BERLIN – Volkswagen Group is moving more production to North America and China as a result of the war in Ukraine and will prefer China this year, CEO Herbert Dis said on Tuesday.
“We will move more to China because of the situation in Europe,” Diss said. Asked how the automaker would respond in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, he said he did not believe the country would take such a step.
“China is very interested in keeping the borders open,” Diss said. “We believe it is important for us to be strong in China … China is our support.”
The automaker has suspended production in Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Diss said the shortage of harnesses, usually supplied from Ukraine, was the most significant constraint on the supply chain at the moment, affecting most German plants. If he is unable to postpone production for 3-4 weeks, his forecast will need to be revised, Diss said.
VW also warned that semiconductor shortages, supply bottlenecks, high commodity prices and Russian-Ukrainian conflict may reach growth in 2022 as the challenges facing the automotive industry grow.
“The war in Ukraine has called into question our current prospects,” CEO Herbert Dis said at the automaker’s annual press conference on Tuesday.
Diss warned that commodity markets are likely to remain volatile until 2026.
He said VW has become more resilient through the coronavirus pandemic and under normal circumstances will have reason to be optimistic in 2022.