Global shortage of semiconductor chips has resulted in dire situations for the automotive industry
Semiconductor woes are literally everywhere. But the actual semiconductors are not. Semiconductor manufacturing is very tedious and time-consuming. Semiconductor production is on full scale right now. It is literally all hands on deck. Major chip manufacturers like TSMC and Samsung are running their foundries on a whip (not literally).
But this ramped-up production will serve consumers next year. Chip manufacturing really is that long of a process to manufacture. The crisis we’re facing now, is the result of the production shut-downs and halved productions in semiconductor foundries that happened due to Covid-19. The hindrances foundries faced in 2020 and 2021, is causing problems now.
Kia Cars Key strategy
Most automotive manufacturers are cutting features and creature comforts to cope with the chip shortage. We saw Tata Motors do it with their cars, we also saw Hyundai do it with their cars. Our dealer sources tell us that Kia India will follow the same route.
Kia currently sells the Sonet, Seltos, Carens, Carnival and EV6 in India. All of these cars come with 2 smart keys that give users features like keyless entry, telematics, and much more. All of them need processing power to work and keys have sophisticated semiconductor chips that process these signals.
Kia’s approach to this chip crisis does not take features off completely. But instead, they’re making sure that users get all the features promised, but with only one key. While the second key will be a mechanical key that is devoid of all features. Given that users don’t lose their smart keys every day, it is a logical move by Kia.
Kia EV6 Not Affected
All Kia car buyers from today onwards will only get a single key, except EV6. For others, the second key will be shipped to respective dealers after the month of October. The second smart key will be paired to the car by dealers and will be handed over to customers. This process can be handled at the owner’s place or at the dealer’s service station.
The only Kia car that isn’t subjected to this single-key strategy is the newly launched EV6. Kia EV6 is an electric vehicle that was recently launched in India at a starting price of Rs 60 lakh, ex-sh.
It is brought via the CBU route and unlike other Kia cars on sale here, it is not made in India. Another way to look at it would be that Kia has somehow grabbed hold of semiconductor stock in the market where India-bound EV6 was manufactured.