|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||97.37 - 97.37|
|52-week range||50.00 - 105.70|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.36|
|PE ratio (TTM)||14.10|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.28 (2.28%)|
|Ex-dividend date||13 May 2021|
|1y target est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- When automakers were first hit with chip shortages at the end of last year, they tried idling factories until the troubles blew over. But with the crisis stretching into its fifth month and getting worse, they’re getting creative to keep at least some production moving forward.Nissan is leaving navigation systems out of thousands of vehicles that typically would have them because of the shortages. Ram no longer offers its 1500 pickups with a standard “intelligent” rearview mirror that monitors for blind spots. Renault has stopped offering an oversized digital screen behind the steering wheel on its Arkana SUV -- also to save on chips.The crisis is an historic test for the century-old auto industry just as it is trying to accelerate a shift toward smarter, electric vehicles. For decades, carmakers moved steadily to include more and better advanced features; now, they’re stripping some of them out -- at least temporarily -- to salvage their sales.That rollback underscores the depth of the issues facing the industry. Just last week, BMW AG, Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. all flagged worsening problems from chip shortages. A failure to secure critical supplies is a massive short-term setback -- millions of vehicle sales will be lost this year -- and bodes ill for the future as competition from tech-savvy internet and consumer-electronics companies intensifies.“This probably gets worse before it gets better,” said Stacy Rasgon, who covers the semiconductor industry for Sanford C. Bernstein. “It just takes a long time to bring this capacity online.”NXP Semiconductor NV Chief Executive Officer Kurt Sievers said the shift to electric vehicles is happening faster than anticipated, which has added to the increased demand for automotive chips. NXP plans to ship at least 20% more auto chips by revenue in the first half of 2021 compared with the first half of 2019, even though car production has dropped about 10% over the period, he said.Mark Liu, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., cautioned the crisis is far from over. His company, which is the world’s most advanced chipmaker and will be critical to any resolution, will begin to meet auto clients’ minimum requirements by June, but expects the car-chip shortages could last until early 2022, he said in an interview with CBS.Automakers can’t just wait. One reaction to the shortage is to allocate the scarce components to more profitable and better-selling vehicles at the expense of other models -- something manufacturers like France’s Renault SA and Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. are doing.Carmakers are also building vehicles with less technology. Peugeot is going back to old-fashioned analog speedometers for its 308 hatchbacks, rather than use digital versions that need hard-to-find chips. General Motors Co. said it built some Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks without a certain fuel-economy module, costing drivers about 1 mile per gallon. Nissan is cutting the number of vehicles with pre-installed navigation systems by about a third, according to a person familiar with the matter.Why Can’t We Just Make More Chips?The Japanese manufacturer, which in early January became one of the first automakers to warn of an impending shortage, is also prioritizing chip supply to the two best-selling models in each major market, the person said. In one instance, Nissan flew chip supplies from India to the U.S. on a chartered cargo flight to help production move forward there. A representative for Nissan declined to comment.Buyers of Renault’s sporty Arkana now have to settle for a smaller display without a navigation map, and forgo an option for a phone charger by induction.Stellantis NV -- formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group -- has modified the Ram 1500 pickup so that the digital rearview mirror that usually comes standard is now available only as an upgrade option, according to a person familiar with the matter. The manufacturer is also using parts that don’t require chips from its more basic Ram Classic truck to keep the pricier version moving down the assembly line.“Given the fluid nature of this complex issue, Stellantis employees across the enterprise are finding creative solutions every day to minimize the impact to our vehicles so we can build the most in-demand products as possible,” spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in an email.The car industry’s predicament dates back to poor planning during the pandemic and limited chipmaking capacity, but it’s been compounded by shrinking available cargo space as the global economy recovers from Covid-19. When automakers can secure orders, their chips often can’t ship.That bottleneck is compounded by the fact that major car-chip makers NXP, Infineon Technologies AG and Renesas Electronics Corp. account for just 40% of supply, with the remaining 60% split between tens of thousands of smaller designers. Those smaller players often lack the influence to get their chips manufactured at foundries when capacity is tight.In at least one case, carmakers are asking a major chipmaker to send microcontrollers that don’t meet standard specifications, a person familiar with the matter said. Those sub-standard chips wouldn’t jeopardize safety essentials, like brakes, the person said, but they could mean in-car entertainment or emissions monitoring systems are more likely to malfunction in extreme weather.Automakers and suppliers can accept whatever chips are available and rewrite the software to give them a new task, said Sig Huber, a consultant at Conway MacKenzie and a former head of purchasing at Fiat Chrysler. Tesla Inc. said last week it alleviated issues by reaching out to new semiconductor suppliers and then quickly writing new firmware for those chips.Stellantis is working on more standardization across its vehicle lineup rather than having to use specific chips for some models, Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said on an call with reporters this week.“More standardization and flexibility, which is key when we have supply constraints,” he said. “We’re managing scarcity.”Manufacturers are also stocking incomplete cars, or “building shy” in industry parlance, to keep production lines humming. In Hamtramck, greater Detroit, an area stretching several blocks is filled with Ford F-150 pickup trucks sans some chips. General Motors said it is also storing unfinished vehicles while awaiting semiconductors.Meanwhile, behind the scenes, car suppliers are going to unusual lengths to try to secure chips. A Stellantis partner called JVIS-USA LLC tried to sue NXP in a Michigan court in April in a Hail Mary attempt to get more chips, but a judge rejected its request. Automotive supplier Visteon Corp. flagged that carmakers may seek compensation because of the shortages. In Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda visited a Renesas plant that had suffered a fire to hasten its return to production.Yet no relief is in sight, with even Apple Inc., whose high-specification iPhones and aggressive demands typically place it at the front of the chip-customer line, saying last week it’s starting to feel the pinch. That may leave carmakers wanting even when chip manufacturers eventually manage to increase capacity.“This has the potential to be a longer-term issue,” said Anna-Marie Baisden, an automotive analyst at Fitch Solutions. “This will only be exacerbated as vehicles become technologically advanced and use more chips.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Ford Motor Co and BMW AG are leading a $130 million funding round in a solid-state battery startup, Solid Power, as carmakers push to lower the cost of electric vehicles by investing in the development of affordable but powerful rechargeable batteries, the companies said on Monday. The Series B investment round, which includes venture capital firm Volta Energy Technologies, allows Solid Power to expand in-house manufacturing capabilities and positions the battery maker to eventually supply future EVs, possibly by the end of the decade according to BMW battery cell technology chief Peter Lamp.
