Report Shows U.S. Automakers Bearing Brunt of Chip Shortage in North America

Photo credit: Bill Pugliano - Getty Images

Photo credit: Bill Pugliano – Getty Images

  • Automakers across the globe have been struggling to meet customer demand for new cars all year as a shortage of critical microchips has forced plant closures and left dealers with dwindling inventory.

  • The shortages of microchips and other crucial are related to far-reaching effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and in some cases have been exacerbated by natural disasters.

  • A report from AutoForecast Solutions says more than 25 different car models have lost at least 10,000 units of North American production to the parts shortages so far this year. The Ford F-150 showed the biggest drop, with 109,710 units pulled from production, but of course it’s also the biggest seller.

When factories were shuttered and new-car sales cratered in the United States in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, many carmakers made what has turned out to be a critical error: they canceled orders for the microchips that have become essential to the manufacture and operation of new cars. But as demand for new cars has returned, carmakers have struggled to source the chips they need to complete their cars (consumer electronics manufacturers swooped in to claim excess chip-making capacity last spring), and many manufacturers have been forced to temporarily stall production of various cars. A new report from AutoForecast Solutions gives us an idea of exactly which cars have been affected, and by how much.

The report from AutoForecast was published Monday by Automotive News, and it quantifies the estimated impact of the microchip shortage on North American production so far. The data show that the three Michigan-based automakers are bearing the brunt of the shortage. AutoForecast estimates Ford has taken 324,616 vehicles out of production as a result of the shortage, while General Motors has removed 277,966 cars from its production plans and Stellantis has reduced production by 252,193 units as a result of the chip shortage. Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen have lost between 20,000 and 46,000 units to the shortage. The report showed Volvo with the lowest number of vehicles impacted by the chip shortage at 1287, but Volvo also sells far fewer cars in North America than many of the other manufacturers listed here.

The report also estimated the effect of the shortage on particular models. Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis were heavily represented on that list, too. AutoForecast estimates that 109,710 F-series pickups, 98,584 Jeep Cherokees, and 81,833 Chevrolet Equinoxes have been impacted by the shortage. Ford has taken to building F-150s without the missing microchips and holding them in lots until the chips can be sourced and installed and the trucks sent to dealerships. Honda, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen also have individual models that have lost more than 10,000 units to the chip shortage in North America.

Listed by estimated “volume impact” by AutoForecast Solutions, the 10 most affected were all Ford, GM, or Stellantis products:

The shortage is expected to last at least through the summer, and it could stretch on even longer. The Biden administration has hosted meetings with the concerned parties but has declined to say that automakers should get priority over electronics manufacturers when it comes to doling out the chip supply. In the meantime, the shortage is driving up prices of both new and used vehicles, and it threatens to limit new-car sales even as carmakers scramble to make up for sales and money lost during the pandemic.

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