BMW remains optimistic: what happens to production

BMW is moving to alternative ports in China to deal with disruptions caused by the country’s strict coronavirus restrictions.

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BMW’s head of production said the carmaker will meet its production targets for 2022, even if congestion in Chinese ports, closures in Ukraine and other supply chain problems continue to affect sales.

Speaking in an interview, Milan Nedeljkovic said that BMW is switching to alternative ports and modes of transport in China to deal with disruptions caused by strict coronavirus restrictions.

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He said BMW still expects to keep production at about the same level as last year.

“We can continue to make up for lost volume and component shortages,” Nedeljkovic said, adding that he is confident that he will meet the production target set earlier this year.

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While BMW’s production network felt strained due to the supply chain situation in the first quarter, it did better than its rivals.

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The whole industry is in trouble

The Munich carmaker’s deliveries fell by 7.3% in the first three months, less than half that of Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

BMW’s result is based on last year’s comparative success in overcoming the unprecedented chip crisis.

The lack of semiconductors remains the company’s most pressing issue, Nedeljkovic said.

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In addition, the 53-year-old engineer has to prepare BMW’s production network for the gas shortage that is looming if Germany is forced to rationalize.

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“In the short term, it is very difficult for the car industry and suppliers to manage without gas,” he said.

Car manufacturers use mainly gas in their paint shops, but also to produce certain components.

For its Leipzig plant, BMW is looking for hydrogen for production processes, as the infrastructure is installed nearby. In the United States, the BMW plant in Spartanburg uses mainly biomethane for heating.

BMW’s new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, will not use fossil fuels when it becomes operational in 2025.

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