Auto supplier Visteon sees more plant closures due to chip shortage

FILE PHOTO: A researcher plants a semiconductor on an interface board during a research work to design and develop a semiconductor product at Tsinghua Unigroup research centre in Beijing

(Reuters) – Auto parts supplier Visteon Corp said on Thursday the global semiconductor chip shortage could hit global auto production by about 10% to 15% in the first half of 2021 and likely lead to additional plant closures.

The Michigan-based company said it now expects industry production volumes to increase about 8% to 80 million units in 2021, compared with earlier expectations of a 14% growth, sending its shares down 9%.

Auto makers, which shut plants for two months during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, are competing with the consumer electronics industry for chip supplies.

Visteon expects the supply situation to improve in the second half of 2021.

The chip shortage has affected global automakers, including General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, forcing them to cut or halt production.

The No.1 U.S. auto maker General Motors estimated that the shortage would shave up to $2 billion from its 2021 profit, while smaller rival Ford expects a $1.0 billion to $2.5 billion hit to operating earnings.

Visteon forecast 2021 revenue between $2.88 billion and $3.03 billion, below analysts’ estimates of $3.14 billion., according to Refinitiv IBES data.

(Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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