The problems led Renault to make a drastic decision.
Renault has temporarily halted production of Megane E-Tech Electric at its plant in northern France, citing a lack of parts and lockdown measures due to COVID-19 in China.
Megane’s production at a plant in Douai, France, was halted between April 14 and April 25, a Renault spokesman said.
“The semiconductor crisis exacerbated by isolation measures in several parts of China is putting pressure on the supply of Megane E-Tech Electric parts, especially battery components,” Renault said.
Renault expects to deliver its first production models to customers in May.
Megane E-Tech Electric is Renault’s first all-electric compact car. It is a central element of CEO Luca de Meo’s strategy to focus on higher-end compact segments rather than small cars, where Renault has dominated.
The Douai plant, which has been transformed to produce electric vehicles from internal combustion models such as the Talisman model, is part of Renault ElectriCity’s group of electric vehicle production plants. The carmaker expects to produce hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles annually in factories, including compact models such as the Megane, small cars such as the future Renault 5, and commercial vans.
Recent blockades in China have led to production crises at other carmakers, including the Tesla and Volkswagen Group factories in Shanghai.
Blockages add to the constant lack of microchips. According to a new estimate by AutoForecast Solutions, approximately 1.5 million vehicles have not been produced worldwide so far this year.
European manufacturers have accounted for much of the industry’s production failures in recent weeks, and about half of all vehicles have been lost worldwide this year, AFS said.