German semiconductor producer Infineon Technologies AG on Tuesday said that microchip supply bottlenecks could continue into next year, in a blow to the auto industry.
“We predict that the imbalance between supply and demand will continue for a few quarters yet, with the risk that it lasts into 2022,” Infineon chief executive Reinhard Ploss said in a virtual news conference.
He added that the “bottlenecks” are a particular problem for the Munich-based company in areas where they do not produce the chips themselves, but buy them from subcontractors to equip microcontrollers for vehicles or smart appliances.
The auto industry remains plagued by “severe delivery problems,” amid a rise in demand driven by a boom in electric vehicles, Ploss said.
Infineon, which plans to finish construction on a new chip production site in Austria later this year, has profited early this year from a booming semiconductor market.
“Electronics that help accelerate the energy transition and make work and home life easier remain in high demand,” Ploss said. “The push for digitalization continues unabated.”
While the surge in demand for electronic devices during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped chipmakers, it has also led to a semiconductor supply crunch in the auto industry, where chips are a key element in modern vehicles.
The shortage of chips has pushed many automakers to idle production lines for brief periods when they temporarily run out of supplies.
Infineon marketing director Helmut Gassel said that the shortage affected the production of about 2.5 million cars in the first quarter of this year.
The company reported sales of 2.7 billion euros (US$3.24 billion) in the first quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 2.69 billion euros.
Infineon previously guided for second-quarter revenue of 2.5 billion euros to 2.8 billion euros, and third-quarter revenue of 2.6 billion euros and 2.9 billion euros.
The company predicted full-year revenue guidance of about 11 billion euros.
Infineon said its second-quarter revenues were particularly strong in its automotive segment.
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