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Until 2023? Parts shortage will keep auto prices sky-high

In this Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, file photo, a pair of unsold 2021 Highlander sports utility...
In this Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, file photo, a pair of unsold 2021 Highlander sports utility vehicles and a Camry sedan are parked on the empty storage lot outside a Toyota dealership in Englewood, Colo. A global shortage of computer chips has forced automakers to temporarily close factories, limiting production and driving up prices. The coronavirus delta variant is now causing shortages of other parts. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 1:13 PM CDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A shortage of computer chips that sent auto prices soaring had appeared, finally, to be easing back in the spring.

Some relief for consumers seemed to be in sight. That hope has now dimmed.

A surge in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant in several Asian countries that are the main producers of auto-grade chips is worsening the supply shortage.

It is further slowing any return to normal auto production and keeping the supply of vehicles artificially low.

And that means, analysts say, that record-high consumer prices for vehicles will extend into next year and might not fall back toward earth until 2023.

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