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‘Gas’ migration in automotive: European manufacturers look for new places to produce against the energy crisis

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EuropeAlthough the natural gas storages in Turkey reached 85.6 percent occupancy, calming the concerns for the winter months, automotive The fears of manufacturers about 2023 are increasing. Anticipating that if the crisis with Russia is not resolved, problems will begin in 6-7 months in terms of not being able to find natural gas, European brands quickly started to take new measures. It is among the countries most dependent on Russian gas. GermanyAutomotive giants in Turkey are considering many different options, from shifting production to their factories in different countries, to stocking up for 6 months later. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automotive manufacturer gas He explained that he is evaluating the transfer of production to his factories in different countries in the medium term if the shortage lasts much longer than this winter.

VW’S PLAN ‘B’

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“Due to the lack of semiconductors and problems in the supply chain, we focused on further localization, repositioning of manufacturing capacity, alongside the plan already implemented,” said Geng Wu, Volkswagen’s Director of Purchasing. According to the news in Automotive News, a Volkswagen spokesperson stated that production could be shifted from Eastern Europe to the coastal regions of Southwest Europe or Northern Europe, on the grounds that access to LNG would be easier if the energy crisis in Germany deepens. The group has factories in Portugal, Spain and Belgium, which host natural gas terminals. It is estimated that production will be shifted towards these factories in case of a possible natural gas cut.

MERCEDES IS STOCKING

Another German automotive giant, Mercedes-Benz, started to stock critical supply parts for possible energy problems as of the summer of 2023. It has been learned that the brand has accelerated the production of parts such as gearbox, axle and transmission components in its factory in Stuttgart and stocked these parts in its factories in the USA and China to ensure the continuity of production. Mercedes-Benz Production “You don’t know exactly what’s coming, it depends on the temperatures in the winter months,” Chef Joerg Burzer said in an interview. We increased our stocks towards China and the USA. “This move will allow auto manufacturing operations in Alabama and Beijing to continue, even as the gas shortage in Germany strains operations in the country.”

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GERMANY IS AT 90 PERCENT OCCUPANCY

Russia It closed the 1,200 km long natural gas pipeline called “North Stream 1”, which started near St. Petersburg and reached Germany by passing under the Baltic Sea, in August. While Russia argued that it could not perform maintenance and repair due to the sanctions of the West, the German company Siemens, which manufactures gas turbines, declared that the current failure was not a failure that would require cutting off the gas flow. According to European Gas Infrastructure data, European gas tanks are currently 85.6 percent full, while stocks in Germany are close to 90 percent. In this context, the main effects of the energy crisis are expected to be seen on the industrial side after the winter months. While automotive manufacturers are worried about the disruption of production after 6-7 months, a significant part of European automotive production takes place in Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia, which are the countries most dependent on Russian gas.

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