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VW and BMW agree chip shortage is far from over

MINIMUM CHIPS: Volkswagen’s Zwickau is just one of the European car-making plants affected by the ongoing microprocessor shortage.

98,000 more vehicles cut from EU factory schedules; supply won’t normalise until 2024

15 Apr 2022

VOLKSWAGEN Group says it expects the ongoing semiconductor and microprocessor shortage to continue longer than expected. If fact, the Wolfsburg-based brand’s chief financial officer Arno Antlitz says the situation will not normalise until 2024, by which time there will “still be a structural undersupply”.


In an interview with German-based daily publication Boersen-Zeitung, Mr Antlitz said Volkswagen had recently been forced to temporarily suspend production at several of its factories, including its historic Wolfsburg plant, as well as its electric vehicle facilities in Zwickau (pictured) and Dresden due to a lack of chips.


Mr Antlitz said he expected the semiconductor situation to ease this year and next, but that the shortage would continue into 2024 because chip producers won’t be able to meet the rising demand for semiconductors, even as more production came online.


“We see a structural undersupply in 2022, which is only likely to ease somewhat in the third or fourth quarter,” he said.


“The situation should improve in 2023, but the structural problem will not yet have been fully resolved.”


Mr Antlitz said a shortage of wiring harnesses from Ukraine was also causing some shifts to be cancelled, even as the company was working to establish new supplier relationships to source the components from other countries. He said the funds from a possible IPO of Porsche AG (planned for the end of the year), could be utilised to bolster VAG’s finances, and to help fund the firm’s software- and battery production units.


“Only those who can map out their battery supply chain have the advantage of scaling in electromobility. Securing the supply chain comes with that. A Porsche IPO could give us a lot more flexibility in financing this,” Mr Antlitz told Boersen-Zeitung.


BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse made similar predictions in an interview with German newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.


“We are still at the height of the chip shortage (and) I expect us to start seeing improvements at the latest next year, but we will still have to deal with a fundamental shortage in 2023.”


European assembly plants continue to be affected by the ongoing microchip shortage even as the rest of the world’s vehicle production begins to normalise. AutoForecast Solutions added almost 98,000 vehicles to its global tally of variants that have been removed from manufacturers’ production schedules this year.


About 1.4 million vehicles have been pulled from various production schedules so far in 2022, on top of the 10.5 million vehicles lost in 2021, the publication said, adding that 97,600 of the most recent increase had come from European factories. To date this year, European factories have eliminated 747,000 vehicles from their production schedules because of the global chip shortage.


Elsewhere across the globe, there has been relatively little chip-related disruption in 2022. Only 1300 more vehicles were removed from Northern American production facilities, while no additional cuts were reported in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

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