Any hopes that automakers once had that the semiconductor crisis might fade away this year seem to have evaporated. According to a senior executive from Volkswagen Group, the company doesn’t expect the chip supply problem to be fixed until 2024.
VW’s Chief Financial Officer, Arno Antlitz, made the comments last weekend in an interview with Boersen-Zeitung this weekend, claiming that supplies of semiconductors will improve this year and in 2023, but won’t be fully remedied until the middle of the decade.
“We see a structural undersupply in 2022, which is only likely to ease somewhat in the third or fourth quarter,” he said. “The situation should improve in 2023, but the structural problem will not yet have been fully resolved.”
Antlitz believes the problems will persist into 2024 because chip makers won’t be able to cope with increased demand, Automotive News Europe explained in a report. VW’s outlook tallies with that of BMW, which recently claimed that it expected the chip shortage to carry on through 2022.
“I expect us to start seeing improvements at the latest next year, but we will still have to deal with a fundamental shortage in 2023,” BMW Group CEO, Oliver Zipse, told Neue Zuercher Zeitung.
And if VW and BMW’s prediction is right, that’s really bad news for automakers struggling to recover from two years of car production limited by a combination of COVID-19 restrictions, chip shortages, and more recently, problems getting wiring harnesses from suppliers based in war-torn Ukraine.
Both BMW and VW have been forced to halt production for several days recently because of shortages of wiring harnesses. Antlitz says the supplier is operating on a single-shift, limiting supply and forcing VW to find alternate suppliers to meet demand, though claims this is only a temporary measure.
German carmakers in particular are also facing the prospect of further complications in the form of massive potential increases in energy costs as European countries seek alternatives to imported fuels from Russia.