SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. forecast on Tuesday its vehicle production would rebound in the first half of this year as a global chip shortage is expected to ease gradually from the second quarter.
"The normalization of auto chip supply and demand is expected in the third quarter, when the capacity of semiconductor companies is expected to rise," Executive Vice President Seo Gang Hyun said on Hyundai's conference call.
The shortage will continue in the first quarter due to the spread of the Omicron variant, Seo said, adding it was the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia and resulting chip sourcing troubles that pushed Hyundai's sales to less than the targeted 4 million vehicles in 2021.
Southeast Asia is central to the supply of basic chips that drive the world's cars, smartphones and home devices, with Malaysia's chip assembly industry accounting for more than a tenth of a global trade worth over $200 billion. COVID-related lockdowns in the region have disrupted several industries since last year.
Hyundai said it expects a 20 percent sales jump in its biggest market, North America, in 2022.