September 28, 2021
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Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes
California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
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Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
Sep
2021
9

Mercedes, VW, BMW warn chip shortage could last until 2023

MUNICH — The global semiconductor shortage may not entirely go away next year and could take until 2023 to be resolved. executives said at the IAA Munich auto show.

Soaring demand for semiconductors means the auto industry could struggle to source enough of them throughout next year and into 2023, though the shortage should be less severe by then, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said.

“Several chip suppliers have been referring to structural problems with demand,” Kallenius said. “This could influence 2022 and [the situation] may be more relaxed in 2023.”

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said he expects supply chains to remain tight well into 2022. “I expect that the general tightness of the supply chains will continue in the next six to 12 months,” he said.

Zipse said he saw no issues in the long-term, adding that the automotive industry was an attractive client for chipmakers.

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said shortages will continue for the next months or even years because semiconductors are in high demand.

“The internet of things is growing and the capacity ramp-up will take time. It will be probably a bottleneck for the next months and years to come,” he said.

VW purchasing chief Murat Aksel said semiconductor supply remains very volatile and tight in the third quarter. “We hope for a gradual recovery by the end of the year,” he said..

The auto industry worldwide would need roughly 10 percent more production capacity for chips, Aksel said.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo said the situation regarding the shortage was tougher than expected during the current quarter.

He said the next quarter should bring some improvement despite a poor visibility.

Renault was sticking to its previous forecast for a cut to production of 200,000 cars in 2021 due to the shortage, de Meo said.

Automakers, forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to shut down plants last year, face stiff competition from the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip deliveries, which have been upended by a series of supply chain disruptions.

Cars have become increasingly dependent on chips — for everything from computer management of engines for better fuel economy to advanced driver assistance features such as emergency braking.

Daimler recently cut its annual sales forecast for its car division, projecting deliveries will be roughly in line with 2020, rather than up significantly.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand has been hit this quarter by factory shutdowns in Malaysia, which in recent years emerged as a major center for chip testing and packaging.

Infineon Technologies, NXP Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics are among the key suppliers operating plants in the country.

Kallenius said Daimler hopes its own supply of semiconductors will improve in the fourth quarter.

Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report

Aug
2021
27

Computer chip shortage continues to plague the Big Three, auto industry

DETROIT – The semiconductor shortage that has hampered the auto industry, created vehicle shortages and higher prices isn’t likely to end any time soon.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has cut its global production 40%.

According to Mark Fulthorpe, with IHS Markit Production Forecasting, the manufacturing of the semiconductors had stalled, but now the testing and shipping of the chips is the current issue,.

“We’re seeing a spill over in Malaysia production at the moment, where we’re seeing COVID cases returning that is disrupting another part of the supply chain,” Fulthorpe said.

Malaysia shut down for two months and manufacturers only went back to work this week.

“COVID-19 was 2020′s problem and semiconductors were 2021′s problem,” Fulthorpe said. “I think the recent evidence proves the two are intrinsically linked.”

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Domestic automakers have adjusted staffing production.

GM will close the Orion Assembly Plant. The Lansing Grand River SUV plant was supposed to open before Labor Day, now it won’t. The Cadillac production that has been down since May will not return until mid-September.

Related: Train derailment destroys hundreds of Ford F-150s, vans, report says

Ford will take down production at its Kansas City F-150 plant. Its Dearborn Assembly is running and helping with tight supplies.

The shortage of chips and vehicles is expected to last into the second quarter of 2022. Fulthorpe said the industry won’t recover until the pandemic ends.

More: Automotive

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Aug
2021
24

Three U.S. Senators Send Letter Asking Taiwan To Increase Automotive Chip Production


Two senators from Michigan and one from Ohio have sent a letter to Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in Washington, asking the nation for more help addressing the semiconductor chip disruption.

The letter, signed by Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow from Michigan and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, praised Taiwan’s efforts so far but asked for more help as the automotive industry continues to struggle to produce cars as a result of the supply issue.

The senators said they were “hopeful you will continue to work with your government and (chip) foundries to do everything possible to mitigate the risk confronting our state economies.”

