A small tip casts a big shadow on the Munich car show

Munich — An ongoing semiconductor shortage cast a long shadow on the first major car show, even before the pandemic began, when automakers gathered in Munich to launch zero- or low-emission cars almost exclusively on Monday. It was dropped.

Automakers, forced to close their factories last year, are now facing intensifying chip delivery competition with the consumer electronics industry. This problem is exacerbated by a series of supply chain disruptions during a pandemic.

Automobiles are becoming increasingly dependent on chips in everything from computer management of engines to improve fuel economy to driving assistance functions such as emergency braking.

Ola Källenius, CEO of German luxury car maker Daimler AG, hopes to improve its supply in the fourth quarter when it launches two electric vehicles (EVs) on Sunday night, but chips He said it meant that the demand for the car was skyrocketing. The industry can struggle to procure enough by 2023, but until then the shortage shouldn’t be too serious.

“Some chip suppliers have mentioned structural issues regarding demand,” said Källenius. “This could affect 2022 [the situation] It may be more relaxing in 2023. “

Jog Bazaar, head of supply chain for Mercedes-Benz, Daimler’s automotive manufacturing division, said he hopes the situation stabilizes in the fourth quarter. “Relax will come later.”

The IAA Mobility Show in Munich is the world’s first major automotive industry event since the global coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the ongoing shortage, Daimler’s board member Britta Seeger said automakers do not believe their long-term electric vehicle goals will be affected.

Automakers from General Motors in the US to Mahindra in India to Toyota in Japan have significantly reduced production and sales forecasts due to chip supply shortages exacerbated by the resurgence of COVID-19 at major Asian semiconductor production hubs. bottom.

Just last week, Chinese EV maker Nio Inc lowered its third-quarter shipment forecast due to uncertain and volatile semiconductor supplies.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo said Monday that the chip shortage was more serious than expected in the current third quarter, but the situation should improve in the fourth quarter.

Bosch, a major car supplier, said the shortage is expected to ease somewhat in the coming months, but supply will remain limited until next year.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said luxury automakers expect the supply chain to remain tight until 2022.

“The overall tightness of the supply chain is expected to continue for the next 6-12 months,” he said.

By Nick Carey