Here in India even as automobile manufacturing is booming, the supply chain management both for electronic parts and mechanical suffer much the same woes.The dependence on import of almost all electronic components, delays, and an uncommitted approach of suppliers makes us all keep our fingers crossed.
The shortage of custom chips and the resulting shortage of control modules also points out the problem with changing the design so very frequently. They do that to discourage the aftermarket people, at least that is what I heard. Just think, if they had a control module that used a separate memory, they could have multiple sources using standard processors. The application specific part would be in the prom, or ROM, or some other kind of memory. I know that it would raise the cost a little bit, but so what if a module that sells for $1K, as a replacement part. On some rare occasions, it may be worthwhile to optimize for something besides minimum production cost.
Despite of modern supply chain management, it seems that this time the surge in demand coming out of the downturn was steeper than anyone predicted, and updates to forecasts weren't far enough out in time to avoid allocations and supply chain disruptions.
Every time we go through a boom and bust cycle, someone predicts that this time will be different. They usually mean less amplitude change between the peak of the boom and the valley of the bust, but this time just the opposite seems to have occurred.