In a rare spot of encouraging news on the global microchip shortage, AutoForecast Solutions has trimmed back its worst-case estimate for lost North American vehicle production.
In its newest forecast, AFS projects that North American factories will ultimately cut 3,414,372 cars and trucks from their production plans before the chip crisis is resolved. That is an 897-unit improvement over its previous worst-case forecast.
The revision may be negligible in the big picture: AFS still anticipates that missing chips will cost the global auto industry more than 11.3 million vehicles before all is said and done. But the tiny improvement may serve as a harbinger that automaker efforts to navigate the supply chain crisis are having some results.
But the revision did not offset continuing distruptions elsewhere in the world.
Automakers in Europe, Asia, and to a lesser degree South America and the Africa-Middle East region, have made additional cuts in their production schedules because of chip shortages, according to AFS.
European plants knocked more than 56,000 more vehicles off of their production plans, while plants in Asia, including Japan and Korea, have deleted another 30,000.
In recent weeks, automakers have taken steps to steer around assembly bottlenecks by dropping some chip-based features from their build orders, such as General Motors’ move to produce vehicles without heated steering wheels.
But even as manufacturers look for new work-arounds, most are reconciled to the likelihood that chip shortages will continue well into 2022.