Volkswagen points a finger at suppliers because of a lack of car chips

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: VW shows the electric SUV “ID 4” during a photo workshop

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By Jan Schwartz and Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen (DE 🙂 said its suppliers’ poor planning had resulted in a shortage of computer chips that had hit the global auto industry, claiming it had been adequately advised that the coronavirus was affecting it automobile production is limited.

VW became the first automaker in December to warn of a chip supply crisis that hit global automakers and forced them to cut back or suspend production as the semiconductor industry struggles to keep up with a recovery in the auto sector.

The German company told its suppliers in April last year – when much of global automobile production was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic – that it expected a strong recovery in the second half of 2020, said a VW manager who refused to be named to become, opposite Reuters.

Volkswagen, the world’s second largest automaker, said it was made aware of the chip shortage by one of its suppliers in late November, but that warning came too late.

“We communicated our demand early on. We passed on our forecasts that confirmed this demand,” said the executive.

“If suppliers don’t trust our figures and consult their own forecasts, we should have been informed immediately. This did not happen.”

In addition to identifying potential vulnerabilities in the automotive supply chain, who is responsible for the bottlenecks could play a crucial role in any litigation.

The current shortage is viewed as the result of a combination of factors as automakers compete against the sprawling consumer electronics industry for the supply of chips.

The executive said divergent demand forecasts could explain the current issue, leading VW to warn that chip supply will remain tight in the first half of 2021.

“This has caused a lot of problems. If the supplier didn’t have a chip problem in their own supply chain, we would get our control units,” said the managing director.

The German colleagues Continental and Robert Bosch are the two largest automotive suppliers in the world.

Representatives from the two companies said they would not comment on customer relationships. Continental said it was always open and transparent to customers.

Bosch said it is doing everything it can to cater to its customers and keep the impact to a minimum, adding that it is in daily contact with suppliers and customers.

Volkswagen, which previously sources chips indirectly through suppliers, said this month it would consider sourcing directly from manufacturers to protect its supply.

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