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(Some Car Guy)   Auto makers are shutting down assembly lines because they can't get a $1 part. Here's why   (octopart.com) divider line
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2868 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Feb 2021 at 7:45 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-02-27 4:04:00 AM  
It's always that cheapest part that breaks the whole farming thing, right, Parnelli?
Fark user imageView Full Size

1967 Indy 500, fastest car for 492 miles.
 
2021-02-27 4:06:22 AM  

felching pen: It's always that cheapest part that breaks the whole farming thing, right, Parnelli?
[Fark user image image 425x238]
1967 Indy 500, fastest car for 492 miles.


*farking* Farm you, autocorrect.
 
2021-02-27 6:42:26 AM  
That article is one long infomercial.
 
2021-02-27 7:50:23 AM  
Bring back inventory and warehouses.
 
2021-02-27 8:10:41 AM  
Ah, yes, the problem of the "just in time" supply chain. It's efficient, but brittle.
 
2021-02-27 8:12:17 AM  

felching pen: It's always that cheapest part that breaks the whole farming thing, right, Parnelli?
[Fark user image image 425x238]
1967 Indy 500, fastest car for 492 miles.


That's a heck of a tractor.
 
2021-02-27 8:14:19 AM  
I don't want wall to wall electronics in my car anyway. All that stuff is just more things I have to subscribe to for it to work, another thing to update to work properly, protect from hackers, distract drivers, raise the price to farkin high and so forth. I have all that on my phone.
 
2021-02-27 8:15:16 AM  

wademh: Bring back inventory and warehouses.


The problem is inventory and warehouses cost money, and if your competitor is using JiT, they can undercut you, at least in the short term. It's one of the paradoxes of capitalism.
 
2021-02-27 8:28:01 AM  
This is hurting my company too, but fortunately our competitors all have the same problem.  We all have a lot of orders that we can't fill.
 
2021-02-27 8:45:13 AM  
Meanwhile, my company is busy working its operators 66 hours a week (except the ones lucky enough to get a 40-hour medical restriction...like me...)...as well as hiding this fact from potential hires...
 
2021-02-27 8:49:39 AM  
Oh no!  We're going to run out of cars!

My concern is underwhelming.   Who knew that when you exploited every single thing in the world, your resource base might run out sometimes.

Get used to it, because it's all going.  It won't bother me.  Its all perfectly NATURAL.
Probably going to bother some of you though, since you don't have any connection to the real world and think that as long as you can keep paying, its just all going to be there.

I'm more than ready for your rude awakening.
 
2021-02-27 8:52:05 AM  
But just-in-time saves money.

...sometimes.

You want to maximize profits?

You take some risks.

/Companies exist to make a profit.
//The product is incidental.
///As is the community, the customers, the economy.
 
2021-02-27 9:00:03 AM  
Mrs. Tweedy and I are in auto parts - since Covid started it's been an absolute clusterfark trying to keep reasonable inventory levels. You obviously don't want a year's supply of a part in stock - you try to keep it at 1-2 weeks. But then said part isn't getting restocked at the warehouses and you start buying all of them you can so you have them to sell for the next year. It's not financially feasible to do that with every part but you practically have to try. Even the most common parts - spark plugs, ignition points, you name it are plentiful one day and the next day they get scarce and the word is no restock for the foreseeable future so you spend the next 4 hours buying whatever stock is at whatever warehouse. Even more fun when the next week you get 30 different shipments from 30 different warehouses in 20 different states that total 50 of that part. The trash and paperwork that creates is incredible.
 
2021-02-27 9:03:29 AM  
Lets see--new Playstations, 5g broadcasting, new cars, and even more consumer electronics.

Whatever will we doooo?  Your job depends on selling this crap until the world is covered in a blanket of gray smog and everything  collapses!
 
