Semiconductor shortage halts auto industry production worldwide
All around the world various car manufacturers are facing the brunt of a global shortage in semiconductors, a crucial element powering all the on-board technology in vehicles, from the various sensors a car is fitted with, the infotainment systems, or something as simple as the powered door mirrors. According to some reports, this shortage in semiconductors, apart from COVID-19 induced manufacturing shutdowns last year, is down to the increased production of consumer electronics, like smartphones and laptops, which also heavily depend on semiconductor usage.
The shortage has caused some manufacturers to temporarily suspend production due to lack of these electrical components. Most recently, Ford India has announced an extension of a three-day shutdown of its Chennai plant for Pongal, right up to January 24th on account of the semconductor shortage. In December 2020, Bosch India, a major supplier of electronic components for several manufacturers announced that it's facing a shortage of certain imported components, and that the shortage will impact production, since the demand from consumer electronics manufacturers takes precedence over the demand from automotive OEMs, given the scale of orders of involved.
Internationally, Ford's production at its plant in Lousville, Kentucky was put on hold, affecting production of its Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs. Honda has temporarily halted production of the Civic at its Swindon plant, set to be closed for good later this year. Toyota, similarly, stopped production at its China factory for two days on account of the lack of parts, while it said it would cut production of the Tundra pickup truck at its Texas factory. Audi and Volkswagen have also reduced the number of working hours of employees in certain regions in order to cut production output and stretch out the supplies that are available. FCA has also paused production at its Mexico and Canada factories.