Automobile

BMW’s Mini hit by chips shortage

BMW’s Mini will lose three days of production at its Oxford, England factory due to the computer chip shortage.

The plant will pause production on Friday (30 April), over the bank holiday (long weekend with Monday a public holiday), as well as Tuesday and Wednesday, the Guardian reported.

Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover last week said there would be a “limited period” of closure at its Halewood (Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque) and Castle Bromwich (Jaguar) sites from last Monday (26 April). Just last night, Ford said in a Q1 results statement it expected to lose half its second quarter output to the chips supply crunch.

The UK Mini plant and a BMW metal-stamping plant in Swindon employ about 4,500 workers making the three-door and five-door hatchback versions plus an electric version launched in July 2019. The news came as Mini marked 20 years and 5m cars since the BMW model was launched on 26 April 2001, the paper said.

UK car output in March was up 46.6% against COVID hit 2020 when pandemic forced factories to close, according to data released today by the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). However, the SMMT pointed out that the March numbers were down 22.8% on a five-year March average and the first quarter total was down 4.% on last year. The March performance marked one year since the coronavirus crisis caused all UK automotive plants to be shuttered in mid-March 2020, after only 78,767 cars had left factory gates that month.


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