Detroit’s Auto Industry Hoping President Biden Can Help Secure Semiconductors

Automakers are finding themselves a lower priority for microchip manufacturers, as some analysts anticipate the industry’s supply chain woes could last into 2022.

President Biden held a meeting this week with companies and manufacturers on both sides of the global semiconductor shortage. With production stoppages now impacting the auto industry’s most popular vehicles, representatives from Ford, General Motors and Stellantis were among those in attendance.

Analysts say Detroit’s automakers had positive words for the president following the meeting. Car companies are hoping Biden can push chip manufacturers to make the industry more of a priority.

“The challenge is finding a way that the administration and the industry can get more chips in the short run.” –Paul Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau

Paul Eisenstein is the publisher of automotive website The Detroit Bureau. He says so far during the shortage, car companies have taken a back seat to the consumer electronics industry.

“They tend to pay less for chips,” says Eisenstein. “They tend to use older designs. It is not the sort of business that the chip industry has been willing to go out and race to find a solution for.”

Listen: The Detroit Bureau publisher Paul Eisenstein discusses President Biden and the auto industry’s position in the semiconductor shortage.

While Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan does include money to invest in domestic semiconductor production, Eisenstein says it would take a while for that commitment to have an impact.

“The challenge is finding a way,” says Eisenstein, “that the administration and the industry can get more chips in the short run. The reality is that this may not happen very quickly.”

Eisenstein says some analysts now think the supply chain issues could impact the auto industry into the year’s fourth quarter. He says others think the problem could extend into 2022.

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.