Japanese automakers aren’t too worried about the chip shortage

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The global shortage of semiconductor chips is not expected to significantly affect the financial profiles of Japanese Toyota or Honda.

According to the rating agency Fitch, automakers have sufficient financial flexibility to absorb more costs and maintain a significant rating margin, even if the shortage persists until the second half of 2021, the statement said.

The auto industry has been grappling with a chip supply shortage since late last year, due among other things to coronavirus lockdowns in Southeast Asia and wholesale purchases by Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, sanctioned by US sanctions.

The shortage prompted major automaker General Motors to extend production cuts at three North American factories last week, while Honda Motor and Nissan Motor were expected to sell a total of 250,000 fewer cars in the current fiscal year. .

Toyota ignored the issue in its quarterly report last week and said it had a stock of chips of up to four months, with no immediate impact on production.

“We believe the shortage is expected to ease or even be resolved in the second half of 2021 as suppliers ramp up production for automotive customers,” Fitch said.

Senior White House economics and national security officials have launched a new effort to help the U.S. auto industry tackle the chip shortage, a White House official said on Thursday.

The problem could affect nearly a million units of light vehicle production worldwide in the first quarter, according to data firm IHS Markit.

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