Carmaker Stellantis announced on 21st April 2021 that it would replace current generation digital speedometers with more outdated analogue ones in part of its Peugeot line-up, as a result of the current global shortage of semiconductor chipsets battering the auto industry.
As of writing, this change only affects the Peugeot 308 model, which lies among Stellantis’ grand line-up of Chrysler, Citroen and Jeep post PSA group’s merger with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis. It is unclear why the Peugeot 308 has been singled out specifically. But the model’s dwindling popularity and aging status may play a part.
“It’s a nifty and agile way of getting around a real hurdle for car production, until the ‘chips’ crisis ends,” a spokesman for Stellantis said.
Manufacturing of Peugeot 308 cars had already been under persistent disruption at Stellantis’ Sochaux factory thanks to the shortage, mirroring the continued halts and production cutbacks across the world, from Honda to Audi, in recent months.
COVID 19 has skyrocketed demand for semiconductor chipsets used in computers and portable technology, as people have transitioned to home working. Yet suppliers are still playing a catch-up game.
These ‘vintage’ style analogue speedometers should start appearing in Peugeot 308’s by the end of May, Stellantis announced, yet digital dashboards should remain in more popular models such as the 3008 SUV.
The current generation 308 is reaching the end of its run, a design largely unchanged since 2013. A next generation model is expected to be introduced in the autumn with digital speedometers.
The 308 remains popular, albeit trails against its smaller 208 sibling and SUV/crossover brothers the 2008 and 3008. Peugeot sold roughly 98,000 308 models last year.
French news channel LCI reported that Peugeot was considering a 400 euro discount on cars with the analogue speedometers. Stellantis is yet to comment.