Millions of units of lost production over shortage of key components
Volkswagen examining supply chain to help prevent recurrence
For automakers scrambling to find the parts they need to build their newest vehicles, the pressures could start to ease. Which might not be all that much comfort for procurement departments that are currently in the worst part of the shortage, at least according to Volkswagen.
“At the moment we have reached the lowest point. We are facing the toughest six weeks,” Murat Aksel, purchasing director for Volkswagen Group, told German newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview.
After the six weeks? The situation should improve. Aksel said that in the third quarter of this year “the pipeline should be better filled.”
Still, he said, a shortfall of around 10 percent of needed semiconductors would continue as there isn’t enough global production to meet demand. “It takes up to two years before new production capacities can be built up,” said Aksel.
The plan for Volkswagen is to stockpile more chips going forward. “Security of supply is one of our most important tasks. Because for me the principle applies: no component, no car, no money,” said Aksel. The automaker is also looking at the supply risk of all of its current components.
Volkswagen Group has missed out on the production of more than 100,000 cars in 2021 over the semiconductor shortage. That figure puts the company low on the list of those affected by the shortage, which experts have estimated will reach well into the millions this year.