Toyota needs more than its Cheer Squad to deal with chip shortages, as five more home factories forced into idleness

Car makers facing increasingly tough times until supply catches up


Toyota said it would cut car production by up to 150,000 vehicles due to ongoing semiconductor shortages and restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The car maker is idling five factories in home country Japan on some days in November, which affects the production of popular models including Corolla and Camry.

Toyota started cutting production in August due to chip shortages and said, "we expect the shortage of semiconductors to continue in the long-term".

The company in May celebrated its business philosophy, generally known as "The Toyota Way," for helping the company sidestep struggles like chip shortages and earthquakes in the past.

But reality soon came crashing in, and Toyota issued notices in August and September about production cuts.

The popular brand could use its unique Toyota Cheer Squad about now with the chips down. But cheerleading doesn't create chips.

Toyota said it was expecting to ramp up production in November to make up for initial shortfalls after production was cut in previous months, also due to chip shortages. Efforts are also underway to strengthen the supply chain and deliver cars to customers.

Chip supply chain struggles also affected India-based Tata Motors, which owns the Jaguar Land Rover brand. The company earlier this month reported that 92,710 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles sold for the quarter ending September 2021 – an 18.4 per cent decline from the same quarter a year ago.

The company noted strong demand for its cars, but chip shortages affected operations, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The global semiconductor supply issue represents a significant near-term challenge for the industry which will take time to work through," explained Lennard Hoornik, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Commercial Officer, in the filing.

Car makers are taking to designing their own chips, to give them better control over the supply of parts. It's similar to what Apple did for its devices by moving chip design in-house, and cutting reliance on Intel for CPUs and Imagination Technologies for GPUs.

Tesla, which designs its own chips, is a hardware and software company making technology products, not just a car company, Elon Musk said during a shareholder meeting earlier this month.

Hyundai reportedly intends to design chips internally and cut reliance on chip makers.

Intel, Qualcomm and Nvidia are among the companies supplying chips to car makers. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Meg Whitman – former HP and eBay CEO – nominated as US ambassador to Kenya

    Donated $110K to Democrats in recent years

    United States president Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate former HPE and eBay CEO Meg Whitman as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya.

    The Biden administration's announcement of the planned nomination reminds us that Whitman has served as CEO of eBay, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Quibi. Whitman also serves on the boards of Procter & Gamble, and General Motors.

    The announcement doesn't remind readers that Whitman has form as a Republican politician – she ran for governor of California in 2010, then backed the GOP's Mitt Romney in his 2008 and 2012 bids for the presidency. She later switched political allegiance and backed the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.

    Continue reading
  • Ex-Qualcomm Snapdragon chief turns CEO at AI chip startup MemryX

    Meet the new boss

    A former executive leading Qualcomm's Snapdragon computing platforms has departed the company to become CEO at an AI chip startup.

    Keith Kressin will lead product commercialization for MemryX, which was founded in 2019 and makes memory-intensive AI chiplets.

    The company is now out of stealth mode and will soon commercially ship its AI chips to non-tech customers. The company was testing early generations of its chips with industries including auto and robotics.

    Continue reading
  • Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

    Expect flight delays and diversions, US Federal Aviation Administation warns

    The new 5G C-band wireless broadband service expected to rollout on 5 January 2022 in the US will disrupt local radio signals and make it difficult for airplanes to land safely in harsh weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Pilots rely on radio altimeter readings to figure out when and where an aircraft should carry out a series of operations to prepare for touchdown. But the upcoming 5G C-band service beaming from cell towers threatens to interfere with these signals, the FAA warned in two reports.

    Flights may have to be delayed or restricted at certain airports as the new broadband service comes into effect next year. The change could affect some 6,834 airplanes and 1,828 helicopters. The cost to operators is expected to be $580,890.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021