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Semiconductor issue can't be fixed overnight, says Skoda Auto’s Thomas Schaefer

auto | Mar 2, 2021 5:56 PM IST

Semiconductor issue can't be fixed overnight, says Skoda Auto’s Thomas Schaefer

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Thomas Schaefer, newly-appointed Chairman of the board of Skoda, talks about the outlook for 2021 and semiconductor shortage woes.

The global auto industries had a difficult 2020 and now the hope is that as lockdowns and restriction ease sales, demand will pick up.

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Thomas Schaefer, newly-appointed Chairman of the board of Skoda, talks about the outlook for 2021.
Schaefer said, “It has been a challenging few months for all of us in industry, global supply chains, we have seen hotspots coming around the world and going away again. So to manage all of this and to close down year 2020 with a really good result and more than a million car for a company like Skoda is enormously good result and very happy that the team pulled this off.”
On challenges, Schaefer said, “The lockdown in beginning of 2020 was obviously a problem. We had 39 days no production. We are fully utilised so our production is running at 118 percent capacity, there has been overtime, there has been massive health and safety protocols in place to keep our employees safe. We had to extend breaks to employees to sanitise and stay healthy and that reduce the total number of vehicle that we could produce.”
On semiconductor shortage woes, he said, “The semiconductor issue arrived little bit unexpected. Our problem that we are facing is not a problem that can be fixed overnight."
"We will be sitting probably for the first half of this year with shortages in various parts. Not every car is affected, not every variant, we were quite lucky because we have got quite a bit of production flexibility in our factory. Altogether, we obviously have to manage it and we are not quite clear if and when the new supplies are coming. So far we can still manage but it hasn’t been pretty in the last couple of weeks.”
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