Global computer chip shortage leads to reports of six-month waits for new cars in Australia

Australian car dealers have called for patience as a global computer chip shortage leads to supply delays.

There are anecdotal reports some new car buyers are having to wait up to six months to receive their new wheels.

Australian Automotive Dealer Association chief executive James Voortman did not deny that was the case, but said not every buyer was facing the long wait.

“Unfortunately, there are reports of long wait times for some models,” he told

“But there are certain makes and models of cars which have better levels of supply and consumers should speak to their dealers to understand the extent of any delays.

“We are certainly seeing delays in the supply of new cars and this is leading to longer wait times for customers, but the scale of these supply shortages and the average wait times differ between vehicle brands.”

File image of a car dealership in Melbourne. Credit: Raoul Wegat/AAP

The chip, or semiconductor, shortage has been attributed to a series of issues in the United States, where companies are believed to account for 47 per cent of global chip sales.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic reportedly led to some automakers to cut down their production and ordering of chips based on the incorrect assumption demand for cars would fall.

The world is undergoing a computer chip shortage. File image.
The world is undergoing a computer chip shortage. File image. Credit: Nikola Ilic/Getty Images

Pandemic lockdowns also caused a surge in demand for electronics, an industry which competes for chips with the vehicle industry.

Further, a winter storm in Texas last month cut off production in the state’s chip plants.

“There is a global shortage of computer chips which have become key components used throughout the modern day motor vehicle,” Voortman said.

“It has affected almost every major automotive manufacturer in every global market and it comes after pandemic induced factory closures through much of 2020 led to delays in vehicle deliveries for many brands.

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