BERLIN -- Audi has been forced to cut production due to the global shortage of semiconductors, putting 10,000 workers on part-time work as a result, Germany's Handelsblatt reported.
The report said the decision impacts workers at the company's main production facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. The change in Ingolstadt affects two lines producing the A3, A4 and A5 sedans and will take effect by the end of May.
Assembly lines for several models in Neckarsulm will be stopped next week, and the automaker has not yet made a decision regarding June, a spokesman told the newspaper.
The ongoing shortage of semiconductors has already forced to cancel shifts and resort to part-time work schedules in past months.
Audi is not the only automaker struggling to meet production targets in the face of global chip bottlenecks, which has hit automakers hard after many canceled orders when plants were idled during the pandemic.
Microchip shortages have caused problems for automakers from Jaguar Land Rover to Volkswagen Group, which said it would suspend vehicle production at its Chattanooga complex for two weeks beginning June 7 because of the global semiconductor shortage.
The chip shortage is also forcing automakers to leave out some high-end features, including pre-installed navigation systems, in order to keep production moving.
Jean-Marc Chery, CEO of STMicroelectronics, one of Europe's largest semiconductor makers, told Automotive News Europe the shortage would likely last until 2022.
He also said STMicroelectronics plans to double their wafer manufacturing capacity in Europe in the next five to six years for the automotive and industrial sectors.
Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised concerns over the EU's lack of expertise in manufacturing components like chips and batteries, which will be essential to the production of vehicles, among other goods.
"If a big bloc like the EU is not in position to create chips, I am not comfortable about that," she told a summit on the future of innovation in Germany. "It is not good if you are a car nation and you cannot produce the core component."
In South Korea, Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, the government and industry associations recently agreed to join efforts to respond to the shortage of auto chips.
European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said in an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month that Europe must shift from its "too naïve, too open" approach to design and manufacturing if it is to double the region's chip production by 2030.