Published in Transportation

Chip shortages shutting down car factories

by on18 January 2021

Government asked to step in

American car makers are asking the US government to help solve a debilitating shortage of computer chips that is closing auto factories worldwide and could restrict production until autumn.

The American Automotive Policy Council — a lobbying organisation for General Motors, Ford Motor and the US operations of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV — is agitating with the US Commerce Department and the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to press Asian semiconductor makers to reallocate output away from consumer electronics and build essential chips for cars.

AAPC president Matt Blunt said: "We have requested that the US government help us find a solution to the problem because it will diminish our production and have a negative impact on the US economy until it's resolved. We are not primarily concerned with where blame may lie for this global shortage, if it lies anywhere, but we just want a solution. And the solution is more automobile-sector semiconductors."

The shortage forced Ford to shut a sport-utility vehicle factory in Kentucky this week, and it is closing a small-car plant in Germany for a month. Fiat Chrysler has had to temporarily stop output at plants in Mexico and Canada. More production is expected to be idled in the coming weeks.

Last modified on 18 January 2021
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