Rockford man opens up on frustrating car-buying experience due to chip shortage


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a shortage of products across multiple industries. From lumber to toilet paper, to important car parts.

We caught up with a local man in search of a new ride who says he’s been searching for months with no success.

When you drive past local car dealerships, you’ll notice many lots are empty. For some, high demand and low inventory is leading to a frustrating buying experience

“There’s a little lighter inventory that’s for sure and I’m not sure what to attribute that too but I don’t see quite as many cars filling up the parking lots as I did,” said Mike Castronovo.

Rockford resident Mike Castronovo has been looking for a car for the past 6 months.

“It’s challenging because you think buying a new is as easy as going to the grocery and buying a box of cereal but it’s not,” he said.

He often runs into the same issue.

“Usually they don’t have it in stock. Usually, it’s a matter of ‘we can probably get it but we’ve gotta do a search’ so that means a little bit of a wait time even if it’s a production model that’s out,” Castronovo explained.

He says prices are way too high–even for a used car.

“I’ve looked at used cars for an around-town car not necessarily on the highway and have been finding that sometimes the prices are double what I expected them to be for a used car. So yeah there’s a change there too.”

Local dealerships say the automotive industry has been hit with high demand and low inventory.

“There are always several factors that go into what’s going on but one factor would be the high demand that probably wasn’t seen,” said Pat Rosenberg, the general manager of Hyundai on Perryville.

“There was a chip factory over in Japan that burnt down and it caused a supply issue, a supply chain issue with getting those chips and it’s slowed the production of several different manufacturers.”

Castronovo says he’ll use the time to research the perfect car.

“I think it’s one of those things you just can’t get discouraged you gotta take your time and be patient,” he added.

Rosenberg advises people to not get discouraged in their car search. He says there are still cars available, but, if there’s a particular car you want you might have to be patient.

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