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Spanish Car Plants Produced 17.3% Less In February

Last month, according to data from the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (Anfac) , a total of 217,065 units left the Spanish automobile plants , 17.3% less than in the same month of the previous year.

The fall in the Spanish market, the reduction in demand from the main European markets and the shortage of microchips , or semiconductors , weighed down on Spanish production. Since January, vehicle manufacturing has dropped by 13.4% to 435,266 units.

Derived from the lower production, exports also fell , leaving the country a total of 182,921 units in February, 15.6% less compared to the same month of 2020. According to data from Anfac , the European markets, to which they are destined 70% of sales reduced the demand for Spanish vehicles by 19.4%.

The association highlights the collapses in markets such as French (-21%), British (-35.5%) or Portuguese (-59%), although it points out that markets such as Turkish continue to grow, with an increase in demand of Spanish cars of 82.3% compared to February of last year. Shipments to America were down 20.8%, while to Africa they were up 23.3%.

The positive note was put by alternative cars , whose production rose 55% to 22,158 units. Broken down, 12,203 plug-in hybrids were assembled , with a production quota of 5.6%, 5,685 electric cars , representing 2.6%, and 286 conventional hybrids .

The semiconductor problem
The shortage of semiconductors , or microchips, a key component in modern vehicles, continues to plague the automotive industry. Many plants around the world have had to adapt to the lack of this element and reduce the rate of production. Furthermore, the forecasts are not encouraging. The last to have to readjust its activity was Stellantis Vigo .

The Galician factory has stopped the M1 assembly line , where the Peugeot 2008 , the Citroën C-Elysée and the Peugeot 301 are assembled , due to the lack of chips and, as reported from the plant, it will be stopped until next Monday. In addition, the uncertainty generated by the shortage of the component has led the management to present a proposal for a Temporary Employment Regulation File (erte) that will affect 3,740 people.

As they have admitted from the company, last week it was only possible to work normally on Tuesday, stopping producing 4,000 vehicles during it. The forecast is that this loss will be recouped when the problem with the semiconductors is settled.

However, the new erte, which would be launched after Easter , would affect the two production lines of the plant and would fall on 250 workers during the first month and on 3,740 employees,all with an indefinite contract, until the end of the year when the agreed flexibility mechanisms are exhausted, such as the bag of hours and the days for adjusting the working day. The unions and the company will negotiate the terms of this new erte starting next Monday, March 29.

Beyond the Galician plant, many of the Spanish plants have suffered from the same problem. The Seat factory in Martorell is immersed in an erte that affects 550 people until June 30 for the same reason and factories such as Stellantis Zaragoza , Ford in Almussafes or Renault in Palencia and Valladolid have also lost units due to fault of the lack of chips.

Globally, General Motors or Volkswagen have suffered from the same problem and in other sectors, such as video games, it has been seen as Sony andMicrosoft could not meet the demand for new consoles for the same.

To prevent this problem in the future, and reduce dependence on countries such as China or the United States , the European Union presented in early March a plan to become, by 2030 , one of the main semiconductor producers in the world with a share of global manufacturing of at least 20% .

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