For a couple of years now, the automotive and motorcycle industries have been struggling to keep up with global demand due to supply issues. More specifically, problems in the field of semiconductors have forced manufacturers to ramp down production, as well as cause the availability of certain features to be extremely scarce.
Unsurprisingly, given how ubiquitous technology is these days, nearly every single facet of our day-to-day lives is dependent on microchips—from our coffee makers, to yes, our motorbikes. So if you’ve been noticing your favorite dealerships being low on stock of premium models, the semiconductor shortage is partly to blame. That being said, there are indeed some workarounds to the issue, but it involves traveling back in time, so to speak. This is what Thai Honda Co, Honda’s Thailand-based arm, is doing.
Despite the prolonged semiconductor shortage, Honda is looking at achieving a 10-percent sales growth for 2022. According to Bangkok Post, the company looks to sell around 1.3 million units within the local market. So, how is Thai Honda Co able to keep up with demand despite supply issues? Well, it’s doing this by dialing back the technology of its motorcycles and streamlining its model range. In the same article by Bangkok Post, Shigeto Kimura, president of Thai Honda, said, “We have adjusted a business plan to make only certain types of motorcycles, those with so-called analogue odometers.”
So there you have it, something as simple as doing away with fancy LCD and TFT instrument panels can keep production on track, and mobility in check. But yes, this means sacrificing some of the premium features we have come to now and love—for now, at least. You see, experts suggest that the end of the semiconductor shortage is indeed in sight. As we’ve covered before, several manufacturers are investing heavily in the production of semiconductors, and a lot of new factories are beginning to churn out new chips.