Automakers trimmed another quarter of a million vehicles out of their global production plans last week because of the ongoing worldwide shortage of microchips, according to a new estimate by AutoForecast Solutions.
But North American auto plants accounted for only a small part of those cuts.
European factories trimmed more than 200,000 vehicles from their plans, according to AFS, while production lines in North America cut fewer than 4,000 vehicles.
It is the second consecutive week in which the North American industry has needed to trim production plans by fewer than 10,000 vehicles. But that may be small consolation in light of the 2.9 million vehicles North American plants have already cut this year because of the chip shortage.
As a result of fewer cars and trucks rolling off factory lines, U.S. retail sales took a nearly 13 percent tumble for the third quarter, despite the current consumer zeal to buy, and compared with a year-earlier period when the economy was still hamstrung by COVID-19 worries.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra told Fox Business last week that GM expects some improvement in the chip shortage in the fourth quarter. She said she sees “continued improvement” into 2022.
AFS now forecasts that North America, by itself, will see approximately 300,000 additional vehicles trimmed from factory schedules in the months ahead.