The Audi Brussels factory in the Forest neighbourhood of Brussels will produce no cars next week due to a severe shortage of microchips in the automotive sector.
Its production staff will be placed on temporary unemployment for the week, according to Bruzz.
Microchips can be found by the dozen in newer cars and can serve a variety of purposes, from monitoring the engine to controlling the air conditioning.
But the same chips are also used in smartphones and laptops, and demand for these types of electronics has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic as a result of more people working from home. Strict lockdown measures have also impacted distribution chains.
Similar shutdowns resulting from a shortage of microchips have occurred in the United States and Germany, and aren’t unique to Audi. Other affected companies include Ford, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
When production does resume at Audi Brussels, which employs around 3,000 people, it will be on an adjusted schedule.
“There will be no production from Monday morning to Friday evening,” spokesman Peter D’Hoore told Bruzz, emphasising that the planned annual production for 2021 won’t be jeopardized by the inconvenience.
The factory’s production was already temporarily suspended earlier this month due to an outbreak of Covid-19.