The software-loaded car hit hard by microchip shortage

The automotive industry's increasing reliance on electrical content is causing problems in the wake of a global shortage of semiconductors. By Megan Lampinen

The digital revolution has been pushing the automotive industry in a new direction over the past decade, with software content in vehicles growing exponentially. Some estimates suggest that electronics and semiconductor materials could account for as much as 45-50% of the value of a car by 2030. Driven by demand for connected content and electrification, the shift has proven a technical and financial challenge for automakers and suppliers—but a manageable one. Then came COVID-19, which not only interrupted the smooth running of factories and shipments, but also unearthed  flaws in the supply chain which threaten an already vulnerable industry.

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