Volkswagen China sees microchip supply shortage easing

BEIJING — Volkswagen Group’s top executive in China said he expected supplies of microchips to improve in the next six months.

Automakers around the world have had to adjust assembly lines due to the shortages, caused by manufacturing delays that some semiconductor makers blame on a faster-than expected recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We hope the chip supply crisis will bottom out this summer and expect to see an improvement in this situation within the second half of the year,” VW Group’s China chief, Stephan Woellenstein, told reporters on Friday.

Starting in August, Volkswagen will source some chips from a new supplier, Woellenstein said, adding that the move would start to ease the shortage in September.

Because of the chip shortage, VW saw its sales in China drop 12 percent between April and June compared with a year earlier.

VW builds cars in China in joint ventures with FAW Group and SAIC Motor.

VW Group’s premium brands including Audi and Porsche are growing, Woellenstein said.

Audi sales in the first half in China grew 39 percent compared with the same period last year while Porsche increased 23 percent.

Woellenstein also said sales of VW brand’s ID4 full-electric crossover were 2,900 units in June, up from around 1,500 in May.

Reuters reported last month that the ID series, the backbone of the automaker’s electric vehicle ambitions, is off to what even company sources call a worryingly slow start in China.

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