Read Also: GM Is Parking 1,000 SUVs And Trucks Every Day As It Awaits Chips

Intermittent production cuts have plagued the industry for the last year as semiconductor chip suppliers face their own COVID-19 disruptions and, in many cases, focused their efforts on the consumer electronics industry that boomed during the pandemic.

“What we are hearing at this point is that the risk of shortages clearly has extended into 2022, despite the considerable efforts in Taiwan to augment production,” the senators wrote.

Speaking to Reuters, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said that it has been working closely with the United States to address supply chain issues.

“We believe that Taiwan and the United States can jointly establish a safe and reliable supply chain for key industries,” the ministry said.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, was also hopeful last month when it announced that shortages would gradually tail off this quarter for its customers. It also expects overall semiconductor capacity tightness to continue into 2022, though. Indeed, a number of automakers are now reporting that they will suffer production shortfallsin the coming months as a result of the supply disruption.

“Demand for vehicles—from cars to commercial trucks—is now up, yet the lack of semiconductor chips is preventing this renewed demand from being met,” the senators wrote. “The U.S. is now the most impacted region in the world.”

Whether or not the Taiwanese government will be able to affect change remains to be seen, but semiconductor supply issues seem likely to continue in the near future no matter what.

Aug
2021
23

Toyota cars, trucks, SUVs face limited availability amid chip shortage

That Toyota RAV4 you’ve been thinking about buying?

You might have to wait a while.

Toyota on Thursday announced temporary vehicle production cuts at operations in Japan and North America due to the global shortage of semiconductor chips.

The move is expected to further cramp the availability of new Toyota cars and trucks, which have already been in short supply in some cases.

What vehicles will be limited?

“A little bit of everything,” Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said in an email.

The slowdown in production affects all of the company’s North American plants, including factories in Indiana and Kentucky, and is expected to last through September and “likely” into October, Vazin said. 

A shortage of new vehicles caused by the chip shortage has rippled across the auto industry, driving up used car prices to record highs and making currently leased vehicles more valuable. In some cases, used cars are increasing in value, shocking analysts who have long noted that cars are a depreciating asset.

Prices of new and used cars jump:It’s harder to buy a vehicle for less than $10,000

Got a car lease?:Your vehicle could be worth thousands of dollars more than expected because of COVID-19

Toyota said it expects to reduce its output by about 60,000 to 90,000 vehicles in August and 80,000 in September.

Toyota has 14 plants in North America, including 10 in the U.S., with a total of more than 176,000 employees. The automaker’s U.S. plants made about 1 million of the 2.1 million vehicles the company sold in America in 2020.

The Toyota brand had only 20 days supply of new vehicles on hand at the end of July, while the company’s luxury Lexus brand had 23 days supply, according to Cox Automotive, which owns Kelley Blue Book and Autograder. The national average was 32 days.

“Toyota has been at or near the bottom for inventory for many months,” Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said in an email. “Lexus has been lowest among luxury makes.”

Part of the reason is that Toyota vehicles have been particularly popular during the pandemic, she said.

Toyota had already taken steps to reduce production in certain situations, including the output of the Tundra full-size pickup at its plant in San Antonio, Texas, said Chris Reynolds, Toyota North America executive.

“Long term we’re going to continue to work with our suppliers to get a better grasp of the global supply chain and minimize its impact,” said Reynolds, chief administrative officer of corporate resources.

You can follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter here for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning.

Aug
2021
21

Volkswagen and Toyota face production cuts due to chip shortage | Automotive industry

Volkswagen and Toyota have become the latest carmakers to warn about production cuts because of the global computer chip shortage.

German car manufacturer Volkswagen said a semiconductor supply crunch could force it to slow production lines during the autumn, adding to cuts that have been in place since February. Japanese firm Toyota also reported that it would slash output by 40% in September.

Carmakers have struggled after a recovery in demand stretched supply chains earlier this year, with Covid-19 outbreaks across Asia hitting chip production and operations at commercial ports.

“We currently expect supply of chips in the third quarter to be very volatile and tight,” said Volkswagen, the second largest carmaker behind Toyota.

“We can’t rule out further changes to production,” the company told Reuters.

The Wolfsburg-based carmaker said it expected the situation would improve by the end of the year, and aimed to make up for production shortfalls in the second half as far as possible.

