The German supplier Leoni has resumed production of wire harnesses in western Ukraine, and volume has nearly returned to pre-war levels, CEO Aldo Kamper said.
Leoni, a key provider of automotive wiring, was forced to shut two factories in Ukraine for about a week after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24.
The shutdown added to production pressures on the European auto industry, which was already struggling with a persistent shortage of semiconductors. Customers including Volkswagen Group and BMW were forced to also temporarily stop output of cars at some sites.
Workers at Leoni's Ukraine factories, fearful that their jobs might permanently be lost, petitioned to come back to work, drawing up a plan on how to revive operations.
Leoni swiftly overhauled how it operates in Ukraine -- from shifts to shelters to shipping goods across the border – to restart production under dangerous and unpredictable conditions.
“We can fully service customer demand out of our Ukraine facilities, which is fantastic news,” Kamper told analysts and investors Wednesday on Leoni's first quarter earnings call. “We hadn't expected that when the war broke out.”
The supplier has about 7,000 employees in Ukraine, out of a total global work force of 101,000.