2021-02-27 9:05:30 AM  

Mr. Tweedy: Mrs. Tweedy and I are in auto parts - since Covid started it's been an absolute clusterfark trying to keep reasonable inventory levels. You obviously don't want a year's supply of a part in stock - you try to keep it at 1-2 weeks. But then said part isn't getting restocked at the warehouses and you start buying all of them you can so you have them to sell for the next year. It's not financially feasible to do that with every part but you practically have to try. Even the most common parts - spark plugs, ignition points, you name it are plentiful one day and the next day they get scarce and the word is no restock for the foreseeable future so you spend the next 4 hours buying whatever stock is at whatever warehouse. Even more fun when the next week you get 30 different shipments from 30 different warehouses in 20 different states that total 50 of that part. The trash and paperwork that creates is incredible.


Ignition points are common parts?

Y'all do antique car stuff?
 
2021-02-27 9:06:21 AM  
"Car companies have been able to take advantage of the just-in-time supply chain for semiconductors and other components required for their vehicles. This has allowed car companies to hold less inventory and adjust orders to meet changing demand. Unfortunately, once the supply chain gets disrupted with excess demand for critical components, and those components don't have replacements, you end up with a shortage."

Death by a 1000 self inflicted paper cuts.
 
2021-02-27 9:11:37 AM  

cryinoutloud: Lets see--new Playstations, 5g broadcasting, new cars, and even more consumer electronics.

Whatever will we doooo?  Your job depends on selling this crap until the world is covered in a blanket of gray smog and everything  collapses!


Could be worse.  Our jobs could depend on jobs that depend on selling crap until the world is covered in a blanket of gray smog and everything  collapses.
 
2021-02-27 9:31:38 AM  
The problem is, the part is supplied by ONE factory located in China.  There might be 500 suppliers, but they all get the part from that ONE factory.   Anyone that can actually get a part is buying it from a quality custom shop that builds it in America at 50 times the cost, by someone who knows what their doing, takes their time and will never rush.   Not something cheap for a production run.

I don't know if you heard, but there was a flu in China that really destroyed their health and working population.  There were probably 3 people that could work that machine.   Now there are 0, and no documentation on how to run the machine, and nobody to train newbies on how to run the machine.   (I ran into this problem working on mainframes in 00).

They will hire a bunch of kids to run the machine, do crappy quick QA/QC testing on the parts, see if they pass the bare minimum, if they do, they send them off (problems be dammed).  Then they will have these new kids spend most of their time writing manuals and documentation on the machines, so it never happens again.

In short, whatever uses these parts and chips is going to be absolute shiat for the next few years.
 
2021-02-27 9:32:41 AM  
Well, of course, this is Biden's fault.  He should have never started that trade war with China.
 
2021-02-27 9:45:33 AM  
Did they try this one weird trick?
 
2021-02-27 9:49:14 AM  

scanman61: Mr. Tweedy: Mrs. Tweedy and I are in auto parts - since Covid started it's been an absolute clusterfark trying to keep reasonable inventory levels. You obviously don't want a year's supply of a part in stock - you try to keep it at 1-2 weeks. But then said part isn't getting restocked at the warehouses and you start buying all of them you can so you have them to sell for the next year. It's not financially feasible to do that with every part but you practically have to try. Even the most common parts - spark plugs, ignition points, you name it are plentiful one day and the next day they get scarce and the word is no restock for the foreseeable future so you spend the next 4 hours buying whatever stock is at whatever warehouse. Even more fun when the next week you get 30 different shipments from 30 different warehouses in 20 different states that total 50 of that part. The trash and paperwork that creates is incredible.

Ignition points are common parts?

Y'all do antique car stuff?


well - let's say vintage - antique makes me think of a Model T
 
2021-02-27 9:58:34 AM  

Mr. Tweedy: scanman61: Mr. Tweedy: Mrs. Tweedy and I are in auto parts - since Covid started it's been an absolute clusterfark trying to keep reasonable inventory levels. You obviously don't want a year's supply of a part in stock - you try to keep it at 1-2 weeks. But then said part isn't getting restocked at the warehouses and you start buying all of them you can so you have them to sell for the next year. It's not financially feasible to do that with every part but you practically have to try. Even the most common parts - spark plugs, ignition points, you name it are plentiful one day and the next day they get scarce and the word is no restock for the foreseeable future so you spend the next 4 hours buying whatever stock is at whatever warehouse. Even more fun when the next week you get 30 different shipments from 30 different warehouses in 20 different states that total 50 of that part. The trash and paperwork that creates is incredible.

