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March 4, 2022

European Carmakers Halt Production As Part Supplies Dry Up

If the global semi-conductor shortage is not bad enough, European automakers find themselves now affected directly by the Russian invasion of Ukraine as inventories of a crucial part have started to dry up. With factories shuttered in Ukraine, production of wiring harnesses has ground to a halt there.

Production of the part, needed for organizing miles of vehicle cables, has affected suppliers including Leoni, Fujijura, and Nexans.

A wire harness is a vital set of parts which neatly bundle up to 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of cables in the average car. They are a crucial part of a vehicle’s electrical system.

So far, Audi has been forced to stop production of the A4 and A5 models in Ingolstadt, Germany for 5 days, while production of the A6 and A7 will be paused for 12 days.

Meanwhile, Porsche is pausing output at its Leipzig, which builds the Macan and Panamera.

BMW is also being forced to stop production of both its BMW and MINI cars not just in Germany, but at other European plants as well. Vehicle production at BMW’s plants in Munich and in Dingolfing, both Germany, will be paused next week, as will output at the Mini factory in Oxford, England. Engine production at BMW’s engine factory in Steyr, Austria, will also be suspended.

For its part, Mercedes-Benz expects to reduce production at some of its European plants as supplies of parts produced in Ukraine run short. The automaker said it will adjust shift planning at individual plants next week, but it will aim to avoid complete production stoppages.

Even mainstream brands such as Volkswagen is pausing output with its Wolfsburg plant unable to produce the Golf the week of March 14. It is also halting production of its ID electric vehicles.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also led some automakers to stop production or exports to the Russian market. Among the brands that have joined the exodus from Russia include the Volkswagen Group, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo, and General Motors.

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