A shortage of wiring harnesses, normally manufactured in Ukraine, has led to MAN Truck & Bus is warning of considerable delays for new trucks.
Production has been at a standstill at MAN’s Munich and Krakow (Poland) plants since 14 March and MAN is offering its customers the option of cancelling orders.
In a statement MAN said the harnesses ‘can only be produced to a very limited extent’. Although immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February it took measures “to duplicate Ukrainian supply structures for truck wiring harnesses in other countries” this takes several months.
“This threatens a loss of truck production for several weeks and a massive reduction in production in the second quarter.”
Up to 11,000 MAN employees in Germany will go on short-time work, with the Executive Board also taking significant wage cuts over the next three months.
According to an analysis of 2020 Comtrade data by consultancy AlixPartners, wiring harnesses were Ukraine’s most critical automotive component exported to the European Union, accounting for nearly 7% of all imports of this product, most of which go into the production of cars.
Ukrainian government figures show 22 automotive companies have invested more than $600 million in 38 plants – many, though not all producing wire harnesses – employing over 60,000 Ukrainians.
Those plants are close to car factories in Germany and the low-cost manufacturing hubs that German carmakers in particular have built in central Europe.