The semiconductor chip shortage continues to plague carmakers.
Mazda enjoyed a strong end to 2020 with the Japanese carmaker boasting its most successful December ever. However, a very peculiar problem means that 2021 might not get off to the best of starts: Mazda has run out of computer chips. The chip shortage, which has already affected domestic sales of the CX-5 and the Mazda 3 Sedan, is set to cut global output by 34,000 vehicles over the next two months. The reason for the chip shortages, which has hurt other carmakers too, can possibly be linked to recent US sanctions on certain producers in China.
Mazda plans to reduce its domestic output of the popular CX-5 by neatly 4,000 units in February, and up to 6,000 units in March. The semiconductor shortage has been affecting global car production, shutting down production lines across the globe, with an estimated 672,000 units of global light vehicle production being affected in the first quarter according to data firm IHS Markit. Mazda has also been considering an output cut at its assembly lines in China and Mexico. "We are expecting a global impact on our output in February, but we continue to do our best to minimize the impact," a Mazda spokesperson said.
Mazda did not comment on exact production targets but revealed that the situation is changing on a daily basis. Toyota Motor Corp, Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Co, and Nissan Motor Co have all had to cut production due to the shortage. In the US a group of 15 senators has urged the Whitehouse to address the shortfall in chips, and according to Phil Amsrud, senior principal analyst at IHS Markit, both suppliers and buyers will need to come to an agreement fast: "Because the cause of these constraints is the result of increasing demand from OEMs and limited supply of semiconductors, it will not be resolved until both forces are aligned," he said. Let's hope an accord can be struck sooner rather than later.