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Semiconductor shortage will persist for years to come

Engineering / Analytics

The global semiconductor shortage is expected to last several years after 2022 for the automotive industry and many other sectors, says German consulting group Roland Berger.

Semiconductor shortage will persist for years to come

The biggest shortages are in older generation chips, obsolete semiconductors that the automotive industry depends on. The organization notes that the additional production capacity is mainly created for new generations, which means that this investment will not bring relief.

“The gap between supply and demand for semiconductors is widening,” says Falk Meissner, partner at Roland Berger. “The outlook will not improve anytime soon because the reasons for the supply crisis are structural and have to do with how supply chains are currently set up. The shortage of chips will continue until 2023 and probably later. ”

He adds that the announced capacity expansions are insufficient to meet demand.

Roland Berger analysis shows that chip demand will grow 17% year over year from 2020 to 2022. That said, production capacity will only grow 6% year on year over the same period.

Analysts conclude that since semiconductor factories are already at an average 97% utilization rate, rapid expansion is nearly impossible. “Some car manufacturers are already moving from just-in-time to just-in-case, and thus overstocking semiconductors. In the short term, this will further exacerbate the supply shortage, ”says Roland Berger.

The automotive industry is already in the process of making new e-vehicles. Technology and auto industry experts interviewed for the study believe it will take traditional car manufacturers more than five years to complete the transition.

“Companies in the automotive and other sectors that use semiconductors need to actively tackle the crisis,” says Meissner. “Long-term direct supply contracts with semiconductor companies, which include mutual capacity and purchase commitments over several years, are important leverage.”

The global auto sector has rebounded strongly from the initial Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, but supply chain disruptions are holding back further growth. Last year, a global semiconductor shortage cost the global auto industry about $ 210 billion in lost profits and nearly 8 million product losses in 2021.

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