By Mike LaCrosse

LAWRENCE (CBS) — Car dealerships around the country are running low on new inventory. It’s all because of a global shortage of electronic chips, which are needed to manufacture cars and trucks.

Charlie Daher, owner of Commonwealth Motors in Lawrence, said he has never seen anything like this in his decades in the car business.

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“It comes absolutely out of nowhere. No warning. No nothing. We had cars, a lot of vehicles were allocated to us to be built and all a sudden they started dropping off the list and started telling us why because of the chip shortage,” said Daher.

“Our business is booming we’re only hampered by lack of inventory,” said Brian Kelly of The Kelly Automotive Group.

Kelly said the shortage will likely get worse over the summer. He recommended customers start planning now if they’re thinking about getting a new car.

“If they can be a little more flexible in some of the options they want and the colors then they’d be able to get a car sooner,” said Kelly.

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A car’s chips are the equivalent to a plane’s black box, according to Technology Systems Expert Peter Tran.

“What it does is it regulates anything from your tire pressure, to reading your oil pressure, your gasoline, so if you have a car that has your basic gauge it goes empty to full, it’s usually controlled by a chip,” said Tran.

Don’t be surprised if you get a call from a dealership offering to buy your used car.

Daher said the prices of used vehicles are higher than they’ve ever been.

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“We have people trading in cars and we’re giving them almost what they paid for the car two or three years ago. So one offsets the other,” said Daher.

Mike LaCrosse