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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Mini Oxford plant production halted due to chip shortage

Mini Oxford plant production halted due to chip shortage

Production at Oxford's BMW Mini plant has been suspended for a week due to a global shortage of computer chips.
BMW said it was standing down production at its Cowley factory from Monday to Friday and was "monitoring the situation very closely".

It comes after the firm suspended its production for three days in April over the shortage.

Manufacturers around the world have been struggling to secure supplies of semiconductors.

Chips are vital to modern cars, with features including touchscreen controls, automatic emergency brakes, reversing cameras, fuel efficiency equipment and airbag deployment systems all relying on them.

In a statement BMW said: "As a result of the global semiconductor shortage, an issue that has affected the entire automotive industry for the last year, Plant Oxford is making some short-term adjustments to its production schedule.

"Plant Oxford is standing down five days of production - Monday 21 February to Friday 25 February inclusive, for all shifts.

"We are monitoring the situation very closely and are in constant communication with our associates and suppliers."

The firm has been approached for further comment.

Around 3,500 workers are based at the plant which normally produces about 5,000 cars a week.

Reacting to the announcement, Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds said: "I am pleased to hear that BMW is working closely with the union to manage this situation, and that no employees will be going without pay as a result."

Car makers around the world have been impacted by the chip shortage, along with supply chain disruptions, Covid-19 restrictions and rising prices of raw materials.

Motor industry giants including Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Daimler, BMW and Renault, have all been forced to scale back production in recent months as they struggled to secure enough semiconductors.

In February, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said semiconductor supplies constrained sales and it expected the chip shortage to continue throughout this year.

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