Wire Harness Could Shut Down Autos

How a cheap component could help kill off combustion cars
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cheap-component-could-help-ki…

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) - The humble wire harness, a cheap component that bundles cables together, has become an unlikely scourge of the auto industry. Some predict it could hasten the downfall of combustion cars.

Supplies of the auto part were choked by the war in Ukraine, which is home to a significant chunk of the world’s production, with wire harnesses made there fitted in hundreds of thousands of new vehicles every year.

These low-tech and low-margin parts - made from wire, plastic and rubber with lots of low-cost manual labour - may not command the kudos of microchips and motors, yet cars can’t be built without them.

intercst

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If it’s low-tech and low-cost, surely a clever entrepreneur will set up a factory in a low labor cost country to make them. It’s not like a semiconductor fab that costs billions.

Wendy

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How a cheap component could help kill off combustion cars

If it’s low-tech and low-cost, surely a clever entrepreneur will set up a factory in a low labor cost country to make them. It’s not like a semiconductor fab that costs billions.

True. They were being made in the Ukraine, not exactly a high-tech hotbed. There are 65-70 million cars sold each year. Even if only half of them were ICE in five years that is still quite a market.

DB2

If it’s low-tech and low-cost, surely a clever entrepreneur will set up a factory in a low labor cost country to make them. It’s not like a semiconductor fab that costs billions.

Yeah, you’d think. But it’s getting harder and harder to find poverty wage labor.

intercst

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How a cheap component could help kill off combustion cars

Electric cars have them too.

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Does this mean we could see headlines similar to the one below?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-16/not-a-sin…

Does this mean we could see headlines similar to the one below?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-16/not-a-sin…

China turns to fiscal stimulus & subsidies:https://mishtalk.com/economics/china-increases-subsidies-and…

They will certainly be delivery constrained until that gets fixed. Luckily all of that wire rubber and plastic has to be installed before you can assemble the car.

P.S. Wiring harnesses impact virtually every durable consumer good (including electric cars). That you see a news story on just one implies entertainment, not an implied singular existential event.

We have a similar issue. Our wiring harnesses are much longer, much lower volume and much more expensive to install. This would be the case if our products were made only from batteries and motors, as well, of course.

(it’s not the powertrain that get’s you, is the accessories!)

“How a cheap component could help kill off combustion cars”

Electric cars have probably near the same amount of ‘wiring harness’ to connect lights, taillights, turn signal, side lights, overhead lights, door lights, panel lights, radios, sterio systems, satellite antennas/cellular antenna, brake lights, front lights, turn signals front and rear, power seats, air conditioning, dashboard lights, ignition switch, warning lights, etc.

Then EVs have their own special HV harnesses to connect motors, controllers, switchers, batteries. Most EVs have a 12v battery too…

No shortage of wire in any new car.

And…every car type is different…100-150 different models from 30 different car makers…

t

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If it’s low-tech and low-cost, surely a clever entrepreneur will set up a factory in a low labor cost country to make them. It’s not like a semiconductor fab that costs billions.

Wendy

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It is a problem seen on old cars > old than 10-20 years old. the insulation on the wires deteriorate causing contact between wires. The wiring harness is only part of the cost. The labor involved with replacing the wiring harness is at least 2 to 3 times the cost of the wiring harness. People usually can not find a mechanic who knows how to replace the wiring harness so they junk their old cars when the wiring harness goes bad.

Jaak

Wiring harnesses impact virtually every durable consumer good (including electric cars).

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It all depends on the quality of the wiring. The insulation materials used on the wiring can be made to last 40-50 years but at higher cost. Some durable goods use cheap insulation and others use long lasting insulation. That is one reason I liked buying German automobiles and German durable goods.

German cars and consumer goods cost more but you get something that will last 40-50 years.

I suspect EVs are using the best wiring possible because the whole car is electric.

Jaak

P.S. - Germans used to make some of their ICE cars in the 80s with pneumatic controls for many body and engine functions.