BMW the luxury car maker based in Germany has slowed or stopped production of some models due to a parts shortage caused by problems at Bosch GmbH a supplier.
The problems at the smooth operation show the dependence manufacturers have on supply chain that needs to be running smoothly.
Even the slightest disruptions along the chain can cause delays in producing the large money making products for companies and getting them into the showroom from the assembly line.
The situation with BME is the steering gears that are made by Bosch the auto parts maker based in Stuttgart and used in the automaker’s 1-2-3- and 4-series compact cars.
A member of the board at BMW said that its supplier Bosch could not currently provide the company with sufficient quantities of steering gears.
Bosch released a statement that said the trouble came about when one of its suppliers based in Italy had difficulties with delivering the steering gears’ casing but Bosch would not identify their supplier.
Due to the shortages, the production has been restricted at a number of plants for BMW in Germany, its Shenyang, China plant and at its plant in the South African city of Rosslyn, said a spokesperson from BMW.
An analyst in Germany said that today automotive value chains have become international and an interruption of the delivery of parts from one partner located in Europe will have implications in China, the U.S. and elsewhere.
One Frankfurt analyst said the cost to BMW would likely be manageable unless its interruption in production continues for several days.
Bosch in a separate statement said it was urgently working together with BMW and its supplier to relieve a squeeze in supply as quickly as possible and to keep the overall impact as low as possible.
BMW announced that it does not know what the extent of damage it will suffer financially or what impact overall will be suffered for its production line and sales due to a break in its production.
A company spokesperson at BMW said the carmaker hopes that the assembly line would be restarted at its plants sometime next week, but remained uncertain as to whether that would actually happen.
A BMW plant in eastern Germany was shut down last Friday while planned breaks in production for South Africa and China were brought forward and then extended in length.