US government wants companies to provide more information on chip scarcity

Washington (dpa) – The US government wants to take stronger action against the semiconductor bottlenecks that hit the electronics industry and car manufacturers hard Gina Raimondo to get a better picture of the situation. To do this, she hopes for data from all parts of the supply chain – manufacturers and buyers of semiconductors, as well as intermediaries. All companies involved have been asked to provide the Department with data on the development of inventories, demand and the supply situation.

The US government expects answers to this within 45 Days. Participation is voluntary. Raimondo emphasized, however, that they could look for a legal basis for the mandatory request of information if there was too little feedback. So far, many companies have not been ready to provide insights into their supply chains. The Ministry assures that the information provided by the companies will remain confidential.

The Ministry of Commerce held another video conference on Thursday with top managers from various industries. According to media reports, the participants included Apple, Intel, Ford, General Motors and the Peugeot parent company Stellantis.

Significantly higher demand

The semiconductor shortage was caused by under Among other things, the increased demand for notebooks and other electronic products in the Corona crisis. To make matters worse, chip manufacturers had reduced their capacities for some types of semiconductors in the past few years in view of initially weak demand and are now unable to replenish them quickly.

The automotive industry is still getting particularly tough hit the bottlenecks. One reason is that doing business with it is less lucrative for chip companies than selling to large electronics companies because of the relatively low number of units. At the beginning of the pandemic, many car manufacturers also had their own slump in demand – as a result, they canceled quantities that had already been promised by semiconductor companies. Now that the auto business is doing better again, these chips are missing.

High burdens on the auto industry

The consulting firm AlixPartners predicted on Thursday that the auto industry would be affected by the scarcity alone This year, revenues of 210 billion dollars (around 179 billion euros) will be missed. So far, sales have not been badly affected because the manufacturers could have access to stocks, said AlixPartners industry expert Dan Hearsch, the financial service Bloomberg. In the meantime, however, these reserves have been reduced.

In the USA, the shortage of chips is also seen as a political problem. While the chip supply chains have been mainly in Asia for years, demands are growing that, in the interests of national security, more semiconductors should be produced in the USA. The government of US President Joe Biden wants to promote the sector with well 50 billion dollars. Critics of the plans argue that the chip industry migrated to Asia at the time because of the lower labor costs – and that this cannot be reversed in the long term.

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