If you didn’t already know, there is a massive semiconductor shortage that’s hitting the automobile industries, there are also major issues with the production of auto-industry wiring looms, which are mainly manufactured in Ukraine and Poland.
This started over a year ago when the production of semiconductors was hit badly by the Covid pandemic hitting China’s global production factories. It was hoped that the shortage would soon be over and things would return to normal, but then Russia invaded Ukrain and this slowed the output of Neon gas. Neon is used in the manufacture of semiconductors and, with over fifty percent of the global neon gas being produced in Ukraine has hit the semiconductor production badly. According to Volkswagen Group, the chip crisis is likely to carry on until 2024.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine also affected the manufacturing factories that make the wiring looms for the automobile industry, this includes vehicle-specific wiring looms used for tow bar wiring.
If you’ve tried to buy a new car or van you will probably know that getting a confirmed delivery date is often not possible. This is because many of the vehicle assembly factories are struggling to get the semiconductor chips and wiring looms needed for use in the vehicle’s electronics. The reason why second-hand car values have increased in price is down to the fact that new vehicles are not being made in the numbers they were.
What has this got to do with towbars?
Tow bar wiring kits contain semiconductors in their control modules.
Just like in the new vehicle industry, the tow bar wiring companies are struggling to buy semiconductors for use in the control modules. This has caused a shortage of tow bar wiring kits and has also driven up the prices, as the manufacturers compete with other businesses to buy semiconductors. (The control modules pick up the signal from the vehicle’s wiring system and decodes the information before passing the correct signal to the trailer)
The wiring loom factory production in Ukraine and Poland has been severely hit by the war with Russia. With some of the production being moved to different countries in an attempt by automobile manufacturers to gain some chance of getting production back to some form of normality. Many new vehicle orders are now experiencing a 12 to 24 month lead time, depending on the make and model.
What does this mean if you want a tow bar fitting this year?
The main thing is to get your tow bar fitting ordered in plenty of time. At Ultimate Towbars we have accounts with all of the tow bar electrics suppliers in the UK and abroad. Yet we are still having issues sourcing certain electrical kits for vehicles.
Unless the chip shortage and wiring loom manufacturing changes soon then even popular tow bar wiring kits will soon be out of stock. This at the least will massively increase the price of available tow bar wiring and at worse will mean sorrow for many unhappy people who wanted a tow bar but left it too late.
We do have some wiring kits in stock, so are currently managing to cope with the shortage.
The best advice we can give is to get your tow bar fitting booked a lot sooner than you need it.
Get a tow bar fitting quote today at >https://www.ultimatetowbars.co.uk/local-towbar-fitting/
Team Ultimate Towbars