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Semiconductors could hurt automotive output until 2026: VDA

The ongoing shortage of semiconductors in the automotive industry could lead to a global drop in production of 20%, or around 18 million vehicles, by 2026, shows a study by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

According to VDA, this may happen unless suitable countermeasures are taken in the industry. “In 2021, the shortage led to a global decline in car production by 9% on-year,” according to the document seen by Kallanish.

“Demand for semiconductors in the automotive industry will triple by 2030,” the association notes. “This means that the growth in chip demand in the automotive industry is 1.7 times higher than the average for other industries and the car industry is therefore hardest hit in a sector comparison. As a result, the share of chips required for the automotive industry to be supplied by 2030 will increase to 14% of global semiconductor capacities. For comparison, today’s market share is 8%.”

The high demand is due in particular to the ramp-up of electromobility and an increasing proportion of driver assistance systems and functional extensions, including autonomous driving, VDA observes.

Another result of the study shows that by 2030, the automotive industry will become the third most important chip buyer after mobile communication and data storage, and China has already recognised this.

According to the document, Chinese semiconductor companies, in particular, are investing in the node size of 90 nanometres or larger, to promote domestic automobile companies.

“In order to counteract the impending sustained decline in production in Europe and to make the supply chain much more resilient, additional production capacities in the automotive-relevant node sizes in Europe must be promoted,” VDA claims.

The message is “expansion, expansion, expansion”, along a comprehensible concept using pragmatic approval procedures, it adds.

“The EU Chips Act must now be followed by action and Europe must now invest in the production of automotive-related chips and ramp up production of large chips,” says VDA president Hildegard Müller. “This is the only way to minimise dependence on Asia for semiconductors and strengthen the resilience of the German and European automotive industry. And only then can the German and European automotive industry continue to play a leading role worldwide.”

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria