Semiconductor Shortage Continues to Hit Carmakers

The shortage of a tiny component is continuing to have a big impact on global carmaking. The latest forecast suggests that the acute shortage of semiconductors will cost the industry £80 billion in revenue in 2021 alone.  

In this quick read, we’ll take a look at the factors that have caused the semiconductor shortage and explain the impact it may have on the supply of Mercedes-Benz vehicles at a dealership near you.

Several factors are at play

Rather than a single event, the semiconductor crisis is the result of several factors that include a fire at a major semiconductor manufacturing plant near Tokyo and severe weather that has affected plants in Texas and Taiwan. 

The Covid pandemic has also had a major impact, with global consumer habits shifting during worldwide lockdowns. That has increased demand for semiconductor chips for laptops, tablets, monitors and other hi-tech products and diverted them away from carmakers.

How are semiconductors used in modern cars?

Semiconductors play a vital role in the production of the modern car. Cars are increasingly becoming computers on wheels, with everything from autonomous driving aids, sensors, communication integration and high-performance elements in engines all made possible by semiconductors.   

Semiconductors are also used in the touchscreens installed on dashboards and in the back of passenger seats. And critically, given the race against climate change, they’re also key to the future of electric vehicles, with semiconductors used to control the power and the battery.

How are car manufacturers being affected?

According to the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA), the semiconductor crisis will lead to considerably lower production volumes for the third quarter of 2021 and postponed deliveries for the rest of the year. 

Car companies are being affected by the shortage in different ways. For some, there have been delays in the production of specific models, while others have stopped production altogether. For example, one manufacturer confirmed an initial pause in the production of certain models, while another has revealed that new models will only be available with a single remote function key. The second key will be delivered to customers when the availability of semiconductors improves.  

Mercedes-Benz UK has also confirmed that some new models may initially be produced without Dashcam or Augmented Reality for Navigation. Those elements will then be retrofitted once the components become available.

Why some new and Approved Used deliveries could be delayed

The significant delay in new car stock is also having a knock-on effect on our Approved Used vehicles. Some buyers are holding onto their cars and vans for longer while they wait for delivery of their new vehicles, and in turn, that is creating a shortage of Approved Used stock. 

An Approved Used Mercedes-Benz is like no other pre-owned vehicle, with every car and van handpicked by our experts. That means there is a limited supply in the first instance. However, you can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to deliver our new Mercedes-Benz vehicles and Approved Used cars and vans to our customers.

Take a look at our range of new and Approved Used Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles and get in touch with our friendly team if you have any questions.