New car prices have begun to rise in response to the limited supplies of cars, but the most noticeable impact has been on the secondhand car market, where prices have jumped by 14% year on year in the UK and more than 40% in the US.

Toyota said it intended to reduce global production for September by 40% compared with its previous plan, according to the Nikkei business daily. This pushed its shares down by 4.4% on Thursday.

Shares in European carmakers and suppliers were also broadly weaker, with BMW, Daimler, Renault, Volkswagen and Stellantis – the maker of Peugeot and Fiat cars – all down by more than 2%.

The latest production woes follow news that German chipmaker Infineon, the top automotive supplier, was forced to suspend production at one of its plants in Malaysia in June, due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Reinhard Ploss, the Infineon chief executive, said earlier this month that the automotive industry faced “acute supply limitations across the entire value chain” and it would take until well into 2022 for supply and demand to be brought back into balance.

Analysts at ING said some Taiwanese semiconductor companies unaffected by the Delta variant of Covid-19 were pushing production beyond the usual 100% to satisfy demand.

Ford said on Wednesday it would halt output for a week on production lines that build its bestselling F-150 pickup trucks because of the shortage. The shutdown will begin on Monday.

Earlier this month, General Motors suspended production for a week at three North American truck plants, while Nissan halted it for two weeks at a Tennessee plant because of a Covid-19 outbreak at a chip plant in Malaysia.

Phone and computer makers have also reported semiconductor shortages. Apple executives said that while the impact was less severe than feared in the third quarter, it would get worse in the current quarter, and could hit iPhone production.

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Such is the impact on the US car industry and

Aug
2021
9

GM to restart pickup output; adds downtime at crossover, sedan plants due to chip shortage

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the restart date for the Lansing Delta Township, Spring Hill and Ramos Arizpe assembly plants.

General Motors will resume full-size pickup production Monday, as planned, after cutting output this week due to the global microchip shortage, the automaker said Wednesday. But six other North American plants will take additional downtime, including Fairfax Assembly, which has been idled for nearly six months.

GM’s pickup plants — Flint Assembly in Michigan, Silao Assembly in Mexico and Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana — will restart full production Monday. Flint had been operating on only one shift this week, and Fort Wayne and Silao were idled.

The chip shortage has hampered production for GM and other automakers since early this year. GM has prioritized chips for its lucrative full-size pickup and SUV segments over crossovers and sedans. AutoForecast Solutions estimates that the chip crisis has reduced North America vehicle production by 1.8 million vehicles so far. It projects the total impact could reach 2.1 million.

GM scheduled additional downtime at six other plants:

Lansing Delta Township, Spring Hill, Ramos Arizpe assembly plants: Each of the plants will take an additional week of downtime. GM now expects production to restart Aug. 9 after shutting down July 19. Ramos, in Mexico, builds the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox. Spring Hill, in Tennessee, builds the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 and the GMC Acadia. Lansing Delta Township, in Michigan, builds the Chevy Traverse and the Buick Enclave.

San Luis Potosi Assembly: The plant in Mexico will add three more weeks of downtime and is now scheduled to resume production Aug. 23. The plant has been down since July 19. It builds the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.

Lansing Grand River Assembly: GM plans to resume production at the Michigan plant Aug. 30, two weeks later than planned. Production of the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans at the plant has been down since May 10. Production of the Chevy Camaro, also built at Lansing Grand River, will not be impacted.

Fairfax Assembly: The Kansas City plant will take an additional four weeks of downtime. It was expected to resume production Aug. 23. Now Cadillac XT4 production is scheduled to restart Sept. 20, but Chevrolet Malibu production will remain idled, GM said. Fairfax has been down since Feb. 8.

Aug
2021
6

Porsche, Audi, VW brands flag chip risk in months ahead

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen Group’s top three brands have pointed to an ongoing shortage of automotive chips that could intensify in the coming months, highlighting the industry’s difficulty in tackling the issue.

“Although there are signs that the supply bottlenecks for semiconductors are beginning to ease, we expect a very challenging third quarter from a supply perspective,” said Alexander Seitz, CFO of VW’s namesake brand.

VW said on Thursday that lost production due to the crisis, which started to hit the automotive industry at the end of 2020, currently stood at a high six digit number of vehicles.

