The global shortage of semiconductors is already a problem for the automotive industry. It is likely to get worse in the coming months as a large factory fails after a fire.
A fire broke out on Friday in Renesas’ semiconductor factory in Naka, Japan. There were no injuries, but a clean room and numerous machines in one building were damaged. Renesas boss Hidetoshi Shibata promised that the company would do everything possible to resume production as soon as possible.
Car manufacturers in particular are affected by the delivery stop. Many of them already suffer from the semiconductor shortage anyway. Several manufacturers have already had to interrupt their production in the past few months. During the Corona crisis, when the carmaker’s plants came to a standstill, chip demand from the car industry fell massively. The chip manufacturers therefore concentrated on other customers such as manufacturers of smartphones and game consoles. When auto demand recovered faster than expected, there weren’t enough chips available. The power outage in Texas, which brought several chip factories to a standstill, exacerbated the problem.