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May 6, 2021

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Chip shortage hurts Stellantis output

A GLOBAL semiconductor shortage hit production at US-European auto giant Stellantis in the first quarter but the owner of 14 brands including Peugeot, Fiat and Chrysler still booked strong sales, the company said yesterday.

The coronavirus pandemic sparked huge demand for computers and electronic devices as people were stuck at home, leading to a shortage in chips that are also essential in cars. The shortages have affected automakers across the globe, including Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Stellantis, which was created by the merger of Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat-Chrysler.

Stellantis said the “headwinds from the global semiconductor crisis” led to a shortfall in output of around 190,000 units in the first quarter.

The figure represents 11 percent of planned production for the period from January to March at a car manufacturer whose diverse brands include Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. And while there was “limited visibility” with regard to the full-year impact of the microchip shortage, Stellantis expected the second quarter to be worse than the first.

Out of Stellantis’ 44 factories in Brazil, France and the United States, some eight sites have suspended some assembly lines or introduced short-time work in the face of shortages, chief financial officer, Richard Palmer, said.

Nevertheless, the company posted “strong” revenues in the January-March period, Palmer insisted.

“With the diverse brand portfolio driving increased volumes, positive pricing and improved product mix,” group revenues rose by 14 percent to 37 billion euros (US$44 billion) and overall shipments were up 11 percent at 1.6 million units, the carmaker said.


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