Skoda Auto is in the process of significantly scaling back its production over the coming weeks due to the shortage of semiconductors. The Czech carmaker is working closely in collaboration with its social partner KOVO and suppliers to overcome the current challenges.
Thomas Schafer, CEO, Skoda Auto elaborated how the impact of the shortage was more than the lockdown due to Covid-19, “semiconductors, you already know the story, it’s been hitting us hard as a company and the industry in general. Yeah, I thought Corona was bad, but it actually wasn’t, it wasn’t as bad as semiconductors.”
In the first nine months of 2021, Skoda Auto delivered 700,700 vehicles to customers worldwide despite the shortage of semiconductors, down almost three percent compared to the same period last year. The significant reduction in production due to the chip shortages will have a notable impact on the fourth quarter. However, Schafer believes the worst is over and supply situation will stabilise going forward, “I’m cautiously optimistic now for the next two months we can produce half-normally again and perhaps even a little more. It's almost like all shifts have run flat out now. We were standing still for a couple of weeks, it's been quite challenging. For next year there seems to be still a structural shortage, but not hopefully of the magnitude of anything we have seen in the last couple of months. So, the next year it will not be out of the system, but not as critical.”
The company is countering with increased cost discipline and by launching a comprehensive efficiency programme. The company anticipates that it will take a production hit of nearly 250,000 vehicles by the end of the year due to missing parts.