A fire-damaged Japanese factory that supplies many of the auto industry’s computer chips is producing about 88% of what it was making before the fire in March, its owner says
DETROIT – A fire-damaged Japanese factory that supplies many of the auto industry’s computer chips is producing about 88% of what it was making before the March fires, its owner says.
Renesas Electronics Corp said Tuesday that replacements for the fire-damaged equipment would arrive on May 27, and should run in mid-June. This would allow the company to return to full production.
Even with the Renesas plant back in action, the shortfall in production is likely to take months to catch on. More sophisticated models have more than 80 different computers that control everything from the touch screen to the transmission to partially automatic driver safety features.
Automakers closed factories for nearly two months at the start of the pandemic last year to help stop it from spreading. But they came back faster than expected, and by then, chip makers had increasingly shifted production to consumer electronics. Then Renesa caught fire.
The shortage is forcing the auto industry to rethink its supply chains and perhaps cancel parts deliveries at some point.