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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Automakers may soon get a lot more of the chips they need to get cars for sale.

Why it matters: Winter weather, a fire and the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to a shortage in chips that has stalled the production of new cars.

Driving the news: Chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor reported its Q2 earnings on Thursday, and with it announced relief was coming for automakers in need of chips.

  • On a call with analysts, CEO C.C. Wei said its production of micro-controlling units for cars would be up 60% in 2021 compared to last year.
  • "By taking such actions, we expect the automotive component shortage from semiconductors to be greatly reduced for TSMC customers starting this quarter," he said.
  • Taiwan Semiconductor controls a little over half of the chip production market share as measured by dollar value.

Yes, but: Cars need as many as 1,400 different computer chips so it’s too early to say the auto industry is in the clear.

The bottom line: Supply chain issues are plaguing industries all over the world. So, it’s good news to hear things are at least improving.

Go deeper

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

China says there's "no room" for compromise on Taiwan with U.S.

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Chinese government spokesperson on Friday said that there is "no room" for compromise over Taiwan after President Biden commented that the U.S. would defend the island if it were attacked, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden’s comments were initially seen as undercutting the U.S. government’s long-standing position of “strategic ambiguity” toward whether it would defend Taiwan, which China views as a rebellious territory. A White House spokesperson quickly clarified that there is no change in U.S. policy.

Oct 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: the year's best vehicles

Joann Muller in the battery-electric Hyundai Ionic 5, which has a futuristic interior. Photo: Miles Johnson for Axios

This week, I spent two glorious fall days evaluating dozens of cars, trucks and SUVs on the roads near Ann Arbor, Michigan, to determine the best of the best.

Why it matters: The annual comparison drive brings together 50 professional automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada who are jurors for the independent North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards.

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