The Omicron variant of Covid-19 could exacerbate a persistent shortage of chips used in automobile manufacture, according to Nissan’s CEO. Makoto Uchida stated that it was too early to predict when normal deliveries (which means finished cars) would return, given the chip shortage. 

Speaking to the BBC, he said “I can’t give you a date. This new variant could add pressure to that, so how well we react is going to be crucial.”  Computer chips are used in a variety of products, including automobiles, washing machines, and cellphones. 

chip shortage

Once the Coronavirus pandemic first hit in 2020, some firms were forced to close, resulting in a manufacturing backlog in microchips, commonly referred to as semiconductors.

Increasing demand compounded the chip shortage problem, with many working from home and thus requiring tablets, laptops, and webcams to do their tasks.

In reaction to the international outcry over the omicron strain discovered in South Africa, Japan has halted overseas flights. Mr. Uchida’s remarks came as Nissan unveiled its vehicle electrification strategy that includes plans to introduce 23 electrified models by 2030 and the goal of having electric vehicles account for 75 percent of the company’s European sales by 2026. 

Makoto Uchida
Mr Uchida said Nissan remained committed to its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi

Nissan committed a £1 billion investment early this year to transform its Sunderland factory in the United Kingdom into an electric vehicle manufacturing powerhouse. Its goals for China and the United States are far less grandiose.

Nissan plans to sell 40 percent electric or hybrid vehicles in China by 2026, but it only expects to do so in the United States by 2030 due to slower market adoption.

The corporation has not established a deadline for phasing out combustion engines. Nissan, alongside VW, Toyota, and BMW, declined to join Volvo and Ford in accepting a vow to phase them out by 2040 at the COP26 climate summit.

Nissan Versa S

Nissan is also pouring more resources into the development of solid-state batteries. The industry thinks these batteries will outperform lithium-ion batteries in the long run.

Mr. Uchida stated that Nissan stays dedicated to its collaboration with Renault and Mitsubishi, which was established by former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is currently living in exile in Beirut after being smuggled out of Japan on allegations of financial fraud. Mr. Ghosn has vehemently denied the allegations.