The volcano on Iceland spews trouble for auto manufacturers. Ever since most of Europe has been declared a no-fly zone, just-in-time bit the dust. Literally.
Today, the lines stopped at the BMW factory in Dingolfing, writes Automobilwoche [sub]. On Wednesday, the lines will stop moving in Regensburg and on Thursday in Munich. More than 7000 bimmers are affected. The reason: Electronic parts that usually get flown in. Icelandic ash brings production lines all over the globe to a grinding halt …
In Spartanburg, SC, production of the X5 and X6 is affected. Their transmissions are air freighted from Europe to the U.S. Now, they languish in containers and wait fort he dust to clear.
Even something as mundane as seat covers can bring the production to a stop. Der Spiegel reports that many seat covers are made in the Mid East, and get flown to Europe. Now, they get flown as far as possible, and get trucked for the rest of the way. Just-in-time has no provision for that.
You think that’s a boon for manufacturers in Asia? Think again. The world of of manufacturing is inter-meshed.
Tomorrow, Nissan will stop its lines in Kanagawa, near Tokyo. The Murano, Rogue and Cube are waiting for air pressure sensors. They are made in Ireland. No flight leaves Ireland or the UK. According to The Nikkei [sub], two production lines at a plant in Fukuoka will also be affected. A company spokesman said it hasn’t been decided whether the suspension will continue. Britain’s Britain’s National Air Traffic Service said in an overnight statement that the volcano eruption was strengthening and a new ash cloud was spreading south and east toward Britain, reports Reuters.
If the parts are there, then often the people are missing. Many had an extended Easter holiday. Workers are stuck in Mallorca. Managers are grounded in Singapore, where hotels are fully booked because of a cloud of dust over Europe.