Car sales plunge as chip shortages stifle supply


General Motors said its sales fell by a third from last quarter last year, and were down 40% from the same quarter of 2019 before the pandemic hit the auto market. . Sales of Stellantis, the company formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and French group PSA, fell 19% from a year ago and 27% from the pre-pandemic period.

At Toyota Motor, which includes Toyota and Lexus, third-quarter sales edged up 1.4% from a year ago. But that three-month total includes a 22% drop in September sales. (The company breaks down the monthly sales figures, unlike GM and Stellantis.) While Toyota has reported fewer supply chain disruptions than other major automakers, it has also had to cut production at some more factories. recently.

So, all automakers have pointed to semiconductor supply chain disruptions and historically low inventories as a sales issue.

“As the various supply chain issues facing our industry continue to impact inventory on hand, we know the demand for our vehicles is still there,” said Jeff Kommor, Head of State Sales. -Unis for Stellantis.

The vehicle shortage also drove record prices for new and used cars for much of this year, which also weighed on sales as some buyers were shut out of the new car market.
The auto industry has faced a shortage of computer chips needed to build cars for over a year. DG (DG) said he expects the situation to improve in the last three months of 2021, but earlier this year automakers had hoped things would have improved at this point. Instead, GM was forced to temporarily shut down production at most of its North American factories.

“The semiconductor supply disruptions that affected our wholesale and customer shipments in the third quarter are improving,” the country’s largest automaker said in a statement. “As we look into the fourth quarter, a steady stream of vehicles held in factories will continue to be distributed to dealerships, we are restarting production in major crossover and car factories, and we look forward to a more favorable environment. ‘more stable operation until the fall. “

The computer chip shortage began when auto sales plunged in the first weeks of the pandemic, due to record job losses and the temporary shutdowns of many factories and dealerships. Most automakers, expecting a prolonged decline in sales, have cut orders for computer chips and other parts. When sales rebounded much faster than expected, the supply of chips had already gone to other customers.
While automakers expected to be able to increase their supply of chips by the middle of this year, they have been hit by outbreaks of Covid cases in other regions, such as Southeast Asia, where many chip factories have been closed. And other supply chain issues, including an imbalance in shipping containers and congestion at the country’s ports, a shortage of truck drivers and general labor shortages, have started to limit the supply of other necessary parts and raw materials.

Other automakers are expected to release their results later Friday or Monday.

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