0 comments / Posted by Nathan Fugleberg

In 2019 Germany manufactured 4.66 million cars. This makes it one of the largest car producers in Europe. But in 2020 these numbers have declined due to Covid-19.

As the pandemic ramped up, car sales began to drop. This led many car manufacturers to reduce their orders of semiconductors, a key component of a car's electronic control unit. As a result, ordering these parts became harder.

As the year continued, car sales rebounded, but many car manufacturers are now facing a crisis. If you want to understand how the semiconductor shortage will impact electronic control units, keep reading.

Semiconductor Shortage: An Overview

Early in 2020, production of new vehicles gradually came to a standstill. As a result, companies stopped ordering semiconductors. The companies that make semiconductors began selling them to other electronic companies.

Then later in 2020, as the automobile industry began to rebound, companies increased car production. This led to a problem. As a result of the pandemic, more people began using computers and electronics that require semiconductors.

This caused an increase in competition for semiconductor suppliers, which means that many car manufacturers are facing large scale supply chain problems. 

The impact of this is widespread within the global automobile industry. Countries in North America, Europe, and Asia are all facing shortages. Companies including Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler, and Ford have all had to change production due to the shortage.

A shortage of semiconductors means that manufactures are making fewer cars and facing massive layoffs. In fact, Markus Duesmann, the CEO of AUDI has stated that the company will have to furlough 10,000 employees, while also reducing production goals by 10,000 cars.

Semiconductors and Electronic Control Units

Let's get technical and explain why semiconductors are important to modern cars.

A semiconductor is a material, usually silicon, that contains a series of circuits. These circuits carry charges in the computer. It may help to think of semiconductors as making up the car's computers. 

Semiconductors have become incredibly common in modern cars. Most of the vehicle computers contain them. This is because they are used in computer chips, which are in everything from the wheels and engines to the seats. 

It is one of the most crucial parts of the ECU or electronic control unit. The engine electronic control unit determines how much fuel is injected into the engine. It also ensures that the engine and the injectors activate at the same time using the Crankshaft Position Sensor.

Looking to Upgrade Your Car

In 2020 the pandemic had a negative impact on car sales, causing manufacturers to decrease car production and order fewer semiconductors.

As quarantine rules relaxed, car sales began to pick up. Unfortunately, semiconductor suppliers are now facing increased competition, and can no longer provide car manufacturers with the parts they need. This has led to massive production issues.

Many companies are currently working to prevent these supply issues from affecting their customers even more.

If you are looking to purchase car parts for your vehicle, contact us today.


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