SAN FRANCISCO, March 25 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said last week that most of its five auto plants in the U.S. and Canada will be closed from 2021 due to supply chain problems caused by the new crown epidemic, chip shortages and bad weather. Closed starting March 22, 2021 and will remain closed until March 26, 2021.
On March 19, a fire broke out at the Naka plant, the main stronghold of Renesas’ automotive chips, causing the shutdown of the 12-inch plant that produces advanced products.
Renesas President Yingli Shibata said at the online fire incident briefing on the 21st that the Naka factory, which was suspended due to the fire, “strives to resume work within a month.”
“We are worried that the shutdown will have a significant impact on chip supply, and Renesas will take all countermeasures, including alternative production, to minimize the impact as much as possible,” Shibata said. Shibata Yingli said that two-thirds of the products affected by the fire were automotive chips, and the rest were chips for industry, infrastructure, and information and communications.
Last week Toyota said it would cut output at four of its plants in Kentucky, West Virginia and Mexico, citing “petrochemical shortages” and “recent severe weather conditions” affecting production. Stellantis Group warned on March 20 that the company’s lucrative pickup trucks were also affected by the problem, while Ford Motor said it would further cut U.S. production. Stellantis also said its assembly plants in Warren, Michigan, and Saltillo, Mexico, will continue to assemble Ram1500 pickups without the chips. When the chips are back in supply, the vehicles will be final assembled and shipped to dealerships.
The chip shortage has hit automakers around the world, and it’s caused by a combination of factors. Last year, the automaker closed its North American factories for two months and canceled chip orders. Meanwhile, demand for chips in the consumer electronics industry has similarly surged as people work from home and play video games. Now automakers must compete with the consumer electronics industry for chips.