Volkswagen still managed to produce record profits for the first half of 2021, favoring high-margin Porsches and Audis in its allocation of chips, a key component in modern vehicles.

“In spite of all this success, we are well advised to keep both feet on the ground,” Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke said. “Because regardless of the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic, the continuing tense situation on the semiconductor market could become noticeable in the third quarter.”

VW, which has been hit by the bottleneck along with rivals Daimler, BMW, GM and Ford, on Thursday said it had managed the situation quite well, but also highlighted “some impact” in the third quarter to September.

Audi, Volkswagen’s biggest profit contributor, on Friday said there were signs that the months ahead would be marked by a critical supply situation.

“Audi continues to work intensely on counter-measures, but in view of the continuing shortage it is not expected to be possible to compensate in full in the course of the year for lost production,” it said.

Jul
2021
28

Car chip shortage to abate, smartphones could be next: industry execs

Employees are seen working on the final assembly of ASML’s TWINSCAN NXE:3400B semiconductor lithography tool with its panels removed, in Veldhoven, Netherlands, in this picture taken April 4, 2019. Bart van Overbeeke Fotografie/ASML/Handout via REUTERS

July 23 (Reuters) – The semiconductor shortage that has gripped the world could last well into 2022 and hit smartphone production next, foreshadowing deficient supply for a range of appliances and industrial equipment, industry executives and an economist said.

The automotive sector has suffered the most this year but supply to the sector could improve relatively soon, with China taking up some production demand that Taiwan could not meet, ING Greater China chief economist Iris Pang told Reuters Global Markets Forum this week.

Taiwanese semiconductor companies have boosted production in China as blackouts and ongoing COVID-19 social distancing measures disrupted factory output and port operations in Taiwan, she said.

“China gained 5% on the chip shortage in terms of GDP – Taiwan semiconductor companies have planned well and built large factories in mainland China,” Pang said, predicting that smartphone makers will be the next segment to face disruptions.

“Taiwanese semiconductor companies are tailoring making chips for autos, so the chip shortage should be solved for autos in a few weeks, but other electronics’ chip shortage problem persists,” Pang said, adding that could delay shipments of some new model smartphones.

Companies across industries globally have warned of an ongoing struggle to source chips.

ASML (ASML.AS), one of the world’s biggest suppliers to semiconductor makers, hiked its sales outlook this week on strong orders as chip giants such as TSMC (2330.TW) and Intel (INTC.O) raced to boost output.

The broader supply crunch could last until the second quarter of 2022, said Adam Khan, founder of AKHAN Semiconductor, although he noted this timeline was “aspirational.”

Andrew Feldman, CEO of chip startup Cerebras Systems, echoed that view, saying vendors were quoting lead times as long as 32 weeks for new chips and components.

ING’s Pang said even crypto miners are seeking ways to recycle “used” chips, which implies the shortage wasn’t going away.

Higher demand for chips, fuelled by one-off purchases to meet work-from-home needs and continuous demand for smartphones and other electronics, is expected to spur investment and growth in the sector.

The chips industry could grow between 21% to 25% in 2021, with “electronics having its best showing since 2010,” said Dan Hutcheson, CEO of chips-focused VLSI Research.

So far this year, the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index (.SOX) has outpaced the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) with gains of over 16% versus 13%.

(These interviews were conducted in the Reuters Global Markets Forum chat room on Refinitiv Messenger. Join GMF: https://refini.tv/33uoFoQ)

Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Divya Chowdhury and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Jul
2021
25

Biden team sees chip relief coming soon for carmakers on supply gains

Biden administration officials say they’re starting to see signs of relief for the global semiconductor supply shortage, including commitments from manufacturers to make more automotive-grade chips for car companies that have had to idle production.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has led President Joe Biden’s efforts on chip supply, has brokered a series of meetings between semiconductor manufacturers, their suppliers, and their customers including automakers. Senior administration officials said the meetings helped ease mistrust between the sides related to the chipmakers’ production and allocation and automakers’ orders.

The result has been more transparency about the manufacturers’ production and shipments and a gradual increase in supply for automakers, Raimondo said in an interview. The administration has also recently pressed governments in Malaysia and Vietnam to ensure semiconductor plants would be deemed “critical” businesses and maintain some production following COVID-19 outbreaks, officials said.

