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BY KATHY A. BOLTEN, Senior Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 11:23 AM

We got a call the other day from someone at a local auto dealership asking whether we were interested in selling our decade-old truck. The sight-unseen offer was higher than Kelley Blue Book’s suggested resale price. It made us wonder why such an attractive offer. Zachery Crockett of the Hustle supplied an answer. Since last summer, the average price of a used car has soared 45%, Crockett writes. Used vehicles accounted for one-third of all price inflation in the U.S. over the past year. Why? Because new vehicles contain more than 100 semiconductor chips that power everything from infotainment systems to transmissions and most things in between. When the pandemic hit, new vehicle sales dropped more than 50%, causing automakers to halt orders of semiconductors, writes Crockett. Demand for new vehicles picked back up but now there’s a shortage of semiconductor chips because manufacturers are backlogged with orders for other goods like smartphones and laptops. Crockett writes that the lead time to get the chips is now five to seven months. By the way, we didn’t sell the truck. There aren’t many new ones on the lots with which to replace it.