While the car industry continues to struggle with semiconductor shortages, it is also now dealing with wiring harness shortages due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Skoda’s solution? Start manufacturing harnesses at its home plant in the Czech Republic.
The car manufacturer was forced to suspend production of the all-electric Enyaq iV for eight weeks from March 3 due to the shortage. Eager to resume production as quickly as possible, Skoda and its suppliers started to look for solutions and within five weeks of the war starting, had managed to relocate part of its wiring harness production from Ukraine to Mladá Boleslav with the help of harness manufacturer PEKM Kabeltechnik.
Skoda’s partnership with PEKM Kabeltechnik saw the latter build the required production equipment in assembly halls provided by Skoda. Manufacturing started to ramp up from the beginning of April and the facilities are now staffed by 35 women from PEKM Kabeltechnik’s Ukrainian plant in Lviv. The automaker is currently manufacturing harnesses for the Fabia Combi at its headquarters and will soon start to produce harnesses for the Octavia, Kodiaq, Karoq, and Superb.
“We have been working very closely with our partners over the past few weeks to minimize the impact of the war in Ukraine on the supply of cable harnesses,” board member for purchasing at Skoda, Karsten Schnake, said in a statement according to Automotive News Europe. “With great dedication, we managed to resume production in Ukraine within a short period and also significantly increase manufacturing capacities. I would like to thank the entire team and all the suppliers involved for this achievement. At the same time, I can assure our Ukrainian partners that we are and will remain fully committed to them. They have our utmost respect for continuing to supply us as the circumstances permit.”
To further strengthen its supply of wiring harnesses, Skoda has secured additional capacity from Kromberg & Schubert which operates a factory in Morocco. Kromberg & Schubert has also increased harness production at its Ukrainian plant in Zhytomyr despite the war.
Skoda has also committed to duplicating the production of high-voltage cable harnesses required to charge EVs, initially constructing them in Romania from June and then from September, also manufacturing them in its plant in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine.