The chip scarcity disaster going through the automobile trade deepened on Thursday, with Renault warning of months of disruption and Jaguar Land Rover and Ford saying short-term plant closures.
JLR will shut its Halewood and Citadel Bromwich vegetation in England from Monday for no less than per week, the primary idling of its UK websites, whereas Ford introduced or prolonged shutdowns at 10 websites throughout North America and Europe.
Ford’s shutdown consists of taking its Turkish plant offline till June, and idling certainly one of its US amenities that makes the flagship F-150 pick-up truck. The corporate’s UK element factories are more likely to be affected.
This week, Daimler lower the hours of 18,500 workers in Germany due to decrease manufacturing.
Renault on Thursday warned that the state of affairs would worsen, as winter storms in Texas and a fireplace in Japan final month are solely simply beginning to have a severe knock-on impact on its manufacturing schedules.
The French carmaker has determined to not challenge any manufacturing forecasts for the yr consequently, with finance chief Clotilde Delbos saying on Thursday: “We don’t need to give any estimates that is perhaps fallacious in a short time.”
Renault’s general gross sales fell 1.1 per cent to €10bn within the first quarter and it anticipated to lose manufacturing of “tens of 1000’s” of automobiles to the issues, Delbos mentioned. It’s now prioritising manufacturing of its most worthwhile fashions.
“Two months in the past we mentioned we expect the height can be within the second quarter, however we expect there can be a lingering impact within the third quarter if not additional,” Delbos mentioned. “The visibility is deteriorating.”
Carmakers the world over have been hit by a global shortage of chips, which started final yr when suppliers diverted provide to smartphones and laptops as demand for shopper electronics grew throughout the pandemic.
The automobile trade was later caught without warning on the velocity of recovering demand, significantly in China. It has additionally been hit by provide chain issues attributable to extreme chilly climate in Texas in February and a fireplace at a Japanese plant owned by Renesas Electronics, one of many world’s largest makers of chips for the automobile trade.
Truckmaker Volvo additionally warned on Thursday concerning the hit to its operations, which have suffered manufacturing stoppages due to components shortages.
“The worldwide provide chain for semiconductors in addition to for different parts stays very unstable and the uncertainty . . . is excessive,” mentioned Volvo Group chief government Martin Lundstedt.
Volvo’s shares rose 3 per cent after the group posted higher than anticipated income and a doubling of latest orders.
The corporate mentioned a coverage of elevating costs had offset among the decline attributable to the pandemic. The group is prioritising its most worthwhile automobiles in key markets exterior Europe, such because the Kiger SUV in India and the Dacia Duster in Russia.
With the impact of forex fluctuations stripped out, gross sales rose 4.4 per cent, Renault added.
However it additionally warned of “headwinds” from overseas trade and uncooked materials prices and uncertainty from persevering with components shortages.
Gross sales in the identical interval a yr earlier — when its European vegetation have been closed by lockdowns — fell to €10.1bn from €12.5bn within the first quarter of 2019.
Renault is in the midst of a €3bn turnround plan below chief government Luca de Meo, following €8bn of losses throughout 2020.
The plan includes reducing manufacturing unit capability by 1 / 4 and shedding 15,000 jobs, in addition to overhauling its manufacturers. Renault introduced the sale of its 1.5 per cent stake in Daimler for roughly €1.2bn final month.