BERLIN -- The global semiconductor shortage has been a huge challenge for Audi, cutting down production by a five-digit number, the brand's CEO Markus Duesmann said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.
“We are a five-digit number of cars behind at the moment, which is huge for us,” Duesmann said. “We are fighting hard every day to recover as many of those units as possible. We don’t expect this problem to be completely solved until late 2022.”
Those comments echo those recently made by Renault CEO Luca de Meo, who said the effects of the global semiconductor shortage will be felt through next year.
Duesmann said Audi has set up a task force that is working on a number of ways to offset the effect of the shortage. This includes looking at how to build cars without some components and adding them later and re-specifying some components.
“It's an intense fight,” he added.
The chip shortage has forced automakers to leave out some high-end features to keep production moving. Nissan for example is not fitting navigation systems in thousands of vehicles that typically would have them because of the shortages.
Duesmann called the situation a "perfect storm" of COVID-19, lockdowns, a fire at Renesas' chip plant in Japan, a deep freeze in Texas that hit chip production there, and a ship loaded with chips getting stuck in the Suez Canal.
“What a disaster. It just happened and it couldn’t be solved, despite the force of the entire automotive industry,” he said. “Even that wasn't enough. So, you can imagine how big the problem is.”
- Click here to read the full interview with Markus Duesmann