“It feels like a microchip, a whole semiconductor problem. Demand for microchips will increase as GDP grows.
“Will we ever be able to actually produce microchips much faster than the industry is growing?” Hollis said rhetorically. “So the problem persists much longer than we originally expected.”
In a separate comment, Hollis said a sharp rise in interest rates would put Toyota and other U.S. auto makers “at risk” as the Federal Reserve’s increased anti-inflation measures are pushing up both the cost of funds and the viability of leasing. It certainly didn’t help,” he said.
“What happened with interest rates has a bigger impact on the psyche of people waiting for something,” Hollis said. “When we don’t know exactly how high rates are going to go, people need to stop and pause and see where rates are headed.
“In the short term, we still have waiting lists for new vehicles, very low inventories and low incentives, so the impact is [of rising interest rates] “But what you’re hearing, and what you’re starting to see in used car prices, you’re starting to see people start to slow down a bit.