BMW and Volkswagen close production sites across Europe due to lack of Ukrainian raw materials

Two major automakers have been forced to close factories across Europe due to a lack of Ukrainian-made spare parts, marking the glaring impact of Russia’s continued invasion of the former Soviet state. According to the Financial Times, BMW and Volkswagen halted operations at several factories after Ukrainian wiring factories were attacked and cut off supplies. Notably, Volkswagen has 120 production plants in 19 European countries while BMW operates 31 production sites worldwide. The two automobile giants are of German origin.

The main problem faced by manufacturers is that of the wiring harness. “The problem with cable harnesses is that they are fundamental,” said Alexandre Marian, managing director of consultancy AlixPartners in Paris. “You can’t start assembling even an incomplete car without wiring harnesses.” Ukraine is the main supplier of wire harnesses.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess said he was trying to explore all options, “to compensate” for production disruptions. “Currently, we are trying to get the most out of the production of cable harnesses in Ukraine, but in parallel, from the start of the conflict, we started working on alternatives, which are on the way.

What’s happening in Ukraine?

Meanwhile, Russian troops have now approached 15 kilometers from the center of kyiv. However, a UK Ministry of Defense report suggested that the Russian military was suffering excessive “personnel losses”. As a result, the Russians were calling in reinforcements from across the country as they “struggled to continue their attack”, British intelligence said in their latest report. Meanwhile, British officials believe Russian troops face many challenges, including unfavorable terrain, “personal casualties”, among others.

As the situation in Mariupol continues to deteriorate in day 22 of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Nexta TV said more than 2,400 civilians died in the city. In addition, there is no electricity, gas or water in the city for 13 days and temperatures reach -5°C at night. 400,000 people still remain in the city.

(Picture: Volkswagen)

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