MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Auto production in Mexico could be slow through the first half of 2022 due to a semiconductor shortage and COVID-19 aftershocks, the country head of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The global semiconductor shortage has prompted Mexico and other North American manufacturing hubs to implement rolling shutdowns, slowing production.
"I think we'll still (see) an impact for at least the first six months of this year," Mitsubishi Motors de Mexico President and Chief Executive Officer Jorge Vallejo said in an interview with Mexican business newspaper El Financiero.
Held back by the chip shortages, auto output in Mexico fell by 2% in 2021 from the previous year, the fourth consecutive annual decline.
The decrease was particularly steep in the second half of the year, falling 16.51% in December alone, official data show.
Vallejo said Mitsubishi would fare better than competitors on semiconductors over the next few months due to high demand in Mexico and large shipments from the Japanese parent company.
In previous interviews, Vallejo had said Mitsubishi anticipated shortages before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Mexico in 2020 and began to stockpile supplies.
The Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) said in December auto production in Mexico may not reach pre-pandemic levels until late 2023 or 2024.
(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Jan Harvey)