“You’re starting to see some improvements,” Raimondo said, adding that in recent weeks, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley and General Motors CEO Mary Barra have told her that “they’re starting to get a little bit more of what they need” and the situation is “a little bit better.”

A Goldman Sachs analysis published last month said that the peak impact of the chip shortage was in the second quarter and auto production “should jump in July.” But U.S. automakers continue to struggle with the shortage, which is estimated to be taking a $110 billion toll on the industry.

Ford is closing or curtailing production at eight factories this month, including the plant manufacturing its new version of the iconic Bronco SUV. Five of GM’s North American plants will experience “downtime” due to “semiconductor production adjustments” this month and in August, according to GM spokesman David Barnas.

And tens of thousands of new cars remain sitting in lots outside U.S. factories, waiting for the chips that power their onboard computers.

A Ford spokeswoman declined to comment. Barnas confirmed the Barra conversation with Raimondo and provided a statement the company issued July 15.

GM’s “global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to maximize production of our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” the statement said.

The semiconductor shortage predated the Biden administration but emerged as a crisis for the new president earlier this year, when U.S. automakers were forced to begin curtailing production for lack of chips. Manufacturing of semiconductors is concentrated with a pair of Asian companies, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co.

TSMC, a key partner to many of the world’s biggest carmakers, said last week the company will ramp up production of microcontrollers by close to 60 percent this year, a move expected to greatly boost supplies for its automobile clients starting this quarter.

Semiconductor manufacturers and auto companies generally don’t see eye-to-eye on the causes of the shortage and the solutions. Auto companies have complained about a lack of transparency in how

Jul
2021
17

On Chip Shortage Affecting Car Supply, 93% Think It’s a Big Deal

  • A new survey conducted last month by Automotive News about the global chip shortage finds that almost everyone in the auto industry thinks it’s a big problem.
  • Today, according to the survey, 53 percent of respondents said they source their chips from outside the U.S., and 55 percent are looking for alternative chip sources outside the country.
  • Changes are happening, of course, from temporary production pauses and a shift to models that are either in high demand or require fewer chips.

    The auto industry is fully aware just how bad the current chip shortage is. Anecdotally, this has been clear for a while. Ford CEO Jim Farley, for example, recently said that the chip shortage is “perhaps the greatest supply shock” he’s ever seen. Automotive News used that quote in a new survey of automakers and suppliers called Examining the Global Chip Shortage, which gives us plenty of survey data to back up the feeling that this is a big, big deal.

    Perhaps the most surprising number in the survey is that only—yes, only—93 percent of respondents said that they think the chip shortage will have a severe impact on the auto industry. The survey was conducted a month ago, before recent estimates put the shortage’s impact on the auto industry at $110 billion in lost revenue this year. But even in January, the estimates were around $50 billion, which apparently wasn’t severe enough for 7 percent of respondents.

    There’s also the feeling that the chip shortage will stretch out for most of the rest of the year. Almost three-quarters of respondents, 72 percent, said they expect the chip shortage crisis to impact the industry for at least six months.

    Just a reminder that the shortage of the chips, used in cars, computers, and other products, was caused by worldwide demand for electronic goods that intensified because of the coronavirus pandemic, along with inadequate planning in the supply chain and weather problems. As the New York Times pointed out, a new vehicle can have up to 100 of these semiconductor chips on board; they’re used (and needed) in components from touchscreens to transmissions.

    While there have been efforts to start making more semiconductors in the U.S., newly proposed plants will take time to build and start producing chips. The survey provides us with some insight into where automakers and suppliers are getting their chips now: 53 percent get them from outside the U.S. today and 55 percent are looking to source chips from outside the U.S. in the future. Forty-eight percent said they’d rather buy chips from domestic suppliers.

    Survey respondents were somewhat uncertain about which segments of the industry will be most impacted by the shortage. Half (49 percent) said it will be the automakers, while 30 percent believe dealers and retailers will be hardest hit, and 23 percent said it will be the suppliers.

    If there are bright spots to be found in the numbers, they lie in the way the industry is adapting to the situation.