The global chips shortage and Covid-19 seemed to bite the world’s auto industry this week. Toyota is cutting its September output plans due to the chips and other parts supply shortages. Others will surely follow. Toyota, it is worth reminding ourselves, is one of the better OEMs when it comes to supply chain management.

Toyota to slash September output due to chips – report

Hyundai is also being impacted in the US: Hyundai halts US production due to chip shortage

Toyota also cited problems sourcing parts from southeast Asia, where the Delta variant of Covid-19 is causing an upsurge in infections and measures to control population movement. Malaysia’s July vehicle market presents a sobering top line stat.

Malaysia vehicle market plunged 88% in July

The semiconductors shortage shows no sign of easing soon, despite evidence of work to examine supply chains and look at new solutions. This seemed interesting: ESI says it can reduce semiconductor content in vehicles

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Moving on from immediate concerns, it is interesting to note that when it comes to future mobility, there are still investments taking place. Chinese internet giant Baidu sees a big future for robocars and is developing the technologies.

Baidu unveils Level 5 self-driving vehicle

This concept from a company in Germany intrigued me and it’s apparently getting some traction with the involvement of Magna to take it to series production.

Adaptive City Mobility teams with Magna

In terms of inner city freight distribution and logistics, this Volta electric truck looks good and is now being tested.

Volta Trucks prototype starts real-world testing

In the EV batteries area, CATL has an aggressive international growth strategy that requires funding.

CATL in US$9bn private placement to fund expansion

On the supplier front, it’s good to see Mahle looking after its employees.

Mahle inoculates 13,000 staff against COVID-19

And Faurecia is looking to acquire 60% of Hella

We’ve got some future model features published this week that are well worth a look.

Ford Motor Company future models – Lincoln

Tesla future models – 2021 to 2031

And still on Tesla: Why is Tesla considering a plant and lobbying for import duty cuts in India?

Before we leave Tesla. Elon Musk is known for his fondness for science fiction as well as his grand visions. So, how about a humanoid robot, a ‘Tesla Bot’?

Tesla shows ‘Tesla Bot’ concept

As a number of observers have noted, the project brings to mind the 2004 science fiction movie starring Will Smith and a very futuristic Audi, as well as AI-infused robots that jumped their control settings: I,Robot.

Now that we are in the second half of August, attention is turning to the big IAA show next month in Germany. No, not Frankfurt this time, but Munich. Here’s our updated model debuts list. Check back to the URL as it gets updated regularly.

Munich IAA debuts – mystery Porsche

It is, of course, the time of the year that many of us take vacations. If you find yourself near deep water, do be careful. Here’s a nice recycling project with a cleverly executed safety message. Flip-flops with a twist. Well done Ford.

FRIDAY STORY – Ford and RNLI deliver safety message on flip-flops

Have a nice weekend.

Dave Leggett, Editor, Just Auto