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Local rental car shortage stemming from international supply issue

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BATON ROUGE - Local drivers interested in securing a rental car may be surprised to find that the capital area's supply of rental cars is extremely limited.

But this predicament is not limited to South Louisiana, it's linked to a global problem.

A recent article from The Drive explained that issues such as a shortage of vehicles that are available to purchase or rent actually stem from a widespread shortage of the most basic building block of technology: semiconductors.

In recent years, vehicles have become increasingly dependent on microchips, which often use thousands, or even billions of semiconductors. Unfortunately, this technology has become increasingly limited in recent years.

So now, automakers find themselves competing against other tech-based industries to get a hold of these all-important semiconductors. 

The Drive states, "New cars of all shapes, sizes and prices are in short supply, right as the car industry is counting on sales to bounce back as COVID-19 vaccines become more available, the economy starts to rebound and travel restrictions ease."

The news outlet says Ford Motor Company's estimates indicate that it could be short of as many as 1.1 million vehicles throughout 2021, despite posting a $3.26 billion profit in the first quarter.

This means vehicles such as the Ford Bronco Sport, Explorer, F-150, and Mustang, as well as the Lincoln Aviator and Nautilus may be in limited supply. 

The Drive goes on to say that Ford expects the shortage to cut even deeper during the second quarter and remain a problem until as late as 2022. 

Other impacted automakers include General Motors, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen, according to The Drive. 

In an effort to solve the problem of semiconductor shortage, manufacturers who had been working on a reduced work schedule due to the pandemic are now reportedly working around the clock to play catch-up.

Meanwhile, some car owners are realizing that now is the perfect time to sell their vehicles to those who are desperate to purchase an automobile.

This may be especially the case in areas that sustained recent flooding, such as East Baton Rouge Parish. 

A number of vehicles were submerged in flood waters earlier this week, leaving hundreds of locals in need of replacement automobiles. 

Now, due to the microchip shortage and the local need for cars, many used vehicles have increased in value.  


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