In brief: The ongoing semiconductor shortage has hit the tech sector especially hard, but it’s not just gadget and computer makers that are feeling the squeeze. Automakers have also had to scale back production in response to the silicon shortage.
According to a recent report from Automotive News (via Car and Driver), it is estimated that as of May 2021, Ford has taken nearly 110,000 F-Series trucks out of production. Jeep, meanwhile, has nixed an estimated 98,584 Cherokees and Chevrolet has made an estimated 81,833 fewer Equinox SUVs than originally planned.
Per Car and Driver, the industry is somewhat responsible for the current situation.
When factories started shutting down and new-car sales slowed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half of 2021, many automakers canceled orders for microchips destined for future builds. Customers in other industries took advantage of the excess chipmaking capacity, and now, automakers are struggling to re-secure the silicon they need for things like onboard computers and infotainment systems for new vehicles.
Some of the world’s largest contract chipmakers are investing large sums of money to counter the global shortage, but even so, it’s not an issue that can be alleviated overnight.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in April that he believes it could take a couple of years before the issue is fully resolved. TSMC just days ago said its $12 billion chip manufacturing facility in Arizona should be operational in 2024.
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