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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
February 04, 2021.

New cars to become scarcer

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor. © The Ford Motor Company.

Due to the effects of the pandemic on production chains, there is a worldwide shortage of semiconductors and other electronic components. That’s why it’s so hard to get one’s hands on a Sony PS5 or on Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. Fabricators have been forced to slow production due to a lack of components. But another, less obvious industry is also hard-hit by the shortage: car manufacturing. All modern cars contain a plethora of electronic components, microcontrollers and onboard computers. In fact, the automobile industry gobbles up 10% of the world’s semiconductor production. The situation is so dire that several carmakers, including Ford and General Motors, have had to slow production and idle factories. Audi laid off 10,000 employees in Germany. On Wednesday, GM said it will halt production at factories in Kansas, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea. Some carmakers have been spared, like Toyota, which diversified its supply chain and increased its inventory of components after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Ars Technica, Jonathan M. Gitlin, “A silicon chip shortage is causing automakers to idle their factories.”



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