Last week’s destructive earthquake in Japan could exacerbate the global microchip shortage, just as the tally of vehicles removed from factory schedules so far this year passes the 1 million mark.
Renesas Electronics Corp., a major producer of automotive chips, last week halted production at three Japanese plants following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday, March 16.
Two of the plants remained shut down at week’s end, while the third resumed partial production on test lines. It was not clear when full production could restart.
The disaster left 2 million households without power in Japan, but also threatens to have ripple effects in the auto supply chain. About 1.2 million vehicles have been cut from global production plans this year because of chip shortages, AutoForecast Solutions estimates. That is up from about 929,500 vehicles one week earlier, driven in large part by additional production cuts in Europe and Asia.