Monday 18 January 2021 11:08 am

Audi latest carmaker to delay production amid parts shortages

Audi has become the latest carmaker to be forced into delaying production due to a global shortage of semi-conductors.

The German auto giant has had to put more than 10,000 of its staff on furlough as a result of the lack of chips, chief executive Markus Duesmann told the FT.

The production pause comes after a number of UK car firms revealed that they had been forced to do the same.

Vauxhall reportedly lost half a day’s production at its Ellesmere Port plant and is struggling to keep its Luton van factory running due to Brexit-related port delays.

And Nissan was forced to pare back plans for extra shifts at its Sunderland plant due to a lack of parts including semi-conductors, the Sunday Times reported.

Meanwhile, production at Honda’s Swindon factory has been suspended until Thursday as the Japanese carmaker also struggles with shortages.

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It is the third time that the plant has paused output in a little over a month.

Many car companies operate just-in-time supply chain models, meaning that they often keep low stocks of spare parts.

This production process has come under pressure over the winter as combination of stockpiling and pandemic disruption has caused several breaks in production.

The shutdowns heap yet more pressure on the already fragile UK car industry, which was battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales tumbled to the lowest levels since the middle of the Second World War last year, with carmakers now facing the additional challenges of the UK’s departure from the EU and the need to phase-out petrol and diesel cars by 2030.