“Shortages,” “shutdowns,” “unprecedented,” and “delayed” are words I would very much like never to hear again. 2020 has forced us to use these words so much that hearing any of them makes me want to throw up. The Ford Bronco and many other vehicles have been delayed due to a semiconductor chip shortage over the past six months. The 2021 Ram 1500 Classic has been added to the growing list of models affected by the chip shortage manufacturing delay. (See, I just used so many of those words just now, and I am not happy about it.)
Ram Forced to store nearly finished Ram 1500 Classic in Shipping containers
In case you didn’t know, we are currently in a global semiconductor chip shortage, and it is taking its toll more than just normal electronics manufacturing delays. As many consumers have found out, this shortage is what has led to the log jam of the new generation of video game consoles like the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.
These days our cars and trucks are as computer-driven as they are mechanical, which of course includes them in the effects of this semiconductor shortage.
Autoblog reports Stellantis announced it would build as much of its Ram 1500 Classics as it can before loading them into shipping containers to await the final touches once the semiconductor shortage gets worked out.
Stellantis estimates that this holding pattern will likely last “a number of weeks.” The Stellantis spokeswoman declined to mention exactly how many trucks would be affected by this build-and-hold order.
Why is there a chip shortage?
All of the many issues that have (and will) stem from 2020 do so by worsening by slowly building a wave that eventually crashes into cataclysm. The semiconductor shortage and its effect on the Ram 1500 and many other vehicles and various other consumer goods come from multiple angles.
The long and the short of it is that when COVID-19 caused our nation to shut down, automotive plants closed and canceled chip orders. At the same time, the rest of the manufacturing world sold the hell out of any electronic device that could possibly keep people at home occupied. We are now left with a backorder of vehicles that all need these chips that also couldn’t be manufactured for a couple of months during lockdowns.
Ram and others have mentioned that the most profitable models will be getting priority as chips start to show up to plants. This pause on the Ram 1500 is hitting Stellantis in a soft spot, indeed.
Although many carmakers saw increased sales last year, this shortage in parts is likely not going to be solved any time soon, putting a big question mark on these automotive manufacturer’s ability to forecast earnings and sales numbers.
What are they doing now?
Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said earlier this month this issue might not be fully resolved by the end of 2021. Ford has also recently reported similar production issues and has decided that the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville will only work two of the three shifts.
As of now, the forecast is that the chip shortage fuel manufacturing delay could result in a loss of $1-$2.5 billion in profits.