- Credit: GettyImages.com

Credit: GettyImages.com

The global semiconductor shortage is reaching construction contractors and other service businesses that use small work trucks. Auto makers are prioritizing high-margin vehicles for the retail market as they try to stretch chip supplies across their factories. The WSJ’s Ben Foldy and Mike Colias report that is squeezing the availability of cargo vans and other smaller trucks that fill service-sector fleets. The inventory crunch shows how the impact of the chip shortage is cascading across businesses beyond the retail automotive lots, affecting a growing range of commercial operations. In some cases, the squeeze is hampering companies’ ability to expand operations to meet booming demand in areas such as construction. Some buyers say trucks they bought last year are still in storage, awaiting chips. J.D. Power says 14% of vehicles sold this year were to fleet customers, compared with 22% in 2019—a difference of roughly 695,000 vehicles.