Mercedes, VW Warn Chip Shortage Won’t Just Go Away Next Year

(Bloomberg) —

Daimler AG’s chief executive officer cautioned that the global semiconductor shortage may not entirely go away next year and could take until 2023 to be resolved, a view shared by larger German rival Volkswagen AG.

Ola Kallenius, CEO of the Mercedes-Benz maker, delivered the assessment during a press briefing with reporters for this week’s auto show in Munich. Daimler recently cut its annual sales forecast for its car division, projecting deliveries will be roughly in line with 2020, rather than up significantly.

Mercedes has been hit this quarter by factory shutdowns in Malaysia, which in recent years emerged as a major center for chip testing and packaging. Infineon Technologies AG, NXP Semiconductors NV and STMicroelectronics NV are among the key suppliers operating plants in the country.

There is hope that the situation starts to ease in the fourth quarter, Kallenius said, though he anticipates fallout from a “structural” demand issue also will influence industries in 2022. A Japanese chipmaker that supplies to Toyota Motor Corp. similarly predicted last month that the supply crunch could last through all of next year.

“Semiconductor supply remains very volatile and tight in the third quarter, but we hope for a gradual recovery by the end of the year,” VW purchasing chief Murat Aksel told reporters late Sunday. The auto industry worldwide would need roughly 10% more production capacity for chips, he said.

(Adds VW purchasing chief comments in fifth paragraph.)

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