A tiny part’s big effect: Car industry crippled by global chip shortage



Jack Ewing and Neal E. Boudette | Sydney Morning Herald

Around the world, auto assembly lines are going quiet, workers are idle, and dealership parking lots are looking bare.

A shortage of semiconductors — the tiny but critical chips used to calibrate cars’ fuel injection, run infotainment systems or provide the brains for cruise control — has upended automaking.

A General Motors plant in Kansas City, Kansas, closed in February for lack of chips and still has not reopened. Mercedes-Benz has begun to hoard its chips for expensive models and is temporarily shutting down factories that produce lower-priced C-Class sedans. Porsche warned dealers in the United States this month that customers might have to wait an extra 12 weeks to get their cars because they lack a chip used to monitor tyre pressure.

French automaker Peugeot, part of the newly formed Stellantis automaking empire, has gone so far as to substitute old-fashioned analog speedometers for digital units in some models.

To read the full article by the Sydney Morning Herald, please click here