The global lack of components forces Daimler AG to send workers home for longer than usual at this time. The reason, global lack of components. Production of classes A, B, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and EQB is affected.
It is normal that, as Christmas approaches, automotive factories carry out a scheduled stop so that workers enjoy the holidays with their families and scheduled maintenance is carried out at the facilities. Which it is not normal is to stop production for a month.
On Saturday Daimler AG announced that the Hungarian plant in Kecskemét has stopped from today, Monday, December 13, until January 12, 2022. Workers will continue to receive their base wages and bonuses, as if nothing happened. There are more than 4,000 workers.
This will affect the production of several models of the compact Mercedes-Benz classes, such as A-Class, B-Class, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake, in addition to the 100% electric EQB model. The latter began series production in October. Obviously, this is going to have an impact on waiting lists.
Customers who have ordered their Mercedes-Benz EQB will have to be more patient, because until the second week of January they will not produce a single one.
Not much background of factory closures in recent years for a month. At the end of 2008, more than one General Motors and Chrysler factories had to be closed for a month due to lack of sales, and since the fields were well stocked with cars, production had to be stopped. They were very exceptional circumstances, both manufacturers ended up being rescued by the United States and Canará with public money.
This year we did find the odd closure, such as the one that Stellantis had to make in its American factory in Brampton due to a lack of components. The same reason led Ford to close its factory in Saarlouis (Germany) for a month. They are also very exceptional circumstances, but there are differences.
In 2008 factories had to close for a month due to lack of sales (low demand), but now it is the other way around, there is a demand that cannot be satisfied (low supply), the logistics chain has not recovered from the aftershocks produced by the waves of COVID-19 and there is a chronic lack of parts It affects almost the entire industry.
As manufacturers are not able to keep up with their customers, the pressure is shifting to the pre-owned car market, and these in turn to the most used ones. Cars are missing. And in a context in which private mobility has increased due to the fear of contagions in public transport, the problem has been fed back.
The Kecskemét factory of Mercedes-Benz is not exactly small. Construction began in 2008 and was the first factory of the brand of the star on the European continent that was outside of Germany. It opened in 2012, coinciding with the premiere of the new generation of Class A and Class B front / all-wheel drive compacts.
It is the largest generator of employment in its area. The disruption of units of Classes A, B and CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and EQB affects all markets with the exception of the Chinese, since Daimler AG has productive capacity there to serve its domestic market, with the exception of CLA. 2020 production was 160,000 units.
Since October 18, the plant has not worked exactly as normal. Friday shifts had been abolished, so it only produced from Monday to Thursday. It is preferable for the manufacturer to run at half throttle than to make a total stop, as in this case, due to the usual lack of parts.
There is still no clear way out of the microchip crisis. The same does not subside in 2022, and we have to wait until 2023 to regain normalcy. Given the great technological load of current cars, without enough chips or semiconductors they just can’t be finished.
Hungary is home to other car factories. Audi has a plant in Gyor, where the TT Coupé and Roadster, Audi RS3 and S3 are produced, in addition to the Q3. The production volume is similar to that of Kecskemét. For its part, Suzuki manufactures in Esztergom the SX4 S-Cross and the Vitara. Furthermore, the BMW Group will start manufacturing in Hungary from 2025, and Daimler AG is increasing the capacity of its Hungarian plant.