The lack of chips is unsettling in the auto industry

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The lack of important electronic chips could put the auto industry under even more pressure – but there is uncertainty about the exact extent. The situation around missing semiconductor parts is still “extremely volatile”, says Volkswagen. How strong the delivery crisis will impact by the end of the year cannot be reliably predicted.

In the course of the first quarter, the group had already failed to manufacture a good 100,000 planned vehicles. According to a report by the business portal Business Insider internal estimates are supposed to be circulating, according to which one might produce more than 800,000 less units.

VW did not officially want to go into this “speculative” number on Tuesday – forecasts for the delivery situation could change daily, in one direction or the other. In addition, beyond such “snapshots”, one must separate the expectations for production from the sales that are decisive for sales. Here, the plans for the full year 2021 would exist. During the Corona slump in 2020, carmakers initially also sold surplus cars from warehouses.

Overall, they were “in a positive mood” that the shortage of semiconductors could soon be alleviated somewhat, it said. “We assume that the situation will ease in the second half of the year, and the Volkswagen Group will do everything in its power to catch up on the vehicles that were not built due to the lack of chips in the course of the year.”

VW Board Member Murat Aksel had indicated in March that “there is probably no quick fix”. “It will remain tight,” he said at the time in view of the tough competition for the few existing semiconductor production capacities. Aksel summed it up dramatically: “We are in urban warfare.”

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As a result of the meanwhile sagging demand from car manufacturers, several large chip producers switched to customers in IT, entertainment electronics or medical technology in the past year. Because of the missing parts, there was short-time work in many car factories, in Germany, in addition to VW, Daimler and BMW were also affected. Volkswagen is setting up a task force on the subject. The Munich-based consulting firm Alix Partners estimates that around 3.9 million fewer vehicles could be produced worldwide this year.


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