Automakers are cautiously optimistic about the end of the scarcity of high-tech parts, especially chips. Since last year, almost all major auto companies have had to regularly shut down production lines due to the scarcity of these components, but manufacturers are now seeing the range become somewhat wider.
Mercedes-Benz, Daimler Truck Holdings and BMW, among others, say they have received enough electronic components to produce them at full capacity. This tipping point comes sooner than the companies themselves expected. At the same time, they warn that there is still a chance that the shortage will disrupt production again.
“We’re still monitoring it on a weekly basis, but we don’t have any problems keeping production running globally now,” says Jörg Burzer, who is responsible for production and supply chains at Mercedes-Benz. Occasionally, there are still turmoils, “but that doesn’t compare to last year.”
BMW is also more positive and says all factories are running. “The situation at the moment is somewhat more stable,” a spokesman said. The German concern cannot rule out the possibility of continued unrest in the coming weeks due to the shortage. Things are better than last year, “but not perfect yet,” says Karen Radstrom, head of the Mercedes brand at Daimler Truck.
Truck maker DAF has announced that parts supply is better than expected five weeks ago. “In the US and Europe, we can build faster,” said Harry Walters, president of PACAR.
The increased availability of chips is partly due to a weak economic outlook due to rising inflation, war and higher interest rates. This reduces the demand for consumer electronics such as smartphones and laptops, which also use many semiconductors. However, not every car manufacturer immediately notices this. For example, Volvo Trucks says it has a limited number of chips available. This will have an impact on our second quarter results.
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