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Automakers to battle chip crisis for years

Carmakers like Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. ought to brace for the worldwide semiconductor scarcity to final past subsequent yr and redesign automobiles so that they want fewer of the high-tech elements, consultancy Roland Berger mentioned.

Extreme bottlenecks will persist by 2022, analysts on the Munich-based agency mentioned, in a departure from many automakers hoping that the disaster would ease within the second half of subsequent yr. Capability will stay constrained in the long run as chipmakers aren’t investing in extra provide to make the older semiconductors usually utilized in right this moment’s fashions.

Producers ought to put much more effort into monitoring the chip trade to maintain up with looming manufacturing snarls, the analysts mentioned in a report.

“Most significantly, carmakers want to hurry up the transition to centralized digital architectures and thereby transfer to superior and modern nodes,” they mentioned.

Since late final yr, the chip scarcity hasn’t let up, prompting car manufacturing to plummet even beneath ranges of final yr when the pandemic stored patrons away from showrooms. After a third-quarter low in provides, producers together with VW and Daimler AG have mentioned they count on the scenario to ease over coming months whereas others like Stellantis NV are digging in for longer disruptions.

A shift to a central design with one onboard pc controlling a spread of capabilities might drastically minimize the variety of chips wanted in a car, Roland Berger mentioned. Swapping out older platforms for brand new ones would additionally imply automobiles comprise the most recent generations of chips for which manufacturing capability is growing.

Present fashions usually have a decentralized system with separate semiconductors controlling particular person capabilities. Automobiles on common comprise 1,400 of the high-tech elements.

The disaster across the elements might point out extra hassle forward, in accordance with AlixPartners, a consultancy that has put the price of the crunch for the trade at $210 billion in misplaced gross sales this yr. Resins, metals and rubber shortages are beginning to take maintain together with tight labor markets in some areas, Alexandre Marian, a managing director at AlixPartners in Paris mentioned throughout an occasion this week.

“The availability of semiconductors ought to enhance by the center of subsequent yr,” Marian mentioned. “But it surely’s the tree that’s hiding the forest and we’ll see different shortages rising.”


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