Chip scarcity spurs new wave of automotive plant closures in Germany


The German automotive trade has been severely hit by provide issues this 12 months.

Three automakers introduced Thursday new momentary closures of producing websites in Germany over a worldwide scarcity of semiconductors, with Opel closing a plant till 2022—the longest such stoppage to date.

Germany’s important automotive trade has been severely hit by provide issues this 12 months, with Volkswagen, Ford, BMW and Daimler factories all going through start-stop manufacturing.

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The sector discovered itself “in an exceptional situation due to the continuing pandemic and the worldwide shortage of semiconductors,” mentioned a spokesman for Opel, which is owned by Stellantis.

“In this demanding situation, Stellantis plans to adjust its production,” the spokesman mentioned.

The manufacturing facility in Eisenach, in central Germany, will cease manufacturing from subsequent week and “start again at the beginning of 2022, to the extent the supply chain situation allows.”

Volkswagen additionally introduced on Thursday an almost two-week stoppage at its flagship plant in Wolfsburg from subsequent week, having curbed manufacturing on the similar web site in August.

US large Ford equally mentioned that it could put again the deliberate restart of its manufacturing web site in Cologne on October 1 till the top of the month, citing “volatile” provides of semiconductors, that are essential parts in each typical and electrical automobiles.

Like different nations, Germany is combating shortages of fundamental and intermediate items, resembling timber, metal and plastics. But it’s the shortage of digital chips that’s hitting the auto trade notably exhausting.

Outside Germany, General Motors has closed meeting traces within the United States, as has Japanese large Toyota, which delayed plans to restart at its plant in Valenciennes, in France, in September.

‘Very uncommon’

The manufacturing halt on the Opel manufacturing facility in Eisenach is however noteworthy for its size, analysts mentioned.

“It’s very unusual for a producer to close a factory for almost three months,” mentioned Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center Automotive Research.

The announcement was “bad news for Eisenach” the automotive knowledgeable mentioned, however would profit the carmaker’s different plant in Sochaux, France, the place the identical “Grandland X” mannequin is constructed.

Employees on the manufacturing facility in Eisenach might be placed on Germany’s subsidised short-time work scheme whereas the plant is shuttered, making the closure extra “economical” for Stellantis, Dudenhoeffer mentioned.

Labour unions had been up in arms over the announcement, with highly effective IG Metall union calling it “outrageous” that it had not been consulted earlier than the closure was made public, mentioned its spokesman in Eisenach, Uwe Laubach.

In all, an estimated 7.7 million automobiles is not going to be produced this 12 months because of parts missing, analysis by the Alix Partners consultancy instructed, estimating the loss in income at 210 billion euros ($243.5 billion).

Ola Kaellenius, the CEO of Daimler, not too long ago mentioned that “structural” shortfall in manufacturing capability confronted by carmakers might proceed to weigh on the sector in 2022.

VW reins in production due to ongoing chip shortage

© 2021 AFP

Chip scarcity spurs new wave of automotive plant closures in Germany (2021, September 30)
retrieved 30 September 2021

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