The recent fire at the AKM chip plant in Japan will impact a wide range of Pioneer car radios, said the company. Twenty-one of Pioneer head unit models include IC chips that are produced by the AKM plant in Nobeoka City, Japan, which suffered severe fire damage in late October.
A Pioneer letter to dealers said it is looking for new chip sources and that it expects “some component supply shortages in the short term.”
At least five other car audio head unit and amplifier suppliers use AKM chips and are seeking other sources for chips such as digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and digital signal processors (DSPs), said industry members. This could result in more head unit delays next year, on top of the shortages already in effect due to COVID-19.
Even apart from the AKM chip disruption, some suppliers are telling retailers that full supplies of head units and some amplifiers will not be available until December and in some cases, January or February. Now it is expected that the AKM fire will add to these delays.
The AKM factory will not be up and running for a full year, said one supplier. Pro Sound News said the factory will be out of operation for at least 6 months, and that it is trying to source the chips at other factories in the meantime.
Switching to a new chip supplier may require modifications to an amplifier or head unit on the part of a manufacturer, again resulting in a lag in time to market.
Some head unit suppliers said privately they do not know yet, the extent of delays to expect from the AKM fire. “It’s still too soon to tell,” was said privately, by more than one supplier.
The AKM fire began October 30 and burned for three days, before coming under control.
List of Pioneer models impacted: