Europe’s largest auto producers, BMW and Volkswagen, have halted manufacturing at some of their plants as the supply of critical low-cost parts from Ukraine is drying up, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
According to the media, citing AutoAnalysis estimates, Ukraine produces about a fifth of Europe’s supply of harnesses. There are around 40 parts factories in Ukraine, but carmakers are now racing to relocate or duplicate the equipment needed to make the components.
Wire harnesses typically bundle up to 5km (3.1 miles) of cables in the average car. Vehicles cannot be built without them because they are unique to each model.
“The problem with wire harnesses is that they are fundamental,” Alexandre Marian, managing director at consultancy AlixPartners in Paris, told the FT. “You cannot start assembling even an incomplete car without wire harnesses.”