Shortage of silicone microchips impacts vehicle manufacturers, dealerships

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:25 PM CDT
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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - Are you noticing fewer and fewer newer vehicles on the road or at your local dealership? A shortage of silicone microchips is what’s holding back the production of newer car models.

Nearly 3,000 or more silicone chips control almost everything in a modern car. A major back log is what’s delaying those newer car models.

Part of the problem came during the pandemic as some plants had to shut down. Also, one microchip plant in Texas was shut down due to winter weather and another in Japan caught fire.

“Everything from your instrument cluster and displays, to even your key fob has a chip in it,” said SIU Chair of Automotive Mike Behrmann.

The issue is with the supply chain and manufacturing the microchip. Manufacturers are trying to get back up to speed.

Car manufacturers are building cars incomplete, so production does not slow down, but without the silicone chips, they are limited to certain models.

“Everything from altering maybe what models we’re producing, altering also the options and the features that you might find in the vehicles,” said Behrmann.

The silicone chips are hindering other industries.

“It has ripple effects in many industries. You start taking a look at gaming consoles, or even four wheelers that many consumers are looking to purchase. Cars, trucks, anything that uses a computer chip,” said Behrmann.

He believed things will begin to even out in about six to 12 months.

He said today’s modern vehicles are approximately 40 percent electronics.

“Today’s modern vehicle is typically one of the most sophisticated products that a consumer is going to be touching,” said Behrmann.

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