At Volkswagen, Daimler and Audi, production has recently come to a standstill time and again: there are not enough chips for the increasingly silicon-heavy vehicle electronics. What sometimes seems like a specific problem of the supposedly cumbersome and occasionally hubristic German car industry, in fact affects vehicle production in other countries just as much. The market research institute IHS Markit has calculated figures. According to these, in the first quarter of 2021 alone, the production of a good 670,000 vehicles worldwide will be affected in some form by the chip shortage. The supply problems will hit the Chinese industry hardest, where 250,000 fewer cars than planned can probably be built in this period because of the "chip famine". The overstretching of global semiconductor production is reflected in massive delivery times - for MCUs, for example, an orderer must now allow for a delivery time of at least 26 weeks.
The bottleneck is probably due in large part to the concentration of automotive chip production in just a few fabs and foundries. According to IHS Markit, 70 per cent of the automotive semiconductors needed worldwide are manufactured by a single company, namely TSMC in Taiwan.