Auto's Newest Hurdle: A Rubber Shortage

And it's not a supply that will easily bounce back.

Automakers have been dealing with a global shortage of semiconductors for months.

The issue has been dire enough that car companies like GM and Ford have modified production and even extended shutdowns.

And before a reprieve comes on the chip crisis, the automotive industry is staring down another critical shortage.

Bloomberg has reported that rubber supplies are dwindling, largely due to both “snarled shipping lines” and China’s stockpiling of the material.

Not only that, but leaf disease has ravaged trees and rubber glove demand has also leaned heavily on the supply.

The report says rubber trees take seven years to mature, meaning rubber producers will be hampered in their ability to quickly bounce back.

The US supply reportedly became so tight last year that distributors ran out of their buffer stock.

Bloomberg says that automotive’s Lean manufacturing methods mean the industry “has limited flexibility to deal with supply chain disturbances wrought by the pandemic.”

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