The automotive industry worldwide is struggling with the fact that microchips are hardly available for on-board computers. According to calculations by a management consultancy, the bottlenecks could cost the industry a total of 110 billion dollars.
Tesla boss Elon Musk is convinced, however, that the problems - at least in part - are homemade. The news about the shortage of chips led to many companies ordering an excessive number of components to be on the safe side - and thus really fueling the bottleneck. "The fear that supplies will run out is causing every company to overorder - like the toilet paper shortage, but on an epic scale," Musk tweeted.
In the past year, the lockdown measures in many countries had meanwhile led to a run on toilet paper. While Musk doesn't expect the bottlenecks to persist in the long term, they are already having ramifications for his company. Tesla had to raise the prices for its vehicles, namely "because of the great price pressure in the supply chain," as Musk announced in another tweet.
The chip crisis has also hit German carmakers hard: In mid-May it became known that the VW subsidiary Audi limit production in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm and send more than ten thousand employees on short-time work. Initially, the measure should only apply until the end of May, but has now been extended to June, according to newspaper reports.
Because of missing semiconductor chips also other automakers like Ford, VW or Daimler have to cancel shifts and reduce production. The chip manufacturer Intel had warned that the bottlenecks could last for several years - also because investments do not take effect immediately.
The scarcity was made by leaps and bounds, among other things increased demand for technology such as laptops in the corona pandemic and inventory purchases by Chinese companies such as Huawei triggered by US sanctions.