As if the crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic wasn't enough, the microchip shortage has also greatly impacted the automotive industry. Some companies have been hit harder than others, and it's safe to say it hasn't been smooth sailing for Jaguar Land Rover. The Tata Motors-owned conglomerate is failing to keep up with demand due to the semiconductor shortage, which has generated an unprecedented backlog of orders.
Nearly 100,000 customers are patiently waiting for their JLR products and the waiting time can extend to nearly 12 months on certain models. The vehicles equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain have been heavily impacted by the microchip shortage and other issues related to the PHEV setup. The bulk of the backlog originates from mainland Europe and the domestic market UK, according to Jaguar Land Rover chief financial officer Adrian Mardell.
Gallery: 2021 Jaguar XF
The problem is bigger than it seems as JLR already lost production of 7,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021 due to the missing chips. The company can’t estimate how the supply issues will impact production during the next financial year, but Mardell said Land Rover has more than 20,000 orders for the Defender.
The British off-roader is in high demand as more than 7,000 units are sold each month, which is 2,000 more than JLR's original estimations. The SUV could prove to be even more popular in the coming years as a bigger Defender 130 with three rows of seats will go on sale before the end of 2022. Land Rover believes the 5.1-metre-long version will be particularly successful in North America, Middle East, and China.
JLR says it's working closely with affected suppliers to fix the problems related to the microchip shortage and ramp up production to clear the massive backlog of orders as soon as possible.