Chip shortage hits VW Slovakia in Bratislava

The Covid-19 pandemic reduced car production in the Slovak arm of the German carmaker last year.

Oliver Grünberg, chairman of the board of Volkswagen SlovakiaOliver Grünberg, chairman of the board of Volkswagen Slovakia (Source: TASR)

The crisis in the automotive industry caused by the global shortage of semiconductor components is likely to affect the Slovak arm of the German carmaker Volkswagen as well. It is likely to reduce production as of the end of next week and Oliver Grünberg, chairman of the board of Volkswagen Slovakia refused to specify the length or extent of the temporary shutdown.

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“We are still struggling to ensure that it does not take long,” said Grünberg, adding that the situation was changing from one day to the next. Most of the components in short supply are installed in SUVs.

Gruenberg noted that all German plants have had to shut down production temporarily due to the lack of chips, but the Bratislava plant has avoided this so far.

The oldest and biggest carmaker in Slovakia, marking its 30th anniversary this year, produced 309,348 cars in 2020. Of these, SUVs accounted for some 75 percent; the rest were small city cars. The year before, 377,750 cars rolled off the production lines of VW in Bratislava and 408,208 vehicles in 2018. The company ascribes the decline in car production in 2020 to the five-week shutdown of the plant during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Volkswagen Slovakia achieved a gross profit of €278 million on a turnover of €9.75 billion last year. It attributes the solid turnover with minimal y-o-y decline, from the gross profit of €319.7 million on turnover of €10.39 billion in 2019 mainly to effective production management, efficiency improvements in all areas and the production mix.

“We bounced back after an unfavourable first half of the year thanks to strict discipline in cost management and fullest commitment in all areas,” said Grünberg.

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