Montreal Gazette

Automaker CEOS fear chips may be in short supply for years

- CHRISTOPH RAUWALD and MATTHEW MILLER

First, carmakers thought the worst of the chip shortage would be in the first half of the year. Then, it was the third quarter. Now, the heads of Germany's automakers are pushing back even further their estimation­s of when the supply issue will stop constraini­ng car production.

“Probably we will remain in shortages for the next months or even years because semiconduc­tors are in high demand,” Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess said Monday on Bloomberg Television. “The internet of things is growing and the capacity ramp-up will take time. It will be probably a bottleneck for the next months and years to come.”

Diess and his counterpar­ts Ola Kallenius at Daimler AG and Oliver Zipse of BMW AG, delivered their doses of distress as most European carmakers gathered in Munich for the first auto show since before the pandemic hit. Kallenius cautioned on Sunday that the semiconduc­tor shortage may not entirely go away next year and could take until 2023 to be resolved. Zipse warned the crisis could last six to 12 months.

VW and Mercedes are among the automakers hit this quarter by factory shutdowns in Malaysia, which in recent years emerged as a major hub for chip testing and packaging.

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