BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group expects to produce even fewer cars in 2022 than this year due to semiconductor supply troubles, a German business magazine reported.
The automaker, which reduced its forecast for 2021 vehicle deliveries last week to 9 million from 9.3 million, is preparing for the possibility that the current chips shortage could last until at least early 2023, the report said.
In the worst-case scenario, deliveries could fall to 8 million cars next year -- but even if things go relatively well, deliveries could be slightly below this year's, it said. Manager Magazin reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
VW Group, which owns brands including Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Skoda, declined to comment on the report, stating it expected a slight easing of the supply situation in 2022 but that the first half of the year would remain very volatile.
VW Group's deliveries rose 6.9 percent to just below 7 million vehicles in the first nine months, the automaker said in an earnings statement on Oct. 28.
VW Group's sales plunged 16 percent to 9.2 million vehicles in 2020, hit by production stoppages and the temporary closures of showrooms during lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.
VW's labor boss Daniela Cavallo also expects the chips crunch to worsen. "There will still be shortages all next year. And things will not suddenly get better in 2023 either. We still have the worst ahead of us," Cavallo said.
Audi and Skoda are lengthening their Christmas breaks to Jan. 10 because of the supply bottlenecks.
Audi said it expected the situation to carry on for "months on end."
"We expect to be occupied with this crisis for months on end in the coming year," a spokesperson said. "The scarcity could extend for even longer."
Porsche said in November the crisis highlighted the need for automakers to take production into their own hands. "Anyone who believes the chip crisis will calm itself in the next year is mistaken," CEO Oliver Blume told Germany's Boersen-Zeitung.
Automakers including BMW and Daimler have said they expect chip problems to continue well into 2022, with BMW confirming to Reuters on Thursday it did not expect the crisis to ease until the second half of next year.
Whether buying computer chips directly from manufacturers, reconfiguring cars, or producing them with parts missing, many automakers are getting creative to cope with the global shortage that some had expected would ease by the beginning of next year.