The pandemic and resulting chip shortage has severely impacted production at several major automakers. Mercedes-Benz recently confirmed that it was seeing high demand for its vehicles and with pandemic related production issues, wait times for ordered vehicles are growing. Mercedes says that some customers will be waiting more than a year for their vehicles to be delivered. Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said recently that for some models, the wait is currently over a year.
As for what has caused the wait times to lengthen, the executive pointed directly at the chip shortage. He also stated that the chip shortage is expected to extend into 2023. Mercedes-Benz isn’t the only automaker being hit hard by the chip shortage. The shortage has also forced stoppages or reductions in production for Chevy, Ford, and several other automakers.
Some automakers have continued to produce their vehicles to keep the assembly lines running, but the vehicles have been parked missing critical components that are required for them to operate. The missing parts are being added as chips are available.
So far, no automakers have a secure and available chip supply line. If Kallenius is correct, that will extend through next year and beyond. The shortage is likely to impact electric vehicles even more as they often use more chips than traditional vehicles. It’s unclear at this time if the shortage will mean the EV transition virtually all automakers are working on will be delayed.
Along with the chip shortage, GM has also been fighting a major recall that has led to multiple fires in its Bolt EV. In that case, a defect in the construction of the battery pack used in the vehicles led to short circuit and fire in at least 12 known instances.