Chip Shortage Claims an Unusual Victim: DriveTribe

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
chip shortage claims an unusual victim drivetribe

DriveTribe, a social-media site that was focused on the automotive industry and car enthusiasm, has shut down.

The cause: The semiconductor chip shortage.

Yes, really. The site, which was founded by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May — the TV hosts made famous by Top Gear and later The Grand Tour — is shutting down because the three say that the “severe reductions in marketing budgets across the industry” caused by the chip shortage have led to a drop in advertising revenue.

DriveTribe goes dark at month’s end.

“We’re all really disappointed that challenges in the industry – not in the least helped by the ongoing pandemic – have simply made it impossible to continue with the business in its current form,” Clarkson added in the statement.

May, for his part, was more colorful. This is fun to read in a British accent: “But ultimately, this is a business, and businesses are being kicked in the nads by everything that’s going on in the world.”

Hammond says he’ll keep the “brand alive and the conversation going” on his own social media channels.

Users can download the content they contributed, to keep it from sailing away into the ether.

I personally didn’t spend a lot of time on DriveTribe, but I understand that this is a sad day for enthusiasts and automotive media. It’s one fewer online community where automotive enthusiasts could hang out online, and since the site hosted some editorial content, it’s also a loss for automotive journalism.

The pandemic and the chip shortage are going to, and have already, created a lot of economic havoc in the automotive industry. DriveTribe is just the latest casualty.

[Image: Screenshot of DriveTribe homepage]

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3 of 23 comments
  • 07NodnarB 07NodnarB on Jan 11, 2022

    First time I have ever heard of such a website. Oh well. Now, picture me wrapping my arms around TTAC, squeezing tight and saying: your all the enthusiast information and source of all things automotive website I will ever need!

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jan 11, 2022

    They were great on BBC, became rancid or stale on Amazon, and beyond that ? Enjoy the residuals, guys...

    • Ozzypriest Ozzypriest on Jan 12, 2022

      They had been rancid and stale on the BBC for many years prior to Clarkson's removal.

  • Akear This reminds me of the dot com bust of the late 2000s. Throughout history reality always seems to catch up with fads. One day we will look back at this EV charade and say to ourselves what were we thinking.GM EV sales are even worse than Ford, and they too will have to face the fact EV just aren't popular. The only exception to this is Tesla, which will soon be impossible to catch.
  • Cardave5150 I only remember seeing the touring lamps on one of these a couple of times. Ever. I actually thought they were a goofy-looking aftermarket thing, used when the doors covering the headlights wouldn't operate correctly. I was completely wrong....For some odd reason, I always liked the look of the 4-door Mark VI (but then, I also like the look of the 4-door Thunderbird of the late '60's).
  • Lou_BC Push button door key pad. I've found that sort of thing to be a nice option. It's more handy than one would think.
  • Ajla The Mustang is about to have the somewhat affordable V8 car market all to itself, the pony car market to itself and the somewhat affordable sporty car market almost to itself. The 400Z is the closest competition left. Maybe the M240i or Supra on the higher end and 86/BRZ on the lower end.Although knowing Ford they won't be able to build more than 20,000 cars.
  • Lou_BC Build it. There are always those with deep pockets full of cash willing to buy rare toys.