Customers Lose Patience as Chip Crisis Shows No Signs of Letting Up

First Up 09/07/21

Customers Lose Patience as Chip Crisis Shows No Signs of Letting Up

As the global microchip shortage drags on, depleted dealership lots are sending some customers into a frenzy, reports Automotive News. Chipmaker Rohm Co., which counts Toyota, Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. among its customers, expects chips to remain scarce at least through next year, Bloomberg reported last month. Rohm Co. plants have been running at full capacity for a year, but the company doubts it can fill the backlog of orders in 2022. Forecasting firm LMC Automotive reduced its global light-vehicle sales volume outlook by 2 million vehicles because the industry has lost so much production. "The one-two punch of inventory shortages and the pandemic are holding back the pace of the global recovery and may lead to permanently lost recovery volume as the effect is expected to last into 2022," Jeff Schuster, LMC's president of the Americas operation and global vehicle forecasting, said in a statement. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).   

Toyota to Spend $13.5 Billion to Develop EV Battery Tech and Supply by 2030

Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it expects to spend more than $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system – a bid to lead in the key automotive technology over the next decade. The world's largest automaker by volume, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is now moving rapidly to deliver its first all-electric line-up next year, reports Reuters. Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aims to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured. "Then, for the vehicle, we aim to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X," Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda told a briefing, referring to an upcoming compact SUV model. Read more here (Source: Reuters).  

Hyundai Bets Big on Hydrogen, Announces Vision 2040 Plan

The Hyundai Motor Group just placed a big bet on hydrogen as the zero-emissions fuel of the future, announcing its Hydrogen Vision 2040 roadmap, a new generation of fuel cell technologies and some very out-of-the-box hydrogen-powered concepts, reports CNET. Seeing commercial applications as the best place to get started, HMG also announced plans to become the first automaker to apply fuel cell tech to all of its commercial vehicle models by the year 2028. Hyundai Motor Group sees hydrogen as the best and most flexible renewable fuel source to move society into a zero-emissions future and plans to popularize hydrogen for "Everyone, Everything and Everywhere" by the year 2040. That means new hydrogen fuel cell technologies, a heavier hand in hydrogen production, and infrastructure and a new wave of hydrogen-based products. Read more here (Source: CNET).   

After Ida's Battering, Dealers Pick Up Pieces

Bridgewater Chevrolet in New Jersey had roughly 200 vehicles on its lot last week when the remnants of Hurricane Ida ripped through the state. Dealer David Ferraez figures they're all a loss. The Bridgewater store is one of dozens of dealerships in recovery mode after Ida's high winds and torrential rains damaged structures, caused power outages and triggered flooding from Louisiana to New York, reports Automotive News. The rain was so extreme that the National Weather Service issued its first-ever flash flood emergencies for New York City and northeast New Jersey. Six to eight inches of rain fell across the Northeast, and the storm spawned multiple tornadoes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, according to the weather service. Some dealership showrooms were inundated by floodwaters that rose rapidly last week. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).  


Chip Shortage Likely to Keep Car Prices Sky-High Through 2023

Back in the spring, a shortage of computer chips that had sent auto prices soaring appeared to be finally easing. Some relief for consumers seemed to be in sight. But, reports CBS News, that hope is now fading, as a surge in COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant in several Asian countries is worsening the supply shortage, further delaying a return to normal auto production and keeping the supply of vehicles artificially low. That means record-high consumer prices for vehicles — new and used, as well as rental cars — will likely extend into next year and might not return to earth until 2023, according to analysts. In July, new-car prices hit a new record for the fourth straight month, according to Kelley Blue Book. The average transaction, at $42,736, was 8% higher than one year ago, with a typical new car costing above the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Read more here (Source: CBS News). 

Around the Web

Biden's Electric Car Plans Hinge on Having Enough Chargers [NY Times]

Munich Auto Show: Top 10 Cars of IAA Mobility [Forbes]

Volkswagen CEO: Smart Cars, Not E-Cars, Are 'Gamechanger' [Reuters]

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Reports for Robotaxi Duty with an Armada of Sensors [Autoblog]