What the auto industry chip shortage tells us about the global economy


It is a shortage that no one saw coming and which speaks volumes about the transformation of the international economy. One more lesson we learn from the Covid virus, which is definitely very instructive on the state of our industrial forces. The whole world is running out of chips. We are talking here about microprocessors, these miniaturized integrated circuits which make it possible to process information, and operate more and more objects.

One player dominates the market: the Taiwanese giant TSMC, which manufactures more than half of the electronic chips in the world and 70% of those used in cars. However, its “foundries” are at saturation point. He is not the only one. To the point of stalling the automotive industry. Audi, Volkswagen, Opel, Ford and now Renault are shutting down their factories in turn. A few days, a week, a month. In the first quarter, the exit of the factory of 672,000 vehicles will be delayed, according to the firm IHS Markit. Ford has announced that this will affect 10% to 20% of its production.

Living without stock is not the right operating model

How to explain this huge industrial failure? The sequence is quite clear. When the pandemic hit Europe and the

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