Before December arrived, the auto industry hit a production milestone ... and it wasn't a good one.
According to AutoForecast Solutions, 10 million fewer vehicles than anticipated were made globally in 2021, a direct result of the microchip shortage.
That number was expected to eclipse the 11 million mark by the end of the year.
North America appears to be the hardest hit by the shortage, losing more than 3.15 million vehicles to the semiconductor shortage by Thanksgiving week, according to Automotive News data. Europe reported a loss of about 2.86 million vehicles by that time, while China and Asia reported losses of just fewer than 2 million each.
And while that was bad news for OEMs and dealers, it didn't hurt their bottom lines. This year, both auto makers and auto dealers reported record profits. Auto suppliers, meanwhile, flailed. Their profits are dependent on building more cars, and with 10 million fewer cars being made it's hard to sell parts. Add to that the skyrocketing materials and shipping costs, and it creates quite a challenge.
Mega suppliers Lear Corp. and Magna International Inc. both reported massive losses in the third quarter. Magna's net income plunged 97 percent compared to the same quarter in 2020. Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. lost $123.2 million in the third quarter and set about trying to recoup at least $100 million through renegotiated contracts.
On the tire side, sales rebounded for the aftermarket, but OE struggled. According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association's Dec. 2 forecast, projected total U.S. tire shipments will increase 10.8 percent this year to 336 million units. That's an improvement over 2020 and just 1 percent more than 2019's total of 332.7 million units.