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Fire at Chip Plant Adds to Shortage

A bad situation for automakers is getting worse.

Industries like consumer devices and automotive have been vying for semiconductors to build crucial components in computer systems.

But a series of factors have contributed to a global shortage of chips, including increased demand, pandemic shutdowns and catastrophic weather events impacting plants.

Now another disaster will add stress to an already complicated supply situation.

Last week, an electrical fault at a Renesas chip plant in northern Japan caused a fire to pour smoke into a cleanroom.

The company says it will take at least a month to resume production on its 300mm wafer line.

According to Reuters, the company has about 30 percent of market share for microcontroller unit chips used in cars.

Renesas says its customers, mostly auto parts suppliers, will begin to see chip shipments fall in about a month.

Global automakers like Honda, Toyota and Nissan are all assessing the ramifications, and one analyst said they would be โ€œfacing a difficult situation.โ€


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