By RONALD MONTOYA
If this were a normal year, Labor Day would traditionally kick off the start of end-of-model-year vehicle clearance sales. Consumers can often find good deals as dealerships are eager to sell their remaining inventory to make room for next year’s models. But this hasn’t been a normal year in the car business. Most automakers could not build as many vehicles as planned because of a lack of semiconductor chips, which are essential components of a modern vehicle. New vehicle inventory is a third of where it would normally be at this time of year. As a result, car shoppers on Labor Day weekend will face higher prices and a limited selection whether they are shopping for new or used.