‘Intensifying’ Auto Chip Shortage Hits Daimler Truck Production

Image credit: Daimler Truck

World’s biggest lorry maker Daimler Truck says chip shortage has ‘intensified’ in past few weeks meaning further slowdown of production

Supplies of critical automobile chips have grown even tighter over the past few weeks, according to  the chief executive of Daimler’s lorry business, as a worldwide chip shortage continues.

Martin Daum said the situation had “intensified” since the beginning of September, in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on Sunday.

“Since the summer months the situation has intensified again,” Daum said, adding that the shortage had affected Daimler’s truck production in Germany and the US.

He said the company’s order books were filled but that the chip shortage has seen stockpiles of partially completed vehicles rise massively.

Image credit: Daimler Truck
Image credit: Daimler Truck

Supply squeeze

“There are significant inventories of already produced vehicles where essential parts are lacking,” he said. “Those vehicles are badly needed by our customers. We would like to deliver but we are waiting for the parts.”

He said the tighter chip supplies could have a major impact on sales in the third quarter, adding that he saw no signs of a recovery in the near term and that the issue would remain with the automotive sector for some time.

Daimler Truck, the world’s biggest lorry business, is to be spun off from Daimler later this year, with the parent company to be renamed Mercedes-Benz Group.

Daimler said earlier this month its luxury car unit Mercedes would also see significantly lower third-quarter sales due to the shortages, exacerbated by a resurgence of Covid-19 in Asian semiconductor production hubs such as Malaysia.

Chip production

“With the plant closings at semiconductor suppliers in Malaysia and elsewhere, the challenge has now become even greater,” Daimler chief executive Ola Kaellenius told the Automobilwoche weekly at the time.

Daum’s remarks echo those of other companies in the automotive sector, with Toyota saying last month it would be forced to cut production by 40 percent due to the shortages.

Stellantis, makers of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall cars, said in August it was extending production halts while Intel said in July the chip shortage could last into 2023.