Mercedes Benz production plants are running smoothly again. However, some technical features for cars will probably only be fully available also from April, some in July at the earliest.
The global shortage of computer chips has caused considerable bottlenecks in equipment such as “Blind Spot Assist” and “PRE-SAFE” for the Swabian premium brand.
As a consolation for its dealerships, the company has internally sent out a chart that points to similar difficulties with direct competitors and tech companies from the IT world.
The global shortage of computer chips extends to make problems for the Stuttgart-based Daimler group. This is proven by documents categorized as confidential from the Sales Operations MBC Region Europe, which is available to Business Insider.
A circular from Monday, February 8, identified with “Important: High” and the title “Semiconductor deficiency”, promises Mercedes sales associates a “Webex meeting” for this Wednesday. The knowledge of this short-term planned video conference is a so-called production arrangement for the models A-Class (series code W 177), A-Sedan (V 177), B-Class (W 247), GLA (H 247), GLC (X 253) and GLC Coupé (C 253). Additionally, the EQC (N 293), a purely electrically powered SUV, is addressed accordingly.
Daimler, other meaningful automotive industry players, such as Ford and Toyota, are currently suffering significantly from the semiconductor shortage. Cell phone manufacturers and yielders of tablets or providers of computer games are also massively affected. The Sales Operations MBC Region Europe expressly influences this out in a diagram to illustrate the misery’s global extent.
Mercedes-Benz had already informed its national subsidiaries in mid-January about “massive problems with the availability of Code 234 -” Blind Spot Assist “- in the compressed MFA and GLC models”. Even then, information was given against a “reduction in planned availability”. “These problems”, it was said to support the difficulties with the popularly known blind-spot warning system, Blind Spot Assist, “result from global modifications in our sub-suppliers of before-mentioned components”. The abbreviation MFA stands for modular front-wheel-drive architecture, the technical support of the compact class from Mercedes-Benz.
A good week later, Mercedes-Benz had to announce severe restrictions for the code 299, which many new car buyers had chosen, in addition to the code 234. Behind this is “PRE-SAFE”, a comprehensive system for reducing the potentially drastic consequences of vehicle passengers’ accidents.
Since the equipment named Code 299 is an essential part of the complete Driver Assistant Package Plus (Code 23P), this famous feature cluster’s availability had to be partially cancelled. To provide a particular remedy for angry customers, Mercedes-Benz quickly introduced the code PAY in new car configurators.
“The PAY code is a substitute code that is only available during the 299 restrictions. If the availability of the 299 code is restored earlier than expected, the code 23P of 299 can be reconstructed on vehicles equipped with PAY,” the manufacturer informed the dealers.
However, this upgrade will be more expensive for customers because the Driver Assistant Package Plus is more expensive than the PAY-Code emergency solution. “Please take this information into account when doing business,” warned Mercedes-Benz dealers as a precaution. Regarding code 234 (“Blind Spot Assist”) it is now said that this should be available again without restrictions for MFA and GLC models from April: “Estimated availability from Q2 2021”. On the other hand, there will probably not be relief until July with Code 299 (“PRE-SAFE”) for MFA cars: “Expected availability from the second half of 2021”.\
In other respects, too, Mercedes-Benz is working flat out on solutions for the numerous other problems resulting from the global chip shortage even: “There is currently a shortage of some semiconductor components worldwide.
Unfortunately, this situation can have an impact on the delivery of vehicles for particular model series,” said an internal Daimler circular.
When asked by Business Insider, a Daimler spokeswoman said: “There is currently a global supply bottleneck for individual semiconductor components. Following the current delivery situation, we had to adjust the driving styles at the Mercedes-Benz plants in Rastatt, Kecskemét and Bremen. “
The spokeswoman emphasized: “Due to the high flexibility of our plants, we can react at short notice to such fluctuations and adapt our driving styles accordingly. The Rastatt, Bremen and Kecskemét plants have been up and running again since Monday. “
With a view to the coming months, the Daimler spokeswoman said: “Our goal is to compensate for the temporary fluctuations over the year.”
Nevertheless, many prospective buyers will have to be patient for a new car with the star: “Due to the current situation, delays in the delivery of some model series cannot be ruled out,” admitted Mercedes-Benz to dealers. “We try to minimize the impact on our customers.”