Auto industry: Chip shortage problematic until the second half of the year


According to the Japanese component supplier Renesas, the auto industry will have to contend with a globally scarce semiconductor supply for even longer. The replenishment will remain limited in the first half of the year, and currently everything indicates that this situation is likely to continue into the second half of the year, said company boss Hidetoshi Shibata to the news agency Bloomberg.

Renesas and its Taiwanese partner TSMC want to remedy this. Closing the supply gap in the automotive sector has a high priority, TSMC boss CC Wei said in mid-January. After weak demand since 2018, the recovery of the auto industry from its Covid-19 low in the fourth quarter of 2020 led to bottlenecks. A quick ramp-up of production is difficult because of the length and complexity of the supply chains in the automotive industry. The strong demand for semiconductors from other industries in the past year made things even more difficult. At the same time, automakers and suppliers apparently reduced their chip orders from TSMC, among others.

Something similar has been heard from other manufacturers in the recent past: The German semiconductor company Infineon expected in February that the shortage of chips could affect car sales in the short term.

At the automotive supplier Continental, global auto production is also expected to return to the record level from 2017 not before 2025. The current year remains challenging despite expected increases in production for cars and light commercial vehicles. At the presentation of the annual balance sheet for 2020, Conti CFO Wolfgang Schäfer recently named the reason for the delivery bottlenecks in the semiconductor sector.

Market observers assume that automakers will miss out on sales of 61 billion US dollars (approx. 51 billion euros) this year. The main reason for this is above all poor warehouse management. However, some analysts are more optimistic and expect the bottlenecks to be largely resolved in the coming months. However, a risk remains with the more complex semiconductor supply chains.


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