and in parking lots in Detroit. The shortage of chips is preventing the trucks from being transported to dealerships.

Patrick Armstrong, CIO of Plurimi Investment Managers, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe” last week, he thinks the chip shortage will last 18 months.

“It’s not just autos: It’s phones; it’s the internet of everything. There are so many goods now that have many more chips than they ever did in the past,” he said. “They’re all internet enabled.”

The world’s largest chip manufacturer, TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), said earlier this month it believes it will be able to catch up with automotive demand by June. Armstrong has a different opinion.

“If you listen to Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, they all highlighted that there are bottlenecks in capacity and they can’t get the chips they need to manufacture the new cars,” he said.

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James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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