The world’s biggest carmakers, including Toyota and Volkswagen, have been forced to halt or slow production as a global shortage of computer chips cripples auto part suppliers in the latest blow dealt to the car industry by the coronavirus pandemic. Soaring demand for smartphones, gaming consoles, tabs and other electronics by homebound consumers has prompted semiconductor makers to divert capacity away from the auto industry, leaving car parts suppliers like Bosch and Continental struggling to keep their customers supplied. The shortage of chips, which have become a crucial component in modern-day cars equipped with features such as touch screens, navigation systems and Bluetooth connectivity, is the latest blow to the global auto industry by the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered factories and showrooms leading to a record drop in sales in spring last year. “After the industry shut down in the early phase of the crisis and the resulting abrupt drop in demand, automobile manufacturers across all regions increased their production volumes much faster than expected by market experts. This resulted in large scale supply shortages for semiconductors,” a Continental spokesperson told DW. “With lead times of six to nine months, the semiconductor industry has not been able to scale up fast enough to… Read full this story
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