Border delays could force Germany’s car plants to close
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Border delays could force Germany’s car plants to close

Truckers faced lengthy delays after Sunday introduced strong Kovid-19 checks and immigration regulations at their borders with Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and Slovakia in an attempt to prevent a new form of virus entering the country. Have experienced This is putting important supply chains at risk.

“If there is a long traffic jam at the borders due to testing and registration requirements, the supply chain is likely to break down and production will soon come to a standstill at many passenger car plants in Germany,” said president Hildard Muller. German Association of Automotive Industry.

In the Tyrol region of the Czech Republic and Austria, an outbreak of coronovirus variants was applied after boundary checks that spread more quickly than other strains. The traffic jam quickly developed, with lines of vehicles waiting for 20 kilometers (12.4 mi) in an area south of Dresden on Monday.

Europe’s largest car manufacturer Volkswagen, ()VLKAF) The company, which owns the Audi, Skoda and SEAT brands, said on Tuesday that its factories have “no serious bottlenecks” due to trucks getting stuck at the border. But it said that provisions made to compensate for deficiencies would be effective only for “a certain period”.

A spokesperson told CNN Business, “Should traffic conditions on the border deteriorate and result in even longer queues, it will no longer be possible to implement production restrictions at Volkswagen.” “We generally see this as the work of politicians who ensure the free exchange of goods across national borders and make clear rules in exceptional circumstances such as these.”

The company operates factories in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Bmw ()BMWYY) Said that its plants were supplied and running as planned. A spokesman said the company would “monitor the situation in close coordination with our suppliers and logistics partners.” Daimler ()DDAIF)Mercedes-Benz owner did not immediately respond A request for comment.
Trucks get stuck in traffic jams near the German-Czech border.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the automotive industry plays an external role in Germany’s export-driven economy, which directly employs more than 880,000 workers in construction. German factories produced more than 4.6 million cars in 2019, accounting for more than a quarter of the total European Union.

The threat of parts delays from suppliers in Eastern Europe is the latest in a series of logical headaches for German car manufacturers, which Last year some factories were temporarily closed During the early months of the epidemic. Recently, he has been forced to grapple with the global shortage of computer chips used in his vehicles.

Volkswagen said last month that a shortage of computer chips would force it to optimize plant production in China, North America and Europe this quarter. Audi fired 10,000 workers.

Supply chain disruption

Severe border delays can also affect the supply chain for other industries.

Joachim Lang, managing director of the Federation of Germany Industries (BDI), said in an interview with German publisher Funke Mediengroup that there could be issues across the continent.

“There is a great danger that supply chains across Europe will break down in the next few days,” he warned.

A policeman stands as a guard in an Austrian boarder as a queue of cars enter Germany.

Germany has been criticized by some of its neighbors for imposing border checks. Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Koriok said he had contacted his German counterpart to oppose the requirements for a negative coronovirus test for truck drivers.

“We are calling for an apology of the requirement for freight drivers to present a negative test that is more than 48 hours old when entering Germany. This measure will create a major problem, as this requirement is in practice for our drivers Is difficult to accomplish. And it is very likely that it will trigger a chain reaction from other countries as well, “Korcock said.

Stefan Siebert, a spokesman for the German government, said on Monday that the checks were “about temporary border control, not about closing the border.”

Peter Altmire, the country’s Minister of Economy, A summit with 40 representatives of German industry was held on Tuesday to discuss coronovirus measures. Altmeier said after the meeting that he was in talks with his Austrian and Czech counterparts on ways to reduce waiting times at the border.

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