The updating of the accounting on the shortage of semiconductors is dramatic: from 3.9 to 7.7 million cars produced in less than the course of the year and from 91 to 179 billion euros in lost turnover. The consultancy firm Alix Partner, which had released the first estimates in May, has just revised them, decidedly upwards
In reality, at least according to the analysis of another company, Ernst & Young, the difficulties in finding the microchips did not, however, penalize the margins of the manufacturers. Certainly not the top 16 of the world rankings who reported profits for a total of 71.5 billion. A record figure, not only when compared to the 4.1 billion of the January-June 2020 period, only partially marked by the pandemic. The houses focused on margins and continued to benefit from the support policies launched by the various governments, reducing part of the costs. In the first half of this year, also drawing on the “warehouses”, 33.5 million vehicles were marketed globally with a decrease of 11% compared to the first half of 2019. And yet the overall turnover ( 809 billion euros) was just 2% lower.
Now that stocks are exhausted, customers have to expect long waiting times. Several dealers no longer even have models to showcase and even the traditional rental vehicle tank is practically dry, as evidenced by the very high prices paid by those who booked a car at the last moment during the summer. Production has been slowed down and repeatedly suspended, practically in every part of the planet even from the houses that initially seemed to have been able to better manage the situation, such as BMW. In the first six months Volkswagen is 21% below expected production levels, Ford by 18%, Stellantis by 15% and General Motors by 12%. Toyota had formalized a contraction in production of 300,000 units during the current fiscal year, which runs from April to March, a reduction higher, but not far from that of Daimler (-2%).
Opinions seem to differ about the estimates on the end of the crisis. In July and at least from the Chinese point of view expressed by the head of local operations Stephan Wöllenstein, Volkswagen was beginning to “see the light at the end of the tunnel”. According to the manager, supplies should return to normalization starting from the end of the third quarter. Daimler’s numbers one, Ola Källenius, and BMW, Oliver Zipse, are less optimistic. Källenius hopes for an improvement in the last quarter, but expects a real alleviation of tension only in 2023. The problem, which initially seemed linked to the pandemic and accentuated both by political tensions between Trump’s United States and China and by some situations contingents (fires in Japan, bad weather in the United States and water shortages in Taiwan) and which turned out to be structural, will still affect “for the next six to twelve months”, prophesies Zipse.