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D.he dispute between car manufacturers and suppliers over shortages in the supply of microchips is intensifying. According to reports, VW is now already examining claims for damages against its main suppliers Bosch and Conti, who have not reported their own shortages in semiconductors in good time. Suppliers, on the other hand, accuse the carmakers of having severely cut production during the initial lockdown and anticipating the subsequent rapid recovery of the market too late. Car manufacturers such as VW counter this by saying that they would have informed the suppliers early on of rising production figures. The suppliers would have ignored that.
Either way, the chip shortage is having a hard time affecting the automotive industry – worldwide. Production has to be throttled, sales targets have to be lowered. The US automaker GM, for example, expects an earnings gap of up to two billion dollars in 2021. The forecast company Markit estimates that up to a million vehicles will not be able to be built worldwide in 2021 due to the shortage of chips. The Japanese manufacturers Honda and Nissan alone have already lowered their sales targets for 2021 by 250,000 vehicles. Car manufacturers use the chips primarily in engine management and driver assistance systems.
Daimler wants to close the gap
Premium car manufacturer Daimler also suffers from production restrictions. He also links the achievement of the annual forecast for 2021 to the fact that the chip shortage does not expand unexpectedly. “We assume that we can make up for the deficit from the first quarter in the course of the year,” said Ola Kllenius. Daimler uses existing chips where possible in high-margin models such as the S-Class, said the CEO. Electric models are also prioritized.
The increasing demand for chips, fueled not least by the IT boom in the Corona crisis, is also being felt by the chip manufacturer Infineon. The DAX group has raised its annual forecasts, but is reaching its limits with its production capacities. “We can fulfill confirmed orders,” says an Infineon spokesman. “We see the shortage mainly in microcontrollers. It will probably last for a few more months.”
Meanwhile, there are increasing voices in the economy calling for a mega-investment program for the European chip industry to catch up behind Asia and the USA. Economics minister Peter Altmaier pleads for a volume of 50 billion euros, with the state bearing 20 to 40 percent of the investment package. Support comes from Audi boss Markus Duesmann, among others, who has a program in mind that already exists for battery cell technology.
More news about Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
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