Computer chip shortage could extend through 2023

The semiconductor chip shortage that has put a pinch on the global automotive industry as well as others could stretch until 2023 before it is fully resolved, automaker executives said at the Munich Motor Show that is ongoing this week.

This has been attributed to still-increasing demand for the chips, although the shortage should be less severe by 2023, Automotive News Europe quoted Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius as saying. “Several chip suppliers have been referring to structural problems with demand. This could influence 2022, [although the situation] in may be more relaxed in 2023,” he said.

Chief executive officer of BMW Oliver Zipse concurs, and expects that supply chains will remain tight going into next year. Zipse sees no issues in the long term which may arise from the chip shortage, and added that the automotive industry is an attractive client for the chip producers.

The shortage of chips could continue for months or even years, said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess, because semiconductors are in high demand. “The Internet of Things is growing and the capacity ramp-up will take time. It will probably be a bottleneck for the next months and years to come,” Diess said.

Supply remains volatile in the third quarter of this year, and the global automotive industry would need “roughly 10% more production capacity” for the chips, said Volkswagen head of purchasing Murat Aksel.

Although the chip supply shortage turning out to be tougher than expected in this quarter, the next quarter for the year “should bring some improvement” despite uncertainty, said Renault CEO Luca de Meo. The French auto manufacturer is holding on to its previous output forecast of 200,000 vehicles due to the shortage, said de Meo.

Locally in Malaysia, the semiconductor chip shortage was initially thought not to affect the Malaysian market too adversely, though this has turned out to compounded by global demand for Malaysian-made chips.

Last month, Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association president Wong Siew Hai said that many automakers scaled back their chip orders in anticipation of reduced demand, and so chip makers in the country shifted allocation to other clients. At the beginning of this year however, automakers realised they needed to re-acquire the previous allocation of chip capacity, but semiconductor fabricators no longer had the capcaity by that point, Wong said.

Among the cars affected was the locally assembled G20 BMW 330e, which last month saw a price drop due to unavailability of the Digital Key and wireless smartphone charging specifications. Also affected is the supply of selected Mazda vehicles in Malaysia, with delays in deliveries expected, though there are no planned changes to equipment specification.

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