(Bloomberg) -- The global chip shortage is going from bad to worse with automakers on three continents joining tech giants Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in flagging production cuts and lost revenue from the crisis.In a dizzying 12-hour stretch, Honda Motor Co. said it will halt production at three plants in Japan; BMW AG cut shifts at factories in Germany and England; and Ford Motor Co. reduced its full-year earnings forecast due to the scarcity of chips it sees extending into next year. Caterpillar Inc. later flagged it may be unable to meet demand for machinery used by the construction and mining industries.Now, the very companies that benefited from surging demand for phones, laptops and electronics during the pandemic that caused the chip shortage, are feeling the pinch. After a blockbuster second quarter, Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri warned supply constraints are crimping sales of iPads and Macs, two products that performed especially well during lockdowns. Maestri said this will knock $3 billion to $4 billion off revenue during the fiscal third quarter.“It’s a fight out there and you have to be in daily contact with your suppliers. You need to make sure that you’re important to them,” Nokia Oyj Chief Executive Officer Pekka Lundmark said Thursday on Bloomberg Television. “When there is a shortage in the market, it is things like how important you are in the big picture, how strong your relationships are and how you manage expectations.”Meanwhile, companies that supply chips are reporting surging sales and pledging to invest billions to expand capacity as they struggle to keep up with demand. Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker, said demand for handsets is surging back as life returns to normal in some markets that had been locked down by the Covid-19 pandemic.STMicroelectronics NV, a key chip supplier for carmakers, said profit for its auto and power unit jumped 280% in the first quarter. CEO Jean-Marc Chery credited a surprise rebound in demand as well as the industry’s adoption of new, digital features that require more chips for the latest wave of supply chain constraints.Samsung, which is both a producer and user of chips, said Thursday that component shortages will contribute to a slide in revenue and profit this quarter at its mobile division, which produces its marquee Galaxy smartphones.The shortfall of critically needed semiconductors has forced the entire auto industry to cut output, leaving thin inventories at dealerships just as consumers emerge from Covid-19 lockdowns. In just the past week, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc, Volvo Group and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. have joined the list of manufacturers idling factories.“The second quarter is going to be worse for automakers than the first quarter,” said Song Sun-jae, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities Co. in Seoul. “The chip-shortage problem could end up lasting longer, maybe into next year.”Beyond Apple, whose high-specification iPhones and aggressive demands typically place it at the front of the line, the dearth of chips threatens to dampen a nascent rebound in the entire smartphone market. Worldwide shipments surged an estimated 27% to 347 million devices in the first quarter, aided by a plethora of new models and China’s swift post-pandemic recovery. A shortage of components such as app processors could sap that momentum over the rest of 2021.“Covid-19 is still a major consideration, but it is no longer the main bottleneck,” Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton wrote Thursday. “Supply of critical components, such as chipsets, has quickly become a major concern, and will hinder smartphone shipments in the coming quarters.”At Ford, the shortage will likely reduce production by 1.1 million vehicles this year, CFO John Lawler said on a call with reporters. The carmaker expects a $2.5 billion hit to earnings due to scarce chip supplies.Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk earlier this week called the chip shortage a “huge problem.” NXP Semiconductors NV said it’s expecting supply to be tight all year and warned constraints for the auto industry could extend into 2022.“There are too many uncertainties about when chip supplies will improve, and that’s making it difficult for automakers,” said Lee Han-joon, an analyst at KTB Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “For semiconductor makers, the auto industry isn’t really seen as one of their key customers and that’s putting the carmakers in a much tougher position in securing supplies.”(Updates with Caterpillar in the second paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.