PARIS – Renault Group and Stellantis are the latest automakers to suspend production because of a worldwide shortage of crucial semiconductors.
Renault will pause production at one site in France and two in Morocco and Romania next week for several days, a company spokeswoman said on Friday, without giving details of the likely impact on output.
French news reports said that the plants affected were Sandouville, France, which builds large commercial vans; Tanger, Morocco, which produces some Dacia models as well as Renault models for export to Africa and the Middle East; and the main Dacia plant in Pitesti, Romania.
French business website Les Echos said the Renault factories would be closed for "two or three days," citing a Renault spokesperson, who said the automaker was monitoring the situation daily to minimize impact on production.
Stellantis, the automotive group that was created in the merger of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is also feeling the pinch. The semiconductors shortage led it to suspend production at its Eisenach factory in Germany on Friday, where it makes Opel models, and its Zaragoza plant in Spain, which builds the Opel Crossland X and Citroen sibling model C3 Aircross, was also affected, a spokeswoman said.
A decision whether to call a production halt at the group’s factory in Poissy, France, which builds models for Peugeot and DS, could be made in the next several days, a spokesperson told Les Echos.
Stellantis is also planning to halt production at its factory in Melfi, Italy, which makes Jeep and Fiat models.
Automakers around the world, including Ford Motor, Toyota and Volkswagen have also been affected by the shortage of semiconductors. The chips are used in engine management and driver-assistance systems, which mainly come from Asia and especially Taiwan.
Analyst firm IHS Markit said the crisis could mean 672,000 lost units of production globally in the first quarter and warned that disruption could extend to the third quarter.
The COVID-19 crisis has driven up demand for chips used in electronics such as laptops and phones and manufacturers are struggling to keep up, with some Chinese suppliers also hit by U.S. sanctions by the former Trump administration.
Reuters contributed to this report