Published: 29.03.2021 | Edited: 31.03.2021 | Tags: 100daystooffload

Automotive chip famine events

For the country where I live, Slovakia, automotive industry is a pretty significant sector. Since 2007, Slovakia has been the world's largest producer of cars per capita1, amounting to 12% of the Slovakia's GDP2.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, my professional background was in industrial automation. The company that employed me operated excursively on the local market. Although I am currently not focusing primarily on the automotive, I still keep an eye on the topic, because disruptions in the industry have serious consequences on the economy of the country where I live, which means it could also affect my future as a web developer / DevOps engineer in the local market. Furthermore, I keep electronics as a hobby, thus reading about the chip producers is also part of what I do.

The events that unfolded recently had a profound effect on the global supply chain. Specifically, automakers have difficulties supplying electronic chips for the cars they produce. My compilation of events that affected the automotive chip shortage, or chip famine so far:

  • Reduced chip supply due to demand for consumer electronics amid COVID-19 in January3
  • Border checks imposed on drivers to reduce COVID-19 spread in early February4
  • Freezing weather in Texas in late February - early March5
  • Fire in Renesas factory damaging 17 machines in March6
  • Suez canal obstruction in late March 7
  • Taiwan water rationing in April8

I have tried to make sure that all of the above to be relevant and somehow affected the supply chain in the Slovakia, although this is not an extensive research and without detailed data it is short of impossible. The references I have included point mostly to the news channels, and some could be behind a paywall, so not the best option. Hopefully the things start to get back to normal rather sooner than later.

Update: consumer electronics

As a side note, one of the major consumer electronics retail chain in slovakia. Nay.sk announced that they suffer from lack of personal notebooks on their shelves9. It looks like this all will have further implications.

This is a 19th post of #100daystooffload.

References