Automotive chip maker says it’s nearly recovered from blaze

A fire-damaged Japanese factory that supplies many of the auto industry’s computer chips is producing about 88% of what it was making before the March blaze, its owner says

DETROIT — A fire-damaged Japanese factory that supplies many of the auto industry’s computer chips is producing about 88% of what it was making before the March blaze, its owner says.

Renesas Electronics Corp. said Tuesday that replacements for fire-damaged equipment arrived on May 27, and should be running in mid-June. That would allow the company to return to full production.

Even with the Renesas plant back in action, it’s likely to take months for production to catch up with shortages. There are as many as 80 different computers in more sophisticated models that control everything from touch screens to transmissions to partially automated driver safety features.

Automakers closed factories for about two months at the start of the pandemic last year to help stop it from spreading. But they came back faster than expected, and by then, chip makers had switched production to booming consumer electronics. Then the Renesas fire hit.

The shortage is forcing the auto industry to rethink its supply chains and perhaps scrap some just-in-time parts deliveries.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*