Car production hit by computer-chip shortages

Audi is the latest car manufacturer to be forced to slow production because of a computer-chip shortage that could see it produce 10,000 fewer vehicles in Q1 of 2021. Speaking to the Financial Times, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann said that the sector had been surprised by a strong sales market, having initially cut orders of computer chips last year following a poor start to 2020 for new car sales and amid concerns over the impact of the pandemic on sales.

Audi’s parent company Volkswagen had earlier announced a reduction in production, while other firms including Daimler, Ford, Honda and Nissan have all been reported to have temporarily suspended production for limited periods in recent weeks.

Global demand for semiconductors has been on a steady rise, boosted in part by strong sales of PCs, smartphones and games consoles. Increased home-working has also seen demand for technology at home rise significantly over the past year.

The Times reported that Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory was forced to close for half a day last week due to delays at ports which had seen its lorries stranded. However, it is the semiconductor shortage that is causing the most widespread disruption globally, with a Ford plant in Germany, a Toyota site in China, and a Nissan factory in Japan all among the facilities having experienced temporary stoppages in production as a result.

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