A shortage of semiconductors is delaying automotive production by millions of units around the globe, costing auto makers billions in profits—just as demand is surging after the Covid-19 pandemic. But recent commentary from car and chip makers suggests that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for the industry and for automotive investors.
Investors have heard plenty about the current state of capacity problems for months. Roughly 2 million cars—or about 10% of quarterly global automotive production—weren’t built in the first quarter because of no chips. Ford Motor (ticker: F), one of the auto makers feeling the shortage most acutely, said in late April that it expects to lose about 50% of planned second-quarter production.
It has been much harder for automotive investors to get a sense of when these supply chains issues actually will improve. But Chinese electric-vehicle maker