Ignition points are common parts?

Y'all do antique car stuff?

well - let's say vintage - antique makes me think of a Model T


antiques are supposed to be 100/+ years old.

most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine. sheeeit, when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.
 
2021-02-27 10:04:43 AM  

Thrakkorzog: I don't want wall to wall electronics in my car anyway. All that stuff is just more things I have to subscribe to for it to work, another thing to update to work properly, protect from hackers, distract drivers, raise the price to farkin high and so forth. I have all that on my phone.


Ok, Grandpa. Isn't it time for your mid-morning nap?
 
2021-02-27 10:04:55 AM  
sinko swimo:most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine. sheeeit, when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.

Yeah, but for most shadetree mechanics, "a damn diagnostic machine" is a $15 OBD / CAN bus reader, and a free smartphone app that gets you 85% of what a $15,000 dealer tool does.

And most people aren't working on newer cars in their driveway because you just don't need to do 90% of the work that you used to have to do on older cars. But I've swapped bad sensors successfully plenty of times myself.

/ millennial typing detected
 
2021-02-27 10:07:35 AM  
Chip shortage during the vaccine rollout? Gee, I wonder where all the chips are going...
 
2021-02-27 10:08:55 AM  

SecondaryControl: But just-in-time saves money.

...sometimes.

You want to maximize profits?

You take some risks.

/Companies exist to make a profit.
//The product is incidental.
///As is the community, the customers, the economy.


Companies do not exist to make a profit.  They exist to increase shareholder value.
 
2021-02-27 10:10:29 AM  
Supply chain problems are going to continue/get worse. Winter storm Uri shutdown 80%+ of some petrochemical plants. The kind that make plastic food wrapping, industrial pallet cover plastic, material for car interiors, etc.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Some of the plants aren't expected to return to service until April.
 
2021-02-27 10:11:40 AM  

sinko swimo: when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.


pffhhh.  Before they did mail order through that name you had to go to the Warshawsky store on State Street.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-02-27 10:12:15 AM  

Enigmamf: sinko swimo:most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine. sheeeit, when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.

Yeah, but for most shadetree mechanics, "a damn diagnostic machine" is a $15 OBD / CAN bus reader, and a free smartphone app that gets you 85% of what a $15,000 dealer tool does.

And most people aren't working on newer cars in their driveway because you just don't need to do 90% of the work that you used to have to do on older cars. But I've swapped bad sensors successfully plenty of times myself.

/ millennial typing detected


We get a lot of shops who call up asking about how to work on a carburetor as they've literally never owned or worked on a carb'd car. It's pretty much the exact opposite now of how old mechanics were with FI.

/ Gen X typing not detectable but admitted.
 
2021-02-27 10:12:41 AM  

The Ocho: Supply chain problems are going to continue/get worse. Winter storm Uri shutdown 80%+ of some petrochemical plants. The kind that make plastic food wrapping, industrial pallet cover plastic, material for car interiors, etc.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Some of the plants aren't expected to return to service until April.


What the hell is a Uri?
 
2021-02-27 10:15:02 AM  

sinko swimo: antiques are supposed to be 100/+ years old.


Most states you can get an antique license plate/designation for your vehicle in the 20-30 year range.
 
2021-02-27 10:22:52 AM  

jayphat: The Ocho: Supply chain problems are going to continue/get worse. Winter storm Uri shutdown 80%+ of some petrochemical plants. The kind that make plastic food wrapping, industrial pallet cover plastic, material for car interiors, etc.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Some of the plants aren't expected to return to service until April.

What the hell is a Uri?


