Detroit is the latest casualty of the global semiconductor shortage, with the hub of US automakers running out of vehicles.
The Washington Post published a report on the state of the US auto industry, and specifically the state of Motor City. Detroit has long been the home of the top three US automakers, Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Despite its importance to the industry, not even Detroit is immune to the current challenges.
Semiconductors have been in short supply since the onset of the pandemic. Early lockdowns hurt production at a time when demand reached all-new highs as people worked from home, relied on remote learning, and turned to video games for in-home entertainment. The rise of crypto mining also helped drive up demand.
The end result is a wide range of industries struggling to keep up production because there are too few semiconductors to go around. The auto industry has been especially hard hit, with virtually every major automaker scaling back production, cannibalizing various models to complete others, and generally taking any number of extreme measures to maintain some semblance of normality.
Despite those measures, automakers are still falling behind, and it’s being felt in the one place many thought it never would be, with dealership inventory running low and prices skyrocketing for the vehicles that are available.
“This is an auto manufacturing city. It shouldn’t be short of cars,” said cabdriver Benyam Tesfasion.
“It may be the biggest disruption we’ve seen since the 1970s and the fuel crisis,” said Matt Anderson, a transportation historian at Dearborn’s Henry Ford museum complex.
Unfortunately, there’s still no immediate end in sight, despite countless efforts to address the shortage. Until production can catch up with demand, Detroid may have to become accustomed to fewer cars and higher prices, just like the rest of the country.