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CORRECTED-Pandemic, chip shortage will weigh on carmakers in 2021 - Bosch

(Corrects paragraph five to a forecast for global economic growth, instead of sales growth)

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Global automotive production will return to growth in 2021 after taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, auto supplier Robert Bosch said on Thursday, but the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and a semiconductor chip shortage will weigh on carmakers during 2021.

Around 85 million vehicles will roll off assembly lines around the world this year, a jump from the 78 million units produced in 2020, but still below the 92 million cars produced in 2019, the Stuttgart-based car parts supplier said.

Global automotive production hit a high of 98 million units in 2017.

“We are quite positive,” Chief Executive Volkmar Denner said, adding that “we still have a long way to go to catch up.”

The supplier said it estimated that the global economy would grow 4% in 2021 after contracting around 4.5% in 2020.

Reporting By Nick Carey and Ilona Wissenbach; editing by Thomas Seythal

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