When COVID-19 caused carmakers to shut down plants around the globe last spring, few envisioned the fourth quarter 2020 jump in sales of cars and auto-related semiconductors.Lately, some North American carmakers are even reporting a chip shortage that has been seen elsewhere around the globe, cutting into their production. Ford Motor Co. is planning to idle a Louisville, Kentucky, SUV assembly facility for a week because of limited supplies of chips used in displays and transmissions, forcing a temporary layoff of 3,900 workers, according to recent reports, including one from Reuters. Fiat Chrysler is also idling its Brampton facility in Ontario, Canada.
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