Eight US auto governors urge Biden to lobby semiconductor companies over chip shortages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of eight governors from The US automotive on Friday urged US Democratic President Joe Biden to do more to push semiconductor companies to address a global automotive chip shortage that has cut production of some vehicles.

Governors of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri asked Biden in a letter to join foreign governments to urge semiconductor and wafer companies to expand production and “temporarily reallocate a modest portion. of their current production to higher quality cars than wafer production. “

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has spearheaded efforts to get other governors to sign, said he was urging Biden “to do everything in his power and leave no stone unturned to protect automotive jobs. throughout the supply chain at risk due to this shortage. “

The White House did not immediately comment, but automotive executives met with White House officials on Wednesday and discussed the matter. Lawmakers have also urged the White House to pressure chip makers to increase supply of car chips.

Biden said Wednesday it will seek $ 37 billion in funding for legislation to boost US chip manufacturing and signed an executive order aimed at addressing the global semiconductor chip shortage.

Carmakers affected by the shortage include General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co, Stellantis, and Subaru Corp.

Ford said the lack of chips could cut production by up to 20 percent in the first quarter and reduce the company’s adjusted earnings by $ 1 billion to $ 2.5 billion.

GM said the shortage could shave as much as $ 2 billion from Profit for 2021 as it was forced to cut production in factories in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.

A shortage of automotive semiconductor chips could impact nearly 1 million units of global light vehicle production in the first quarter, data firm IHS Markit said.

David Shepardson’s reportage in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis