WSJ US BusinessAuto-Chip Maker Needs Up to Four Months to Recover From Fire

March 30, 20210

TOKYO—Japanese auto-chip maker Renesas Electronics Corp. said Tuesday it has found more damage from a recent factory fire and predicted it would take three to four months to recover full production.

The latest forecast is more bad news for the auto industry, which was already struggling with a semiconductor shortage for months before the March 19 blaze at Renesas’ factory in Hitachinaka, Japan.

Renesas Chief Executive Hidetoshi Shibata said at a briefing that 23 pieces of equipment were affected by the fire, about double the company’s initial estimate.

He repeated an earlier comment that the company aimed to restart production at the factory in about a month, but, in a new forecast, said that a full recovery would take at least three to four months.

The company is seeking to make up lost production at other facilities, both its own and other companies’, but it isn’t ready to ship those products immediately, Mr. Shibata said. He predicted the company would have to work through the end of the year to make up for the output it is losing now.

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