The automotive industry in Europe was barely able to recover from lockdowns and the ongoing shortage of semiconductors, while a new, potentially even bigger problem emerged.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine amplifies the parts supply issues and adds some new ones, which forces many car plants to stop production.
We already heard that the production of the electrical cable harnesses, assembled in Ukraine, has come to a halt. Because of the parts shortage, the Volkswagen Group had to temporarily stop production at multiple sites, including electric car production in Zwickau and Dresden in Germany (MEB-based BEVs).
Today, Reuters reports that even Porsche, a relatively low-volume luxury brand, must pause production of electric cars at its Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen plant in Germany.
According to the report, production of the Porsche Taycan family will be suspended until the end of next week because of a lack of components. The manufacturer estimates that about 200 Taycan cars cannot be built per day.
On the positive side, production at Porsche's Leipzig plant (temporarily suspended) will be partially resumed on Monday "due to an improved supply situation."
According to Automotive News, it's expected that short-term production loss will reach 50,000-100,000 units in Europe. The Russian automotive industry is expected to be severely devastated because of the sanctions.
Another bit of bad news is that the war in Ukraine will also affect the semiconductor industry, as Ukraine was responsible for at least half of the global supply of neon gas used to power lasers, which are used to produce chips.
"But even the semiconductor industry – largely focused in Asian and North American “chip foundries” – will be affected by the war in Ukraine. The country produces at least half of the global supply of neon gas, which is used to power lasers used to etch patterns into computer chips.
In 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, Ukraine accounted for 70 percent of neon production, but chipmakers have been working to diversify their sourcing since then."
Let's hope that the conflict will end soon.