Semiconductor shortage hits carmakers

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Semiconductor shortage hits carmakers

The global semiconductor shortage is hitting one of the industry's most important gear makers, potentially creating a vicious cycle that will strain supply to companies from Nissan Motor Co. to Apple Inc.

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ASML Holding NV, whose machines are essential to the production of advanced semiconductors, is waging a daily fight to secure chips for itself, Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink warned. That is why Europe's largest producer of chipmaking equipment set up a team dedicated to tracking down and procuring supplies around the world - personally, if necessary.

Wennink said in an online press conference on Wednesday that our suppliers do. We figure out which semiconductor manufacturers make these chips, then we pick up the phone and we call them up and say: Can you help us? ASML is the world's only source of extreme ultraviolet lithography machines used by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Samsung Electronics Co. and Intel Corp. for the most advanced fabrication. It remains on track to ship 55 of the bus-sized systems -- costing 150 million euros $170 million apiece this year and more in 2023 - but demand still outstrips its capacity by 40% to 50% and it could take up to three years to rebalance that, the CEO said.

Its plight has raised the possibility of a never-ending loop in which a shortage of chips hits gear makers, which can't crank out enough machines that TSMC and its peers need to produce semiconductors. That is bad for a lot of industries, particularly carmakers, because they are worst-hit by the shortages. Nissan Motor Co. CEO Makoto Uchida warned on Thursday that production stoppages could persist, making the situation uncertain.

ASML s Attempt to Speed Up its Supply Hits Sales Forecasts

In 2021, ASML hired close to 6,000 people and is expanding headcount by thousands more this year. That will take time, and that will take time, said Wennink, who said that people need to be trained, they need to get up the learning curve.

Nissan is just the latest in a string of carmakers who have sounded the alarm going into 2022. Toyota Motor Corp. slashed its February production by more than 150,000 cars and said it would be very difficult to achieve its full-year target in February. A week earlier, Renault SA CEO Luca de Meo said he expects the chip crunch to continue to haunt automakers through the rest of the year, saying disruptions are likely to peak in the first six months.

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