Volkswagen Truck Unit warns chip shortage will reduce sales

Volkswagen’s truck unit faces “serious difficulties” in purchasing semiconductors that are weighing on sales at a time of increasing dem...


Volkswagen’s truck unit faces “serious difficulties” in purchasing semiconductors that are weighing on sales at a time of increasing demand, the company warned on Wednesday, offering the latest sign of how a global chip shortage slows down economic growth.

Traton, the maker of Scania, MAN and Navistar trucks, said it was also suffering from shortages of other critical components.

The shortages come as the global economy slowly rebounds as new coronavirus cases decline and consumers spend money saved during pandemic lockdowns. To meet demand, the company cannibalizes finished but unsold vehicle parts and installs them in trucks for which there are firm orders.

As a result, sales from July through September will be “significantly lower than expected,” even if customers are clamoring for trucks, Traton said. “The difficulties in the supply chain will have a stronger impact than expected.” Volkswagen owns 90 percent of the truck maker, which has a separate stock exchange listing.

Commodities like steel and aluminum have also become scarce, in part because manufacturers weren’t expecting demand to rebound so quickly. Shortages are preventing the global economy from recovering from the pandemic as quickly as it could otherwise.

“It’s not only semiconductor issues that are currently stretching global supply chains, it’s also the scarcity of many other products,” Matthias Gründler, CEO of Traton, said in a statement. He said he expected the shortages to continue until 2022.

Trucks are increasingly equipped with autonomous driving functions and other sophisticated electronic components that require semiconductors. Chipmakers were unprepared for increased demand from automakers and struggled to keep production going in the face of lockdowns in places like Malaysia, a major semiconductor producer.

A senior executive in Daimler’s truck unit said earlier this week that she was also in pain. “The situation has become more difficult for us” in the third quarter, Karin Radstrom, head of Mercedes-Benz brand trucks, said Tuesday at an online press conference.

“We’re really fighting right now to get every truck to get it out the door,” Ms. Radstrom said, “because customer demand is very, very good. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Volkswagen Truck Unit warns chip shortage will reduce sales
Volkswagen Truck Unit warns chip shortage will reduce sales
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