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Car production hit by supply chain issues due to post-Brexit delays, Covid-19 and lack of parts

Time 5 months ago

Car makers have had a difficult start to 2021 as post-Brexit delays and Covid-19 exacerbate issues in the supply chain.

Earlier this week Honda announced that it will halt production at its Swindon plant for a week due to the global supply shortage.

Vauxhall, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan are now having to make cuts as shortages of semiconductors and disruption to supply chains hit them, too.


The Times reported today that Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory lost half a day’s work last week and struggled to keep production going at its Luton van centre due to post-Brexit delays at ports where its lorries were stuck.

It also claimed Nissan had to cancel plans to extend shifts this week, again due to parts shortages.

Jaguar Land Rover has had to pause production of its XE and XF at Castle Bromwich where it has struggled with lack of staff due to Covid-19.

It told the Times: ‘We have seen a rise in positive Covid-19 cases and self-isolation among our employees, reflecting the overall rise in the community since the Christmas period, which means that we need some Castle Bromwich employees to temporarily transfer to Solihull for a short period of time.’

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The lack of semiconductors is a global issue too, with Toyota and Volkswagen the latest to announce they’d be reducing production this week.

Semiconductors are vital components needed to run modern cars’ infotainment and driver assistance systems, but also are used in smartphones and other electronic devices, and high demand since the pandemic has resulted in these shortages.

Ford is halting production at its Saarlouis, Germany, plant for a month. It said its Louisville, Kentucky, plant will also be idled.

Volkswagen and Daimler are diverting semiconductors to factories producing more profitable models, while the former has also reduced nearly 19,000 German workers’ hours at VW and Audi plants.

A Volkswagen spokesman told Autocar: ‘So far, we haven’t quantified the full volume impact as we continue to work intensively with our suppliers to minimise shortages.

‘However, we expect the ramifications to continue at least in the first quarter, with potential to recover any lost volume later in the year.’

Toyota had to close a line in China for two days due to the shortage, while it is cutting production at its Texas plant.

Fiat Chrysler has also said it will delay restarting its plant in Mexico while Nissan has reduced production at its plant in Japan producing the Note.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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