Supply shortages continue to dog some manufacturers

Date: Monday, April 28, 2008

One problem that continues to bedevil some manufacturers is a lack of product rather than a lack of customers.
“Boxer production has been affected by a shortage of the 120hp 2.2-litre HDi diesel engine, which accounts for 45 per cent of the sales mix,” says Patrice Ramage, Peugeot light commercial vehicles global product and marketing director. “We've had to increase Expert output to keep up with the demand and I have to admit that van customers have been losing out a little because there are so many orders for the Combi that the factory has been building more of the latter than the former.”

“Availability is still an issue,” agrees Woolcock. “Our van factories in Hanover, Germany (Transporter) and Poznan, Poland (Transporter and Caddy) are working flat out to keep pace with orders.”

Crafter is assembled in the same plant in Germany as Mercedes-Benz's Sprinter and the situation there is no better, he says. Order a new Crafter that has to be built from scratch and you could be waiting several months for delivery. “But our competitors are either in the same or a worse situation,” he reckons.

“Because of the investment we've made in production facilities Transit availability is improving,” says Kimber. “There's still a lead time of 16 weeks on some models and we'd like to get that down to 12 weeks, at least so far as the Southampton factory is concerned.”

The decision to build Transit Connect in a new plant in Romania as well as in Turkey should aid availability of that model too.

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