National semiconductor chip shortage impacting the city’s ability to purchase new vehicles

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) -A national semiconductor chip shortage may be affecting Wichita Falls residents without them even knowing.

That chip is used in many things from our phones to laptops and even city vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks, and sanitation.

“In my 30 years with this city,” John Burrus director of transportation said, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The U.S. is facing an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage and the city of Wichita Falls is no exception.

“One of the things we’ve seen, it’s not just police cars, its dump trucks, its staff cars, any type of modern-day equipment excavators, landfill compactors, fire equipment,“ Burrus said, “I could go on and on there’s been a definite delay in getting vehicles in.”

“The times of a shade tree mechanic are long gone with new advanced technology there are computer chips in everything and with there being a computer chip shortage there is no quick fix for this problem.”

“It’s a ripple effect through the whole organization that ultimately impacts our public,” Burrus said, “because they’re relying on these city services. Nobody wants to see their trash sit outside for two weeks or a week because we don’t have the equipment to take care of it.”

This chip shortage has not only affected city vehicles the car business has also seen an impact.

“I’m glad I got my pickup and car paid for,” Burrus said, “because I wouldn’t want to go out and buy a used vehicle or even a new vehicle right now.”

“It definitely hit all aspects of the car business new and used,” Jack Snoderly, Volkswagon sales manager, Herb Easly Motors said, “New inventory is definitely the lowest it’s ever been.”

This shortage of new cars has driven prices up and in turn led to the increase in prices for used cars, as there is nothing to trade your old car in for.

“Cars are bringing more money for the trade than they ever have before right now which is causing a shortage of them,” Snoderly said, “as well there are not as many people trading there’s not many of them out there to be bought at the auction so there definitely is a shortage of pre-owned as well.”

City officials say they are combatting this problem by doing their best to maintain what they have in their fleets and by anticipating future problems that may occur.