Volkswagen’s Largest Factory Faces Battery Cell, Chip Shortages

Automotive Industry

Source: Bloomberg, 2021-02-20

Volkswagen’s biggest plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, is struggling to meet strong demand for the Golf model due to shortages of battery cells for hybrid versions and semiconductor components, the company’s Labor Leader told Braunschweiger Zeitung in an interview published on 20 February.

Volkswagen has orders for 93,000 of the Golf hatchback, which translates into production volume of more than four months, according to Bernd Osterloh, who also represents workers on the group’s supervisory Board. The hybrid variants are proving particularly popular among customers and account for 60% of orders in Germany and 40% across Europe, he said.

Europe’s largest automaker warned in December 2020 that a shortage of semiconductor components will disrupt production. The issue has since spread across the entire industry, affecting manufacturers from General Motors to Renault to Daimler.

Volkswagen has said it anticipates the chip shortage will persist in the second quarter. Consultancy AlixPartners estimates the issue could cost automakers $61bn in lost sales in 2021.

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