Chip Shortage Forces Subaru To Temporarily Shut Factories

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Japan-based Subaru becomes latest car maker to close factories due to ongoing chip shortages hitting automotive sector hard

The global shortage of semiconductors continues to impact multiple industries, with the automotive sector being one of the worst affected.

Dozens of car factory have had to close due to the lack of chips, and now Japanese car maker Subaru has become the latest to publicly warn it will temporarily shut its plants in July, Reuters reported.

The car maker reportedly said on Friday that it will cut production at Japan’s Gunma plants in July due to the global shortage of semiconductors.

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Production adjustment

“It is part of the production adjustment due to shortage of semiconductors,” a Subaru spokesperson reportedly said.

The plants, located in Gunma prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, will become idle on 16 July. It is not known how long the plants closure will last at the time of writing.

It has previously been reported that Subaru of America had to close its US plant, which resulted lost production of at least 45,000 cars, again because of the chip shortage.

And Subaru is not alone, as Suzuki is also reportedly considering slashing production in July at Kosai and Sagara plants in Shizuoka, Japan, for two and seven days, respectively.

While the dates have not been set yet, the company spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying that Suzuki is “continuing to make adjustments to minimise the impact”.

In April French car giant Renault said it would extend the furlough for 9,000 staff, because it would have to extend the partial idling of three of its four factories in Spain until the end of September.

Global shortage

It is fair to say the chip shortage continues to impact multiple industries, but it was first felt by car makers including VW, GM, Audi, Ford, Mazda and many others.

In March General Motors confirmed it would again extend production cuts at three North American plants, and added a fourth to the list of factories hit.

That came after GM had already extended its production cuts at three North American factories.

Even firms such as Samsung, which one of the biggest chip makers in the world, have repeatedly warned the chip shortage will delay the launch of smartphone devices.

Dell, the world’s third largest personal computer vendor, has warned the ongoing silicon shortage is likely to persist for several years.

That came after Forrester Research warned it expects the chip supply issues to extend through next year and into 2023.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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