A storm that is the bane of spoons.
 
2021-02-27 10:30:56 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: SecondaryControl: But just-in-time saves money.

...sometimes.

You want to maximize profits?

You take some risks.

/Companies exist to make a profit.
//The product is incidental.
///As is the community, the customers, the economy.

Companies do not exist to make a profit.  They exist to increase shareholder value.


They exist to do both.  If you aren't making a profit you can't increase shareholder value.
 
mgh [TotalFark]
2021-02-27 10:39:08 AM  
Ha, I have a 1967 Jeep w/ points, and a 2011 Jeep.  I can work through most problems on both, the diagnostics is just 'different'.

On the 1967, you wait for noise or something to break.  On the 2011 you get a check engine or other dash light (or better) plug in the ODB/CAN reader to look for failures before they happen.

Same problem, different era, different techniques.  (and yes, I HAVE rebuilt a carb, replaced and upgraded all of the injectors on the modern jeep as well.)

Of course both vehicles are manual transmissions, nothing like the roll of a (pre 2015 or so) automatic to scare the shiat out of you when you get used to turning off the vehicle, leaving it in gear/parking break on and it doesn't move an inch.

/Definitely Gen X typing detected
 
2021-02-27 10:44:01 AM  

Enigmamf: sinko swimo:most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine. sheeeit, when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.

Yeah, but for most shadetree mechanics, "a damn diagnostic machine" is a $15 OBD / CAN bus reader, and a free smartphone app that gets you 85% of what a $15,000 dealer tool does.


As someone who does diagnostics and programming for a living, let me assume you that your Elm32 Bluetooth device and smartphone app aren't getting you 85% of what the OE scanner does.  Probably closer to 50%.  There's a LOT more to a scanner than reading codes and data.

As far as a $15k cost, only the high end Euro stuff costs that much.
 
2021-02-27 10:53:43 AM  

sinko swimo: most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine.


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2021-02-27 10:54:30 AM  
 
mgh [TotalFark]
2021-02-27 11:05:21 AM  

scanman61: Enigmamf: sinko swimo:most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine. sheeeit, when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.

Yeah, but for most shadetree mechanics, "a damn diagnostic machine" is a $15 OBD / CAN bus reader, and a free smartphone app that gets you 85% of what a $15,000 dealer tool does.

As someone who does diagnostics and programming for a living, let me assume you that your Elm32 Bluetooth device and smartphone app aren't getting you 85% of what the OE scanner does.  Probably closer to 50%.  There's a LOT more to a scanner than reading codes and data.

As far as a $15k cost, only the high end Euro stuff costs that much.



To be fair, a $15 code scanner is usually "good enough" for just ODB/CAN.  I've got a $99 Bluetooth scanner.  The $99 wasn't the cost of the scanner, but the software that came with it.  This one can do all of the extended diagnostics for the American brands, and most foreign brands sold in North America.

(Extended means, HVAC, ABS, Airbag, fuel pressure, etc etc etc.)

Allows me to choose if I'm going to shade tree mechanic the problem, or bring it to a shop.  When I do bring it to a shop, I know exactly what is wrong so I can have an intelligent conversation with them about costs and time.  (Often due to needing special tools, techniques, it IS cheaper at the shop for a lot of things.)
 
2021-02-27 11:10:36 AM  

Smackledorfer: jayphat: The Ocho: Supply chain problems are going to continue/get worse. Winter storm Uri shutdown 80%+ of some petrochemical plants. The kind that make plastic food wrapping, industrial pallet cover plastic, material for car interiors, etc.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Some of the plants aren't expected to return to service until April.

What the hell is a Uri?

A storm that is the bane of spoons.


I'll give you the +1. My point was the "winter storms" don't have names, hurricanes/tropical storms/typhoons do.
 
2021-02-27 11:24:40 AM  

mgh: scanman61: Enigmamf: sinko swimo:most guys aren't working on new cars in their driveway IMHO. you need a damn diagnostic machine. sheeeit, when i was a kid i remembering rebuilding my carb with a kit from JC Whitney. senior typing detected.

