The shortage of electronic systems needed for new vehicle production shows no sign of abating, and one expert has warned that even the mid-point has not been reached yet.
Speaking at an Autocar Business webinar, Ian Henry from consultancy Auto Analysis acknowledged that although the total chip count in vehicles is reducing, the nature of much of the remaining silicon is extremely complex, requiring specialist production. “That is where we might see some changes in the nature of the supply chain” he noted, speculating that module suppliers such as Bosch could either form closer relationships with silicon factories, or potentially establish such manufacturing facilities themselves.
SMMT boss Mike Hawes was also on the call and able to give some perspective on what has caused the crisis. “What we saw last year was a syncopated spread of the virus” he said. “Europe was in lockdown, Asia wasn’t”. This disparity grew the demand for electronic products of all types, and the automotive sector was near the back of the queue as it accounts for only around ten percent of chip plant orders.
“It is this uncertain situation that the industry faces, with the unreliability of delivery”, concluded Hawes.
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