Battery gigafactories: Inside Tesla’s high volume battery plant
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New car deliveries have once again been pushed back deep into 2022 with manufacturers including Toyota announcing measures to cope with demand. The Japanese giant last week revealed it will stop production in five factories to cope with supply chain issues.
Some customers have been waiting for their new vehicles to be delivered since early in 2021, with frustration building at a lack of updates.
Car dealers are having to act as go-betweens, sourcing updates from manufacturers and dealing with angry consumers frustrated at the wait.
One dealer in Ireland said: “I think July will replace January in terms of any kind of delivery of normal stock levels.
“It’s frustrating for us and for customers, but all dealers are in the same boat now. We are not banking on this being resolved any time soon and customers are having to wait months for their cars in some cases.”
Toyota, which targets building nine million new vehicles in 2022, said that the factory closures wouldn’t affect total production, but would impact around 20,000 new cars.
The company also reduced the number of cars it will make in North America to 50,000.
Every major manufacturer has been affected by the shortage of microchips needed to assemble cars.
And the Chairman of Daimler and Mercedes Benz said that issues could even run into 2023.
Ola Källenius told the BBC recently that “the industry needs a thorough review of its supply chains”.
He said that he hoped problems wouldn’t last past 2022 but if they did they would be “hopefully not at the level of severity that we have experienced here in the last couple of months”.
He added it “would take a while before everything was moving again”.
His company Daimler AG slashed sales forecasts this year due to the semiconductor shortage.
Demand for electric cars has also increased hugely over the past year, with one in five cars sold in 2020 being electric.
Tesla boss Elon Musk even told his sales staff to focus on cutting the cost of delivering cars earlier this year.
The company’s flagship Model S and Model X cars could take up to 16 months to arrive after ordering.
And Ford has lost sales of their new Mustang Mach-E in lucrative markets like China due to the chip shortage as customers who had ordered the vehicle gave up waiting.
However there are signs the problems could be improving.
Chipmakers are increasing their productivity and car manufacturers are working to find ways to make existing chips work in other ways.
But around 11.3 million fewer cars were sold worldwide in 2021.
That lost the automotive industry around £150billion in revenue this year alone.
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