Cars, Trucks, and SUVs You May Find on Dealer Lots During the Chip Shortage

If you need a car ASAP but empty lots have you discouraged, don’t lose hope. You still have plenty of options.

Sebastian Blanco | 
Jan 24, 2022 | 5 min read

Jeep Grand CherokeeJeep

Car shopping is different this year. Compared with pre-pandemic times, there are fewer vehicles on dealership lots, and the ones you can find may lack certain features because automakers couldn’t get enough semiconductors to install non-critical equipment. For example, General Motors cut the high-definition radio from the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado so it could deliver them into customers’ waiting hands.

According to automotive industry analyst Mel Yu, production stoppages and component shortages have touched every brand, but some more than others. If you know where to look, it’s still possible to walk into a dealership and drive home with a new car, truck, or SUV today. With Yu’s insights and inventory data from Cox Automotive, we compiled this list of new vehicles for buyers who need something now. The inventory counts listed below reflect dealer stock in the second half of November 2021.

Ram 1500Ram

Ram 1500 and 1500 Classic

Approximate Inventory: 48,000 vehicles

If you’re in the market for a new full-size pickup truck, you should have options among any of the three major American players, Ram, Chevrolet, and Ford. Ram dealers held the most inventory when this story was written, with tens of thousands of 2022 model-year half-ton trucks and several thousands of the cheaper 1500 Classic, which uses the prior generation design.

Ford F-150Ford

Ford F-150

Approximate Inventory: 43,000 vehicles

At the start of 2021, Ford resorted to parking a bunch of unfinished F-150s on hold lots while it waited for chips. The automaker has since received and installed those chips, which means it can now ship its backlog of F-150s to dealers. The catch? Most of these are 2021 models, even though in a normal year, Ford would be fully into sales of 2022 trucks by now.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500Chevrolet

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Approximate Inventory: 36,000 vehicles

Like Ford, GM produced a lot of incomplete half-ton trucks in 2021 and then parked them while it waited for parts. This meant that dealers received an influx of 2021 and 2022 Silverados at the end of the year. With so many available, we see no reason why you shouldn’t find one that suits you. But if your local Chevy dealer can’t accommodate your every wish, perhaps take a look at the nearby GMC lot. The Sierra full-size pickup is a fraternal twin of the Silverado, and while GMC dealerships aren’t as well stocked as Chevy sellers, there are pickups on lots.

Jeep Grand CherokeeJeep

Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L

Approximate Inventory: 36,000 vehicles

Jeep expanded the Grand Cherokee lineup in 2021 with a new L model that adds a third row of seats. For 2022, the two-row model gets a redesign in the same style as the three-row L, but those SUVs haven’t yet reached dealer lots in high volumes. You’ll have much more success if you’re willing to consider a 2021 model. Both two- and three-row 2021 Grand Cherokees are easily found at dealers, although the larger version has been stocked at a roughly two-to-one ratio.

Toyota Rav-4Toyota

Toyota RAV4

Approximate Inventory: 18,000 vehicles

Toyota came into this chip-shortage situation better prepared than most automakers. After a 2011 tsunami decimated Japan’s manufacturing industry, the automaker learned to stockpile critical parts rather than rely entirely on the just-in-time supply chain that it had pioneered. The company has had fewer production pauses than many competitors and has kept dealers well stocked with its best-selling vehicle, the RAV4 compact crossover. Both the standard model and the 41 mpg RAV4 Hybrid can be readily found. The PHEV RAV4 Prime, which delivers an estimated 42 miles of electric driving range before the gas engine kicks on is rare, and some dealers have marked up prices of these models by thousands of dollars.

Ford ExplorerFord

Ford Explorer

Approximate Inventory: 17,000 vehicles

America’s best-selling three-row vehicle in 2020, the Ford Explorer was subject to several production pauses in 2021 due to the chip shortage. But only Jeep dealers had more new mid-size SUVs in stock than Ford dealers near the end of the year. One step up from a base model, the XLT trim with a turbocharged four-cylinder is the easiest to find, although more specialized models like the off-road-minded Timberline and the 400 hp Explorer ST can also be found without going to great lengths.

Ford EscapeFord

Ford Escape

Approximate Inventory: 15,000 vehicles

Ford currently sells two compact crossovers based on the same architecture. In November, dealers were holding about 6,000 more examples of the Escape than the more popular Bronco Sport. Most Escapes are powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but there’s also a turbocharged inline-four, a hybrid, and a hard to find PHEV.

Toyota CamryToyota

Toyota Camry

Approximate Inventory: 12,000 vehicles

As it’s done with the RAV4, Toyota has managed to maintain a healthy stock of America’s best-selling car, the mid-size Camry. Hybrid and all-wheel drive models are harder to find, but anyone looking for a sensible front-wheel drive family sedan shouldn’t have any trouble locating a Camry, which starts at $26,320.

Honda HR-VHonda

Honda HR-V

Approximate Inventory: 8,000 vehicles

As a segment, subcompact crossovers are in shorter supply than more popular compact and mid-size crossovers and SUVs. The $22,645 Honda HR-V was thickest on the ground in the class when this story was written. It delivers up to 34 mpg on the highway or can be had with optional all-wheel drive.

Written by humans.
Edited by humans.

This site is for educational purposes only. The third parties listed are not affiliated with Capital One and are solely responsible for their opinions, products and services. Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The information presented in this article is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

Sebastian Blanco

Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen cars since 2006. His first green-car media event was the launch of the first Tesla Roadster in 2006, an event where he almost elbowed Arnold Schwarzenegger in the groin. Since then, he has been tracking the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the new technology's importance not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole.