Ukraine War Threatens Auto Supply Shortages

Estimated read time 2 min read

Things might get worse.

For the past two-plus years, automakers and their suppliers have been struggling with all kinds of supply shortages, the same as other manufacturers. Most notable has been the lack of sufficient microprocessors or computer chips, an item which has become essential for all kinds of features in modern vehicles. Now, thanks to the Ukraine War effort, we might see those shortages get worse.

Learn about Stellantis’ plan to sell used parts here.

Slowly, automakers have been making progress as they churn out more vehicles than they did a year ago. This had led to some dealerships having a pretty healthy stock of vehicles on hand, although most aren’t anything like in late 2019 before anyone knew about COVID-19.

But the demand to arm the Ukrainian armed forces with weapons like Javelin and Stinger missiles could mean chips and other materials that would’ve been used for your new car would instead go to the war effort. At least that’s what a report from Reuters claims.

We can’t confirm that the same types of chips used in most vehicles, which we know differ greatly from what’s used in many electronic devices like your phone, could in fact be used in weapons systems and other items which will be sent to Ukraine. What we know is Reuters is saying the war could put the squeeze on the auto industry once again.

The big question we have is if this is the case, what will happen when China invades Taiwan? Considering many automotive components are still made in China, would the flow immediately stop? What would automakers do then?

There are efforts to ramp up semiconductor manufacturing in several states, so that might help with potential shortages. But one doesn’t just throw up a shack and start churning out microchips overnight, so that relief is still on the horizon. In the meantime, automakers are still pausing production at some plants because of shortages, although they won’t always say exactly what the holdup is over.

Source: Reuters

Images via GM

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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