Two years in, the automotive industry is still being affected by Covid-19, with production and supply chains continuing to be impacted even though the worst has passed. Much of it has had to do with the semiconductor chip shortage, which began as a minor hiccup in late 2020 before becoming a widespread global issue last year.

The matter is far from over, with indications being that shortages could stretch until 2023 as the ever-increasing demand for chips – especially away from the auto segment – continue to leave many automakers short.

For the local automotive scene, the effects of the pandemic – of which the classification is set to end on April 1 as the country begins easing restrictions – are still being felt. According to Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad, things are still far from being normal where production and supply is concerned.

“As far as the supply development [is concerned], there is still a shortage in microchips as well as local vendors [being affected] by Covid-19 infections, which is causing a disruption in the supply. It has affected many of our members. I won’t say we’re worse off (than other markets), but it’s still there,” she said during a question-and-answer session after the association’s annual general meeting today.

She said the situation of vehicle production shortages – from a local viewpoint – could persist for a while. “How long? We really do not know. It could be up to the end of this year, but we are hoping that the supply chain will improve by then. It’s disrupting supplies everywhere, ever from overseas – [CKD] packs coming in have also been disrupted,” she said.

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