The chip shortage has been going on long enough to generate some survey data, and there are some positive things to be found there, but overall the picture is bleak. The general trend seems to be that the impact will be massive and it will last at least through most of 2021, but there are ways of mitigating the damage. Here's what the industry itself is saying.
Chip Shortage By The Numbers
Automotive News has a new survey out called Examining the Global Chip Shortage, which proves what we've been hearing these last few weeks: It's tough out there. Here are a few standout numbers from the survey:
93% of respondents say the chip shortage will have a severe impact on the automotive industry. (I'd like to meet the 7% who think it won't.)
72% of respondents think the chip shortage crisis will impact the industry for at least six months.
49% of respondents believe the chip shortage will have a severe impact on U.S. national security.
42% of automaker and supplier respondents say they have changed, or will change, how they mitigate supply chain risk.
26% of automakers and suppliers have found some alternate source for the chips they need.
There are a few ways that automakers and suppliers are changing their production schedules to reduce the impact of the chip shortage. Here's what they're doing, according to the survey:
46% have prioritized manufacturing to focus on products with high demand.
38% have shut down — temporarily at least — some manufacturing.
32% have prioritized manufacturing to focus on products that are the least impacted.
Finally, we get some insight into where automakers and suppliers are getting their chips:
53% currently source chips from outside the U.S.
55% are looking for alternative sources of chips outside the U.S.
48% prefer to source chips within the U.S.
BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Gets Sustainable Tires
For some more positive news, we turn to BMW, which announced this week that it will be the first automaker to use a new Pirelli tire that is made with FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon. FSC, or the Forest Stewardship Council, is an independent organization that certifies sustainable sourcing, in this case in the "complex supply chain for natural rubber and rayon," BMW said.
The 22-inch Pirelli tires are not just greener to manufacture but they also meet the BMW Group's "strict performance requirements," which include low rolling resistance and noise level. The tires will be made at Pirelli's plant in Rome, Georgia, and then shipped to BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant (a distance of around 230 miles) for use on new X5 Plug-in Hybrid models.
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