Yeah, but for most shadetree mechanics, "a damn diagnostic machine" is a $15 OBD / CAN bus reader, and a free smartphone app that gets you 85% of what a $15,000 dealer tool does.

As someone who does diagnostics and programming for a living, let me assume you that your Elm32 Bluetooth device and smartphone app aren't getting you 85% of what the OE scanner does.  Probably closer to 50%.  There's a LOT more to a scanner than reading codes and data.

As far as a $15k cost, only the high end Euro stuff costs that much.


To be fair, a $15 code scanner is usually "good enough" for just ODB/CAN.  I've got a $99 Bluetooth scanner.  The $99 wasn't the cost of the scanner, but the software that came with it.  This one can do all of the extended diagnostics for the American brands, and most foreign brands sold in North America.

(Extended means, HVAC, ABS, Airbag, fuel pressure, etc etc etc.)

Allows me to choose if I'm going to shade tree mechanic the problem, or bring it to a shop.  When I do bring it to a shop, I know exactly what is wrong so I can have an intelligent conversation with them about costs and time.  (Often due to needing special tools, techniques, it IS cheaper at the shop for a lot of things.)


That's not a bad approach.  Honestly, with a cheap code reader, a decent multimeter and Google to search testing techniques for the trouble code you can find the cause of most vehicle problems.  Enthusiast forums are the best place to search...if you're trying to figure out what's wrong with your Accord then join an Accord forum and talk to the folks there.  Very few vehicle problems are unique, someone on the forum has already been down the path you're walking.

However, even the "professional" scanners like Autel or Snap On can't do 85% of the stuff I can do with an OE scanner.  I find it funny when I'm doing diag at a shop and the techs are asking "Why won't my scanner let me do that?"
 
2021-02-27 11:28:08 AM  
Needs be a moratorium on building new cars anyways until something is done with those massive city sized parking lots of unsold, but perfectly functional vehicles left to rot.

I understand the merits of capitalism, but there's a point where it just gets stupid.
 
2021-02-27 11:32:14 AM  

TheFoz: Chief Superintendent Lookout: SecondaryControl: But just-in-time saves money.

...sometimes.

You want to maximize profits?

You take some risks.

/Companies exist to make a profit.
//The product is incidental.
///As is the community, the customers, the economy.

Companies do not exist to make a profit.  They exist to increase shareholder value.

They exist to do both.  If you aren't making a profit you can't increase shareholder value.


Um, where have you been?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-02-27 11:44:07 AM  
I worked for a semiconductor that was starting to get into automotive chips. Their high end factory is in Oregon because they worried about their own employees from China stealing the plans and recipes to give to competitors (our low end chip manu's were in our China facilities).

Trumps trade wars didn't help as it caused companies to seek a way around or mitigate. Most of your semi conductor industry folk trained in the field are overseas - rare to find anyone qualified in the US. Everyone here wants to be famous or known, so few even teach the field out here. Companies have a hard time leaving their support base. The chemical needs alone are crazy not to mention the support for a million dollar plus piece of equipment time 1000 pieces of equipment. All running on windows NT 4 if you are lucky.
 
2021-02-27 11:45:18 AM  
So one chip is holding up the show?   Makes m wonder what else this particular ship is used in even if it used in different configurations. seeing a list of such uses might be most revealing as to what the source of  shortage might be.

Okay gonna make a theoretical example here : okay this chip that costs the auto industry $1 each  is also used in another device in which  the manufacturer enjoys a high profit margin and is willing to pay extra to get the same chips say $2 each which is easily absorb by a very healthy profit margin.

The auto industry probably cannot match or better that given how much they pinch pennies to maximize investor returns, So the other guy gets his order filled first and the auto industry get a trickle if anything at all and quickly uses up the on hand supply of the chips ( that said it looks like it goes someplace else to be built into a full electronic component before being installed into a car) .

