The latest numbers on the automotive microchip shortage

Automakers around the world are catching a break from the global shortage in microchips this week, with factories trimming only about 31,000 vehicles from their schedules, according to the latest forecast from AutoForecast Solutions.

That is one of the smallest weekly reductions in global output stemming from chip shortages in several months.

European auto plants, which have been taking a hit on production so far this year, expect no schedule reductions this week, according to AFS.

The industry has been working to correct the problem through various means, including assembly workarounds and the push for increased chip capacity. Last week, SkyWater Technology Inc. of Minnesota said it will invest $1.8 billion to construct a new chip production plant in West Lafayette, Ind. And this month, Bosch announced it will spend $3 billion on new chip capacity and research facilities in Europe.

Doug Del Grosso, CEO of seating supplier Aient, told Automotive News Europe last week that he is seeing encouraging signs on chips.

“We are seeing our customers’ schedules stabilize,” Del Grosso said. “That’s due to a combination of factors: More capacity is coming online; there is less disruption due to COVID at semiconductor factories; and our customers are getting more intelligent in the way that they are applying semiconductors to their vehicles.”