Since August, Germany-based Traton Group has sold less units due to an ongoing shortage of semiconductor and other key bought-in parts, and company officials expect the situation to continue into 2022.
The shortages are affecting all brands — including the company’s new subsidiary, Navistar — but to a varying extent determined by their supplier network, specifications of the individual vehicles, and customer demand.
Each brand further intensified its measures to monitor the supplier network to be able to respond to delays and cancellations as swiftly as possible, Traton officials said.
Recently, “severe difficulties” in the supply of semiconductors have been primarily attributable to rising COVID-19 cases in Malaysia and the lockdown that followed, company officials said. Malaysia is an important hub as many chip companies relevant to the automotive industry have their production there.
“We have ramped up existing measures in order to mitigate the supply bottlenecks as much as possible,” said Traton Group CEO Matthias Gründler. “There is a lot of demand for trucks from our customers right now, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 economic slump, and we believe they should get their vehicles as quickly as possible. Having said that, it is not just the semiconductor issues stretching global supply chains at the moment — it is also the shortage of numerous other products.
“This is having a detrimental impact on our unit sales, especially the September figures,” he added. “We expect this situation to continue throughout the remaining months of this year and into the following year. We are continuously optimizing our processes to counteract this development.”
The brands not only intensified their communication with Tier 1 suppliers, but also Tier 2 suppliers, according to the company.
In order to prevent long waiting times for customers, control units, which are partly affected by the shortages, are being removed from finished vehicles that are yet to be sold and installed in vehicles on order. Warehouse vehicles are then retrofitted with control units as soon as possible to best manage the impact this could have on inventory. The brands’ purchasers closely coordinate both within and outside of the Traton Group with the aim of quickly closing any gaps in supply, company officials said.
“Nevertheless, we expect unit sales in the third quarter of 2021 to be significantly lower than planned,” officials said. “Looking at the third quarter, a period that already tends to be affected by seasonal factors, this means that these supply chain difficulties will have a stronger impact than expected. The situation in the fourth quarter of 2021 is likely to develop similarly given the ongoing problems in the supply chains. The high volatility in the supply chain is making any statements on the remaining months of the year and further ahead difficult.”
Traton SE is expected to publish a report detailing its performance in the first nine months of 2021 on Oct. 28. The statement will also see Navistar consolidated for the first time since its merger with Traton.