Sould a part the size of a rice grain and worth less than a penny slow down and even stop a 5,000-pound, $50,000, full-size truck from being sold? When that tiny part is a microchip that triggers an airbag, fires a fuel injector or commands a navigation system, the answer is yes.
"This isn't going to go away quickly," Phil Amsrud, an IHS Markit senior principal analyst, warned Automotive News in late January. "It's a complicated situation. The root cause of all this is COVID. The system just got out of whack ... and it's going to take awhile to get it back in order."
In January, consulting firm AlixPartners estimated the global auto industry would lose nearly $61 billion in revenue this year because of the chip shortage. It has since amended that to $110 billion.