A global shortage of semiconductor chips is forcing Toyota to scale back production of its San Antonio-made Tundra pickup trucks — a new supply chain disruption coming as automakers are looking to bounce back from lower sales in 2020.

The auto industry globally has been hurt by the shortage of chips, which are made primarily of silicon and are found in nearly all computerized devices.

“A supplier recently informed Toyota about a significant part shortage that will affect semiconductor supply for select Electronic Control Units,” Toyota spokeswoman Melissa Sparks said in an e-mail. “We are evaluating the supply constraint and developing countermeasures to minimize the impact to production.”

The Tundra is the only Toyota vehicle affected by the supply shortage. The automaker didn’t say how deep the production cut would be.

Toyota dealers sold 109,000 Tundra trucks last year, compared with sales of 238,000 for the more popular mid-size Tacoma pickup.

Sparks said the cutback will not affect employment at the South Side factory. She couldn’t give an estimate for how long production will be reduced.

“This is a fluid situation that is under thorough review,” Sparks said.

Analysts expected supply chain problems in 2021 after the pandemic-related disruptions last year. After projecting 14.5 million vehicle sales last year, analysts at Cox Automotive expect U.S. car sales to reach 15.7 million in 2021 — better than 2020, but still down significantly from the 17 million vehicle sales annually from 2015 through 2019.

Consumer demand for vehicles cratered last spring when pandemic-related restrictions were enacted. In response, semiconductor manufacturers slowed chip production.

But automotive manufacturing ramped up faster than expected in the second half of last year, causing a spike in demand for semiconductors.

“When we developed our sales forecast for 2021, we baked in the possibility that there would be supply chain disruptions as we saw in 2020 as companies ramped up from being shut down and consumer demand surged more than we expected at the depths of the pandemic,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive. “This is an example of a supply chain disruption we anticipated.”

And semiconductor manufacturers are still playing catch-up after last year, when electronic goods such as laptops and gaming consoles flew off shelves as employees and students shifted to working from home en masse.

“Automakers and electronics companies, including phone, computer and video game makers, are vying for the chips,” Krebs said. “The situation is compounded by the fact that today’s vehicles require more and more computer chips as new electronic features are introduced.”

Car features such as advanced driver assistance, collision detection and entertainment systems are driving demand for semiconductors in vehicles.

The market for automotive semiconductors is expected to grow to $125 billion by 2025 , up from $48 billion in 2019, according to Mordor Intelligence, a market research firm.

“The electrification and automation of automobiles have led to increased demand in semiconductor wafers,” analysts with Mordor wrote.

The ever-growing demand for semiconductors has re-intensified the focus on beefing up the U.S.’ domestic manufacturing capabilities.

China in 2004 consumed about 20 percent of the world’s semiconductors. But by 2019, China’s market share of the semiconductor industry had grown to over 60 percent , according to Daxue Consulting, a China-based market research firm.

As China has moved to invest billions to develop its domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry, lawmakers here have sought to re-energize chip production in the U.S.

The CHIPS for America Act , introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, would create an investment tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing investments and provide $10 billion of federal incentives for companies that build semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

“Long-term,” Krebs said, “automakers will have to figure out where to get a steady, reliable supply of chips.”