I think most of you, particularly those of you who are PC enthusiasts, will know that there has been a global chip shortage over the last couple of months. As it turns out, the issue isn’t simply limited to the computing world, with the automotive industry also affected thanks to the use of new technologies such as assisted driving, or even swanky control panels/head units.
But the folks over at French carmakers Peugeot have found a workaround… of sort. As first reported by Reuters, Peugeot is replacing the digital speedometer from its popular (and aging) 308 lineup—instead, new units will come with rather old-fashioned analogue speedometers.
I suppose it’s a matter of needs versus wants here, and a spokeperson for Stellantis—the merged entity between PSA Group and Fiat-Chrysler—explaining:
“It’s a nifty and agile way of getting around a real hurdle for car production, until the ‘chips’ crisis ends.”
The lack of supply for semiconductor chips had already disrupted manufacturing for the Peugeot 308, with other major automotive manufacturers such as Ford Motor and Volkswagen also affected recently. According to Reuters, the global shortage can also be partly attributed to an increased demand for electronics—with the COVID-19 global pandemic pushing work from home setups.
In any case, the analogue speedometers should be installed on most Peugeot 308 cars by the end of May 2021. However, on the company’s “most popular models, like the Peugeot 3008 SUV”, there will still be digital speedometers. The French carmakers are prioritising their high demand models, it seems.
It’s worth noting that the current gen Peugeot 308 was just updated last summer, with a new digital instrument panel (iCockpit) brought over from other models to add to the value proposition of one of Peugeot’s main staples over the years. It isn’t yet clear if the units with the analogue speedometer will come at a discount, for now.
In any case, the current generation of the Peugeot 308 is due for a refresh, with an update to arrive sometime later this year. The next generation, of course, should arrive with digital speedometers.
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