Daimler AG’s chief executive officer cautioned that the global semiconductor shortage may not entirely go away next year and could take until 2023 to be resolved.
Ola Kallenius, CEO of the Mercedes-Benz maker, delivered the assessment during a briefing with reporters ahead of this week’s auto show in Munich. Daimler recently cut its annual sales forecast for its car division, projecting deliveries will be roughly in line with 2020, rather than up significantly.
The latest iteration of the Mercedes S-Class, which the German carmaker presents on Wednesday, will try to please tastes old and new — offering not just the high-powered combustion variant but also an improved hybrid version and, for the first time, a sleek all-electric sibling sold from next year.
Mercedes has been hit this quarter by factory shutdowns in Malaysia, which in recent years emerged as a major center for chip testing and packaging. Infineon Technologies AG, NXP Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics are among the key suppliers operating plants in the country.
There is hope that the situation starts to ease in the fourth quarter, Kallenius said, though he anticipates fallout from a “structural” demand issue also will influence industries in 2022. A Japanese chipmaker that supplies to Toyota Motor Corp similarly predicted last month that the supply crunch could last through all of next year.
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