Thursday 23 September 2021 5:01 am

Global chip shortage to cost auto industry $210bn in lost production this year

An ongoing global shortage in semiconductors is on track to cost the world’s automakers $210bn (£159m) in lost revenue this year, almost double that of previous estimates.

Consultants at Alix Partners said that 7.7m fewer vehicles would be manufactured in 2021 as a result of the shortfall, weighing on car firms’ earnings.

As the crisis shows no sign of abating, the new figures are markedly worse than the firm’s previous projections in May, which estimated that $110bn in revenues would be lost as a result of the chip shortage this year, due to 3.9m fewer vehicles being produced.

“Unfortunately, the chip crisis shows little sign of abating this year, despite what many across the automotive industry had hoped,” said Nick Parker, a partner at AlixPartners.

“The perfect storm that we’re seeing of supply chain disruptions, restricted labour markets, and rising shipping costs are only exacerbating the issue further, and new vehicle production is now facing delays that are likely to last well into 2022,” he added.

An unfortunate combination of the pandemic and natural disasters in Asia and the US have left global chip manufacturers grappling with order backlogs and struggling to delivery on time due to global supply chain disruption.

One by one, a series of factories have closed across Europe, North America and Asia, causing several prominent chipmakers to warn that the shortage will extend well into next year.

Earlier in the month, Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker, cut its annual production forecasts from 9.3m cars to 9m, as a combination of the semiconductor shortage and coronavirus continue to hammer output and cause the firm to shut plants across the globe.

Several of the firm’s factories in south-east Asia have been forced to close as a result of the outbreaks, with its Malaysia brake chip factories worst hit by shutdowns, and its semiconductor manufacturers in Vietnam.

In October alone, Toyota estimates it will produce 300,000 fewer cars due to the ongoing shortfall – a 40 per cent reduction from previous targets.

Yet Toyota’s global procurement boss Kazunari Kumakura said the company was optimistic about production returning to normal in Autumn.

“Although the outlook for November and beyond is unclear, current demand remains very strong. As a result, the production plan for November and beyond assumes that the previous plan will be maintained,” Kumakura said.

Elsewhere, fellow car giant Peugeot has been forced to close plants in Europe, while Ford and General Motors have closed plants in the US.