Posted on

A Computer Chip Shortage Has Hobbled the Auto Industry

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 sent a shudder through the automaking world.A General Motors plant in Kansas City closed in February for lack of chips, and still hasn’t 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 …

Read More

Posted on

‘It’s a Roller-Coaster Ride’: Global Chip Shortage Is Making Industries Sweat

Dan Rozycki, the president of a small engineering firm, worries about what a global semiconductor shortage could mean for curing concrete.Mr. Rozycki’s company, Transtec Group in Austin, Texas, sells small sensors that are placed where concrete is poured at building, highway and bridge construction sites. The gadgets take temperature readings and wirelessly send data so workers with computers can ensure the material is hardening properly.Like many other things in the modern world, from computers and cars to cash registers and kitchen appliances, the sensors require a couple of common, inexpensive semiconductors that have suddenly become a very …

Read More

Posted on

Lack of Tiny Parts Disrupts Auto Factories Worldwide

The semiconductor shortage came out of left field, hitting the industry at a perilous moment. Sales have plunged worldwide. In Europe, for example, they were down 25 percent in 2020.This is all happening while automakers are trying to navigate a shift in basic technology from internal combustion engines to batteries, which has subjected them to new competition from Tesla, the California company that has become the most valuable automaker in the world by far, and emerging Chinese manufacturers like Nio.Exactly how long the shortage will last is unclear. It can take 20 to 25 weeks from the time new orders are placed …

Read More