Renault, Stellantis Latest To Hit Brakes On Production

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Dacia, Jeep, Renault amongst latest automotive brands to see production affected as impact of chip shortage continues to spread

Carmakers Renault Group and Stellantis are suspending production due to a worldwide chip shortage, as the impact of production issues continues to spread.

Renault is to temporarily halt production at a site in France and at least two in Morocco and Romania this week for several days, the company said.

It did not given an estimate on how the move would affect output.

According to French news reports the affected sites are Sandouville, France, which builds large commercial vans, Tanger, Morocco, which produces Dacia and Renault models for Africa and the Middle East, and the main Dacia plant in Pitesti, Romania.

Temporary halt

The Dacia plant in Mioveni has also temporarily ceased activity, affecting 50 to 60 percent of production and about 8,000 staff, Romanian labour minister Raluca Turcan said in a social media post on Friday.

Her remarks followed a meeting with representatives of the Romanian Automobile Manufacturers Association and Concordia Employers’ Confederation.

Turcan said the government would fast-track legal provisions aimed at helping the company retain jobs during the crisis.

French business newspaper Les Echos cited a Renault spokesperson as saying its factories would be closed for “two or three days” and that the company was monitoring the situation in order to minimise the impact on production.

Bottleneck

Stellantis, the auto group formed from the merger of France’s PSA Group and US-Italian Fiat Chrysler, is also reportedly suspending production at some plants.

The group stopped production on Friday at its factory in Eisenach, Germany, which makes Opel models.

A Zaragoza, Spain plant that builds the Open Crossland X and the Citroen C3 Aircross was also affected, Reuters reported, citing a Stellantis representative.

The company is reportedly planning to halt production at its Melfi, Italy factory that makes Jeep and Fiat models.

Stellantis is to make a decision on whether to halt production at its Poissy, France plant, which makes Peugot and DS models in the next several days, Les Echos reported.

Production impact

Carmakers around the world, including Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen have been affected by the semiconductor shortage, which affects chips used for engine management and driver-assistance systems.

Semiconductor manfuacturers have been forced to ramp up production of chips for devices such as laptops and smartphones during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected their ability to handle other orders.

The chips in question are largely sourced from Asia, and particularly Taiwan, which said last week its chip manuacturers were prioritising carmakers.

Supply has also been affected by sanctions imposed by the outgoing US administration on some Chinese chipmakers.

The problems are expected to cause a shortfall of around 672,000 automobiles worldwide in the first quarter of this year, according to IHS Markit, which said the disruption could continue through the third quarter.

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