In a rare spot of encouraging news on the global microchip shortage, AutoForecast Solutions has trimmed back its worst-case estimate for lost North American vehicle production.
AFS now projects that North American factories will ultimately cut 3,414,372 cars and trucks from their production plans before the chip crisis is resolved. That is an 897-vehicle improvement.
The revision may be negligible in the big picture: AFS still anticipates that missing chips will cost the global auto industry more than 11.3 million vehicles before all is said and done. But the tiny improvement may be a harbinger that automaker efforts to navigate the supply chain crisis are having some results.
Automakers in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser degree, South America and the Middle East/Africa region have made additional cuts.
European plants knocked more than 56,000 more vehicles off of their production plans, while those in Asia, including Japan and South Korea, have deleted another 30,000.
Automakers have taken steps to steer around bottlenecks by dropping some chip-based features from their build orders, such as General Motors’ move to produce vehicles without heated steering wheels.
But even as manufacturers look for new workarounds, most are reconciled to the likelihood that chip shortages will continue into 2022.