Honda’s Swindon plant will shut for 4 days subsequent week because the UK car manufacturing web site turns into the newest to be hit by the worldwide scarcity of semiconductors.
The corporate instructed workers on Wednesday that “some manufacturing actions is not going to run Monday 18 to Thursday 21 January as a consequence of Covid-related provide points”.
It added: “The state of affairs is at the moment being monitored with a view to restart manufacturing on Friday 22 January.”
It’s the latest disruption to the positioning that was compelled to close for a number of days in December and earlier this month due to congestion at UK ports, with some key components diverted to mainland Europe.
The shortage of semiconductors has affected carmakers internationally with Volkswagen, Nissan and Common Motors all tapering manufacturing due to difficulties in sourcing components.
VW, the world’s largest carmaker, mentioned final month it could make 100,000 fewer vehicles within the first quarter as shortages hit its crops in Europe, North America and China.
The scarcity stems from the semiconductor trade diverting assets to the booming client electronics trade final yr, within the expectation that automobile gross sales would stay depressed due to the pandemic.
Demand for smartphones, laptops and tablets has risen due to the rise of homeworking through the pandemic.
However a faster-than-expected restoration in China and sturdy gross sales within the US imply that semiconductor makers have been unable to satisfy the rising worldwide demand, due to their very own manufacturing points stemming from the pandemic.
Bosch and Continental, two of the most important components suppliers to the automobile trade, each warned this month that they confronted difficulties in acquiring sufficient chips for producers.
Honda, which sources its chips from Asia, has minimize manufacturing in different markets due to the scarcity.
The Japanese carmaker’s UK web site, which is because of shut completely this summer season, has been disrupted greater than most British crops due to its reliance on deliveries of components from its house market.
A number of UK crops are at the moment closed, together with BMW’s Mini manufacturing facility in Oxford, for deliberate upkeep shutdowns from over Christmas.
Carmakers within the UK had been bracing for disruption to their components provide as new post-Brexit customs guidelines come into power at the beginning of this month.
A deal between the UK and EU implies that producers is not going to face tariffs when importing components or exporting autos, however there may be nonetheless the potential for deliveries to be delayed by new customs laws.