In a WeChat post dated August 17, Xu Daquan (commonly referred to as David Xu), vice president of Bosch China, revealed that the company’s overseas semiconductor factory located in Malaysia – specifically in Muar, Johor – has shut down some of its production lines until August 21.
According to Xu, the factory had been closed for weeks previously, likely due to the stricter National Recovery Plan (NRP) rules at the time that kept factories in non-essential categories (vehicle and semiconductor production included) shuttered.
With the rules slightly more relaxed now, as announced by (now caretaker) prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on August 15, non-essential factories can resume operations again, albeit with limited capacity depending on the vaccination rate among staff.
Xu added that with only a few production lines up and running at Bosch China’s Muar factory, the company’s ability to manufacture ESP/IPB, VCU, TCU and other types of chips will be gravely affected, with supply expected to be significantly reduced for the rest of August. In his post, he also noted that more than 3,000 workers in the Muar factory have been affected by this recent work outage.
Bosch China is an important supplier to automakers in China like Nio and Tesla, as the chips are important in production of the brands’ electric vehicles. AutoTech News reported that He Xiaopeng, founder and CEO of Xpeng, recently took to social media to express his concern about the lack of chips due to supply outages brought on by the pandemic.
The report also says there are more than 50 semiconductor producers with factories in Malaysia, with Bosch being one of the big names alongside Intel, Infineon, NXP and Texas Instruments. The local packaging and testing capacity present here accounts for about 13% of global total capacity.
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