The pace of factory cutbacks caused by the microchip shortage continued to slow last week as automakers and suppliers are signaling new optimism that the crisis is easing.
Just 23,000 vehicles were added last week to AutoForecast Solutions’ running tally of vehicles axed from production schedules worldwide, one of the smallest rounds of weekly cuts in recent months.
About 10,100 of the cuts came from European auto plants, while about 6,500 vehicles were cut from North American plant schedules and 6,300 were eliminated in Asia.
While reporting quarterly earnings last week, Ford Motor Co., Magna International Inc. and others predicted that the semiconductor shortage will further ease later this year.
Legislation passed by the Senate last week that would provide $52 billion to spur U.S. semiconductor production should help to clear up the shortage in North America over time, said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AFS.
“Better days should be on the horizon,” he wrote in an email.