Categories: News

Semiconductor crisis: is it really over?

It has been disrupting the entire automotive market supply chain for two years now: the shortage of semiconductors, essential components for the production of our cars. Certainly, it has seen an improvement in recent months, but are we safe yet?

To say that the automobile industry has struggled in recent years would be an understatement. The Covid-19 pandemic already, had slowed down the production and delivery of vehicles since 2020. This then followed in 2021 a shortage of chips from China. These microcomponents or “semiconductors” have further penalized car production. With the electronics that have appeared everywhere in our cars, they are essential to operate most of our equipment. From the infotainment system to ambient lighting, from the instrument cluster to certain driving aids. Result : delivery times which sometimes reached 12 monthscompared to 3 in normal times (i.e. in 2019)…

Cars delivered without equipment

As if to make matters worse, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a scarcity of certain plastic and composite components. This gave rise to unprecedented situations. Like Peugeot which was forced to store thousands of cars on an abandoned airfield while waiting for parts. Others were able to deliver their vehicles, but sometimes without a touch screen, without digital meters, or without manual mirrors. BMW, which had already had to deliver several models without Apple Car Play/Android Auto, had to further extend its deadlines because it was unable to produce… keys, of great electronic complexity! So where are we today?

After the chip shortage, the driver shortage

According to Carlos Tavares, patron of Stellantis, “the semiconductor crisis is 95% resolved”. Already because deliveries from Asia have intensified. But also because the groups have secured their supplies since the start of the shortage, by sourcing elsewhere, but for more money. However, the tensions that agitate Taiwan – world number 1 in the production of precious chips -, in the grip of a standoff between China and the United States, could complicate the situation again. So much for the fleas. But in fact delivery times could be as long as in 2022 because of another major problem: a historic shortage of truck drivers, which disrupts the entire supply chain. We will therefore have to wait a little longer before hoping to return to “normal” deadlines for a car delivered in three months

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