Problems in the supply of parts, which have even led to the suspension of car production by major European manufacturers, have been caused by the war in Ukraine.
There are 38 component factories in the country, many of which have closed due to ongoing conflicts. In fact, the biggest shortcomings are recorded in wiring for vehicles, components so basic that they can not be replaced in any other way, since they are very specific not only for each company but also for each model separately. These are both wiring for conventional and electric vehicles.
This has led automakers such as BMW and the Volkswagen Group to freeze model production in Europe, according to the Financial Times. Already in early March at the wiring company Leoni has sounded the alarm to deal with the interruption of delivery of such components caused by the war in Ukraine. Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz were forced to drastically reduce their production in Germany after the depletion of wiring supplies from the two Leoni plants in Ukraine, reports the website Autonews.
< p>These are mainly integrated wiring (“braids” as they are also known in Greece) which are an integral part of the electrical system of a vehicle. The total length of the cables in a conventional passenger vehicle can reach up to 5 kilometers, say the experts of the area.
“We are working at full speed – in close cooperation with our customers and suppliers – to manage the consequences of the current shutdowns at our two plants in Stryi and Kolomyja, which were caused by Russia's attack on Ukraine,” Leoni said. at Automotive News Europe. “A task force, which has been strengthened many times, works almost 24 hours a day at Leoni to continuously analyze and evaluate dynamic developments on the ground. We are currently considering all options for absorbing production losses, “said the German-based company. Leoni's two Ukrainian plants normally employ 7,000 people.
Leoni is currently supplying its customers to the automotive industry from factories in Morocco, Tunisia, Serbia and Romania, according to Autonews. According to the Ukrainian investment company Ukraineinvest, in Ukraine there are 22 foreign companies based in this country, which manufacture components for the automotive industry in 38 factories. In addition to Leoni, they include other manufacturers of cabling systems. Automakers are also preparing for shortages of microchips, palladium for catalytic converters and nickel ore for lithium-ion batteries, it is also reported.
“We are working with our suppliers affected by the crisis in Ukraine to find solutions together and support them in implementing these solutions, whether it is to maintain production in Ukraine or to alternative locations,” said BMW, which closed two German factories and the production of Mini in Britain, the “Financial Times” reports. Some suppliers in Ukraine have resumed operations, according to carmakers, suppliers and people familiar with the situation. On Tuesday, VW said nine of its 11 suppliers in the country were operating, albeit with reduced capacity.
A major problem is the shipment of finished products across the Polish-Ukrainian border. There is a serious shortage of truck drivers, who are largely men who have been recruited and are barred from leaving the country. Some factories have turned to retirees who have exceeded the recruitment age in order to transport products. But Ukrainian transport companies are also afraid to send vehicles abroad because they believe that many drivers and vehicles may not return, the Financial Times also reports.
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