Germany urges Taiwan to help ease auto chip shortage



TAIPEI (Reuters) – Germany has called on Taiwan to persuade Taiwanese manufacturers to help ease the semiconductor chip shortage in the automotive industry, which is hampering its nascent economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: A car body is moved through a production line at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany March 1, 2019. Photo taken March 1, 2019. REUTERS / Fabian Bimmer / File Photo

Automakers around the world are closing assembly lines over semiconductor delivery issues, which in some cases have been exacerbated by the actions of the former Trump administration against major Chinese chip factories.

The shortage has affected Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, Ford Motor Co FN, Subaru Corp 7270.T, Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T, Nissan Motor Co Ltd 7201.T, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other automakers.

In a letter seen by Reuters on Sunday, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier asked his Taiwanese counterpart Wang Mei-hua to address the issue in talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) 2330. major suppliers.

“I would be happy if you could address this issue and point out the importance of additional semiconductor capabilities for the German auto industry to TSMC,” Altmaier wrote.

Altmaier said the goal was to enable additional capacity and semiconductor deliveries in the short to medium term.

The German auto industry was already in direct talks with TSMC over trek deliveries and TSMC had received “very constructive” signals to resolve the issue, he wrote.

A spokeswoman for the German Economy Ministry said she was monitoring the situation very closely and was in talks on the matter with the auto industry.

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To reduce dependence on Asian suppliers and avoid similar problems in the future, Berlin is now considering increasing state support to increase semiconductor production capacities in Germany and Europe, added the spokesperson.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said it had received requests through diplomatic channels to help alleviate a shortage of chips for the automotive industry, although it was not aware of Altmaier’s letter.

He said he has started discussions with domestic chip suppliers in response to requests from other countries and asked them to “provide full assistance.”

“The supply and demand situation is also closely related to the plans of auto chip factories to reduce inventory during the off-season,” the ministry said.

TSMC, in a statement, said the issue of chip shortages for automakers was very important to them.

“This is our top priority and TSMC is working closely with our automotive customers to resolve capacity support issues,” he said.

Report by Michael Nienaber in BERLIN and Jeanny Kao and Ben Blanchard in TAIPEI; Ed


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