How much longer will this last?
Audi's production problems at two major German factories have extended into a second week. The semiconductor chip shortage is to blame. The situation at the Ingolstadt assembly line remains grim. Production of the Audi Q2 and A3 is still not happening. Other lines that produce the A4 and A5 are running on a very limited capacity.
At the Neckarsulm factory, A4 and A5 production has completely stopped for now, though the A6, A7, and A8 will still be built Monday-Thursday. However, only the A8 line will have two shifts running. A company spokesperson confirmed to Automotive News Europe the situation is somewhat better this week.
Last week, the A4, A5, A6, and A7 saw a complete production suspension. The A8 was down to one shift. Meanwhile, the Bollinger factory, home of the R8 and e-tron GT, still remains unaffected by the chip shortage. That's the good news. But, this isn't the first or probably the last time the luxury brand's assembly lines will grind to a halt or run on a limited capacity.
The chip shortage situation isn't expected to subside until sometime next year at the earliest. Some industry watchers predict it won't be until 2023 when things get back to normal. Until then, automakers like Audi have to find creative workarounds.
GM, for example, decided to eliminate certain chip-required features from their popular trucks and SUVs like stop/start. It's not ideal but at least some new vehicles will be able to roll off the lines and into dealerships. Toyota once had a huge chip stockpile but is now running low. The carmaker was also forced to cut production volume last month though a turnaround plan is rumored to get underway before the end of the year.
There's a decent chance those aforementioned Audi models will be in short supply for a period of time. Unfortunately, there's nothing anyone can do about it.