Chip Shortage Forces Opel To Close German Factory Until 2022

Carmaker Opel has become the latest transport manufacturer to confirm the severe problems being caused by the ongoing global chip shortage.

Opel is part of the Stellantis Group, which also includes the brands such as Citroën, Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall.

Opel reportedly said on Thursday it will close one of its plants in Germany, until at least the end of the year, due to chip shortages.

German jobs

The plant in question is Eisenach factory, which reportedly makes internal combustion engines and hybrid electric cars.

And to make matters even worse, Reuters reported Opel as saying that some 1,300 workers employed at the plant will be temporarily laid off.

An Opel spokesperson said that production should start again in 2022, but they could not specify a date.

In the meantime, some of the production usually done at Eisenach will be shifted over to a plant in France.

The group (and indeed all carmakers) has been feeling the impact of the chip shortage since February this year, when Stellantis announced it was suspending production at some of its plants in Europe, including Germany.

In August Stellantis again halted production at certain European and Canadian plants.

Things are so bad, the group has forecast it will make 1.4 million fewer vehicles this year due to the chip shortage.

Vauxhall job losses

Another Stellantis division, the UK’s Vauxhall, last week confirmed that hundreds of jobs were at risk at its van plant of Luton, the traditional home of the brand, due to a global shortage of microchips.

The head of Vauxhall Motors in the UK, managing director, Paul Willcox, also recently warned that chip shortage is likely to continue for the rest of the year.

He said the industry was facing a “problem” for the next two or three months.

It should be noted that the Vauxhall factories in Ellesmere Port and Luton have already been disrupted at different times because of the chip shortages.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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