Skoda Auto announced a “significant reduction or even a halt” in production at its factories in the Czech Republic from October 18 until the end of 2021. The reason is the shortage of electronic components, which led to the accumulation of under-equipped cars: today, more than 50 thousand copies are idle in the brand’s warehouses, waiting for chips. At the same time, customers have to wait for new cars for months.
According to the representative of the company’s management Tomasz Kotera, the company will focus all its efforts on completing the assembly of almost finished cars in order to “deliver them to customers as soon as possible.” Factory workers who go idle will receive 85 percent of their regular salary.
Skoda production restrictions, which will last two and a half months, will be the most serious for the automotive industry throughout Central Europe. According to experts, downtime will seriously damage the Czech economy, since Skoda is its largest exporter and occupies a quarter of the country’s industrial sector, providing jobs for 35 thousand people.
The situation with the supply of semiconductors will gradually improve in the second half of next year, Skoda believes. Other European automakers voiced less optimistic forecasts: the head of the Daimler concern, Ola Kallenius, said that the deficit would be eliminated no earlier than 2023. The general director of Volkswagen Herbert Diess agrees with him, who believes that the shortage of microelectronics will affect production “in the coming months and even years.”
In 2021 alone, the losses of the global auto industry due to the deficit will amount to about $ 210 billion, analysts calculated, and the factories will produce at least seven million cars less than planned.