So they are forced to shut down production until they can get the parts.

Esroc: Needs be a moratorium on building new cars anyways until something is done with those massive city sized parking lots of unsold, but perfectly functional vehicles left to rot.

I understand the merits of capitalism, but there's a point where it just gets stupid.


I agree with you but sad fact is this:

1. there will always be those clamoring for the newest most advanced car on the road.

2, There is probably some tax right off the car companies are able to take on these stockpiles of cars otherwise they would do more to move them more quickly.

My idea would be requiring them to auction them off with no reserve if they have sat unsold for more than 2 years, even if they sell for a loss.  Donating them to charities would also be permissible.
 
2021-02-27 11:45:21 AM  

Remnants of Santa: TheFoz: Chief Superintendent Lookout: SecondaryControl: But just-in-time saves money.

...sometimes.

You want to maximize profits?

You take some risks.

/Companies exist to make a profit.
//The product is incidental.
///As is the community, the customers, the economy.

Companies do not exist to make a profit.  They exist to increase shareholder value.

They exist to do both.  If you aren't making a profit you can't increase shareholder value.

Um, where have you been?

[Fark user image image 635x385]


Cool graph from 2014 bro.

You do realize that a company cannot continue operating if they don't make a profit, right?  Of course you do.
 
2021-02-27 12:05:54 PM  

TheFoz: Remnants of Santa: TheFoz: Chief Superintendent Lookout: SecondaryControl: But just-in-time saves money.

...sometimes.

You want to maximize profits?

You take some risks.

/Companies exist to make a profit.
//The product is incidental.
///As is the community, the customers, the economy.

Companies do not exist to make a profit.  They exist to increase shareholder value.

They exist to do both.  If you aren't making a profit you can't increase shareholder value.

Um, where have you been?

[Fark user image image 635x385]

Cool graph from 2014 bro.

You do realize that a company cannot continue operating if they don't make a profit, right?  Of course you do.


*Uber has entered the conversation*
 
2021-02-27 12:09:12 PM  
Who cares if the company continues to operate after the initial shareholders take their profits?

My point is that shareholders often make a huge pile of money off companies that have no viable business model.

This is intended to be a criticism of how things currently work.  I agree that things should work as you describe.
 
2021-02-27 12:20:21 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Ah, yes, the problem of the "just in time" supply chain. It's efficient, but brittle.


We used to say, JIT Happens.
I was never convinced about the savings. Nobody ever considered down time or express shipping cost or expediting cost (paying a premium for the parts from a second string vendor when the primary let you down) .
 
2021-02-27 12:23:23 PM  

Mr. Tweedy: scanman61: Mr. Tweedy: Mrs. Tweedy and I are in auto parts - since Covid started it's been an absolute clusterfark trying to keep reasonable inventory levels. You obviously don't want a year's supply of a part in stock - you try to keep it at 1-2 weeks. But then said part isn't getting restocked at the warehouses and you start buying all of them you can so you have them to sell for the next year. It's not financially feasible to do that with every part but you practically have to try. Even the most common parts - spark plugs, ignition points, you name it are plentiful one day and the next day they get scarce and the word is no restock for the foreseeable future so you spend the next 4 hours buying whatever stock is at whatever warehouse. Even more fun when the next week you get 30 different shipments from 30 different warehouses in 20 different states that total 50 of that part. The trash and paperwork that creates is incredible.

Ignition points are common parts?

Y'all do antique car stuff?

well - let's say vintage - antique makes me think of a Model T


Model-Ts didn't have distributors.   Magneto built into the flywheel and trembler coil for ignition.
 
2021-02-27 12:23:57 PM  
The automotive IC shortage underscores the effects of fabless semiconductor manufacturing on the supply chain

There is no such thing as "fabless". The chips have to be made somewhere. Fabless is just a just a way to separate the high margin design work from the low margin dirty work of actually making the damn thing. Of course the juicy margins of fabless come with a dark side: you don't control the supply chain anymore.
 
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