Alleviating the Shortage of Microprocessors: Report | GoAuto

CAPACITY is slowly returning to many automotive production lines around the world as the global semiconductor shortage finally shows signs of easing.

In a report published by Bloombergbrands such as BMW, Daimler Truck Holding and Mercedes-Benz say they are cautiously optimistic about improving supplies of high-tech components, but will continue to monitor the situation week by week.

“We’re still monitoring it week-to-week, but so far, basically globally, we haven’t had any production issues,” Joerg Burzer, head of production and production management, told Bloomberg. Mercedes-Benz supply chain.

“We had supply issues here and there, but nothing compared to what it was last year.”

The breakthrough is coming sooner than expected. BMW, Volkswagen and other companies have recently suggested it could be another two years before production lines resume capacity, while others including Citroen and Toyota have said the reduction in supply of microprocessors had forced them to revise their production forecasts downwards.

Bloomberg reports that in some cases microprocessor supply has affected global passenger vehicle production so badly that production numbers have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels and many manufacturers are still struggling to source enough components to meet the production demands of increasingly computerized cars.

There are concerns that consumer demand will slow due to accelerating inflation and rising interest rates. Falling demand for new vehicles across the world, coupled with soaring raw material costs and mounting backlogs, raises the likelihood that another drop in production could grip the industry even as the shortage of microprocessors subsides.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently he had a “super bad feeling” about the state of the economy, yet across the Atlantic the findings of an Ifo Institute survey showed that European automakers were far more optimistic than their North American counterparts.

According to the survey, French, German and Italian manufacturers have growing confidence in the state of the economy, but say price hikes are virtually inevitable.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s better than last year,” said Karin Radstrom, board member of Daimler Truck Holding. “I try not to celebrate too soon. We are still monitoring the situation closely.”

Ms Radstrom’s sentiment was echoed by that of a BMW Group spokesperson who said Bloomberg that, “currently, the situation is a little more stable”, but that new disruptions cannot be ruled out in the weeks and months to come.

A Volkswagen Group spokesperson said Bloomberg the Wolfsburg-based company had “stable supplies” but said there was still “significant uncertainty” over the coming months.

President of Paccar’s DAF truck unit, Harry Wolters, said much the same: “We have seen a better supply of components than we perhaps expected five or six weeks ago. In the United States and Europe, we were able to increase construction rates. »

But not all manufacturers share Mr. Wolters’ relief.

Volvo Trucks said chip availability was still limited and expected its second-quarter production to be affected accordingly. Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius said his company would use alternative (more expensive) suppliers to avoid production shortages, while Ford CEO Jim Farley said the Blue Oval “s ‘would source chips wherever it could on the open market‘ in an effort to maintain manufacturing numbers.

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