© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man sits in front of the logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) during an investors’ conference in Taipei

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) is “expediting” auto-related products through its wafer fabs and reallocating wafer capacity, the company said on Thursday, amid a global shortage of auto chips.

Automakers around the world are shutting assembly lines due to the shortages, which in some cases have been exacerbated by the former U.S. administration’s actions against Chinese chip factories.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s economy minister said major Taiwanese chipmakers were willing to prioritise supplies for auto makers, after she met senior company executives including from TSMC.

In a statement, TSMC said it was addressing the chip supply “challenges” as their top priority.

“The automotive supply chain is long and complex and we have worked with our automotive customers and identified their critical needs,” it said.

“TSMC is currently expediting these critical automotive products through our wafer fabs. While our capacity is fully utilised with demand from every sector, TSMC is reallocating our wafer capacity to support the worldwide automotive industry.”

The issue has become a diplomatic one, with German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier writing to his Taiwanese counterpart Wang Mei-hua to ask her for help in addressing it.

Wang said the other companies whose executives she met were from United Microelectronics Corp (UMC), Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp and Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp.

]The shortage has affected Volkswagen (DE:), Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co, Subaru (OTC:) Corp, Toyota Motor (NYSE:) Corp, Nissan (OTC:) Motor Co Ltd, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other car makers.

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