Auto industry warns UK jobs ‘at risk’ over semiconductor crisis Car News

Auto industry bosses have called on the government to extend some of the financial support measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic to protect jobs at risk due to the current production crisis caused by the semiconductor shortage.

The limited supply of chips, exacerbated by the growing demand for consumer electronics during lockdowns, has impacted automotive production globally, prompting some companies to stop manufacturing and even develop versions of cars. containing less semiconductors.

Speaking during an Autocar Business webinar on the crisis, Mike Hawes, the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), warned that the auto industry has “not yet reached the middle of the crisis. “, predicting that the turbulence would continue. throughout 2022.

When asked if jobs could be threatened by the production disruption, Hawes replied, “Absolutely. We have written to government ministers about this in recent days. Things are rushing now, as the impact of some of these production shutdowns not only impacts the automaker, but goes up the supply chain.

“OEM [car makers] must say to their supplier: ‘No, I don’t want the delivery of the parts that I had planned in my production plan.’ Chances are the supplier made these parts, so they have money that cannot come out.

“When you think about what’s happened to every business in the last 18 months, the demands for liquidity have been particularly stretched because of the bottlenecks and everything else and unpredictable levels of demand. I’m worried about the supply chain because they are exposed to this and they don’t have their pockets as deep as a large OEM. “

Noting that the roots of the semiconductor crisis were linked to the pandemic, Hawes called on the government to consider extending some of the support measures introduced to help mitigate the economic impact of Covid.

“There are things the government could do [to reduce the impact of the semiconductor crisis], and we need a degree of urgency around that, ”Hawes said. “The government has thrown its arms around the economy for the past 18 months. As a sector, we have benefited from the leave scheme, but it is coming to an end. I think we need to take a very close look if you can expand this for specific needs as this is a Covid issue.

“The whole economy is not affected in the same way about Covid and we have seen it. We are currently seeing a particularly acute problem in the automotive industry. There are similar problems in aviation: it is certain that high-level and very advanced manufacturing elements are particularly prone at the present time.

“We would like to see a continuation of this type of support, as we need to maintain and retain the supply chain we have in the UK because OEMs – not just here but elsewhere – depend on it. We would like to see a continuation of some of the measures currently in place by the government which are due to expire, as this is a short term measure and it is a Covid-related issue that we are trying to address. “

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This notice was published: 2021-09-02 12:37:24

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