The auto industry has suffered the most stalls in production from the current semiconductor shortages and there are few signs of an early solution to its problems.
As Kathrin Hille in Taipei explains, while tech companies were making efforts to build up their inventories towards the end of last year, carmakers were still cutting orders until November.
“The carmakers operate on a just-in-time model which disincentivises inventory. That is the opposite of the close and carefully managed relationships between fabless chipmakers and foundries,” said an executive at a Taiwanese contract chipmaker.
Still, those “fabless” chipmakers, who rely on foundries to make their designs for them, have seen their stocks running lower. A BMO Research report today estimates days of inventory left for semi companies was down by eight days in the fourth quarter, compared to two days normally. In communications chips, days of inventory were 53 days, well below the average of 66…