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I sort of had it covered with -

Any glitch in the JIT supply chain, such as a supply impact from a factory fire, or factories shut down due to an earthquake, Tsunami, Covid, and the like, stresses the availability more and they're cumulative.
Sort of but not really. You were talking in theory what might happen, not what really happened last year. It did make the national news, briefly, but in spite of all of the coverage of chip shortages it seems to have got lost. That fire was likely to have contributed a lot to the automotive shortages because they made parts specific to the automotive market, which would not have been available from more generic providers with capacity. And replacing the manufacturing equipment is a problem when everyone else is buying in order to expand production. Not to mention the fire that happened a week ago in Berlin, damaging the factory that produces UV photo-lithography equipment used in the production of cutting edge CPUs and GPUs. Semiconductor supplier ASML launches recovery plan following factory fire | ZDNet . Good PR words notwithstanding this is going to. slow down expansion of semiconductor capacity.
 

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You were talking in theory what might happen, not what really happened last year.
True (on the theory) but from a practical perspective disasters hit various semiconductor factories on a repeated basis - there are many examples of major semiconductor factory hits. The example you cited was one of them but your example came at a particularly inopportune time when the entire system was already stressed so I imagine it had even more of an impact than it would have had in more normal times.
 

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I've designed circuits and the component selection area is one to pay close attention to and the particular component selection has its pros and cons.

On the one hand, it's ideal to never design with a chip that doesn't have multiple sources since one source could decide to no longer make that chip, could go out of business, could have a factory disaster that causes them to not be able to deliver, has other customers one must compete with, etc.

On the other hand there are economies to be taken advantage of with certain custom components such as designing ASICs and other customized circuits that can integrate much of the circuit into fewer components. This ends up with circuit boards that require less real estate, use less power, have a cleaner design, and generally are less expensive at scale. You can see how these attributes can be advantageous in the application of a vehicle where space and power are at a premium. The problem with these circuits is that there may be only a single supplier, or if multiple suppliers, since they're custom there will be some setup and scheduling time in order to actually have them made and again, one is competing against other customers with this.

A car no doubt has a combination of both of the above design practices.

Another factor is 'just in time' manufacturing and logistics. It costs a lot of money to buy a huge number of components at once and then have them sitting around waiting to use and potentially to be a waste when it's later discovered they won't be used because the applications (vehicles) they're used in didn't sell in the numbers expected or, with chips, a design flaw was discovered necessitating a revision - and now what to do with the large number still sitting on the shelf.

The manufacturers themselves are facing potential geo-political aspects (ex: embargoes against certain countries, increased import tariffs, and the like), competition from other manufacturers, delivering to competing customers (allocate that next run to Ford, or Toyota, or Honda, etc.) and other issues that can hit their ability to manufacture like when the Tsunami hit Japan.

The designers of the circuits need to pay attention to all the above factors and source wisely, which includes multiple manufacturers for the same components, appropriate lead times, geo-political considerations (like not sourcing solely from China), and the other factors.

Of course, Covid hit the world and caused major disruptions in the entire supply chain and even the behavior of the marketplace - ex: all of a sudden many people are working remotely hence they want to buy new laptops, new wireless routers, different kinds of vehicles, etc.
I survived two major chip shortages and allocation in my career at National and Fairchild Semi, you post is exactly on point!
 
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