Parts Shortages Problems in the UK
It has been well documented in the current news that many of us have suffered shortage problems of all types of products and services. Petrol forecourts, food shops, the retail market and the automotive industry is unfortunately no different.
Over recent months, the vehicle repair sector of the automotive industry has experienced huge difficulties in obtaining parts for a number of reasons and these delays in obtaining parts is having a dramatic impact in the length of time it is taking to complete vehicle repairs.
So, why is this happening?
The 2 main contributing factors to these shortages are the impact of the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
During the pandemic, many vehicle manufacturing plants shut down or slowed production dramatically. This has had a huge impact of the general supply and production of all different parts of vehicles: from microchips to seat covers to body and mechanical parts. As a result of this slow down in production, we are now experiencing a global shortage of vehicle parts which is having an impact in all different areas. As a result, if you have an accident and need to make a claim, it may take longer to get your vehicle in for a repair. This is affecting all insurers and repairers.
The Russian-Ukraine Conflict
The Russian-Ukrainian war has had a severe and detrimental affect on the supply and value chain for the automotive industry. This has caused many vehicle manufacturers and supplies to defer or discontinue trade with Russia whilst the conflict continues. Some of the manufacturers in Europe and Eastern Europe have stopped, paused or slowed down their production due to lack of parts from Ukraine based suppliers. Production halted and shortage of parts were the initial effect of the crisis. Also, the manufacturing and supply chain have experienced issues with the supply of raw materials which are essential to the production of so many parts. Many OEM’s, including, Toyota, Ford, Volvo, Jaguar-Land Rover, General Motors and BMW immediately ceased export operations to Russia, with some of them suspending Russian joint ventures. Russia is a major supplier of key materials and minerals and the export sanctions imposed have severely impacted demand and prices.
So, here’s as bit more detail into what is directly affecting our business and therefore the ability to repair vehicles as efficiently as we would like.
Currently a worldwide shortage of microchips is causing a lot of issues in the industry. Microchips are found in all modern vehicles and are required to make items like cameras, parking sensors, radars and other driver aids, which can be found in many parts all around the vehicle. This global shortage has resulted in shutdowns at some car manufacturing plants, resulting in the worldwide output of new cars/vans being at an all-time low and the need to produce spare parts temporarily impacted.
Vehicle Replacement parts
There are delays in getting other vehicle parts such as tailgates, bumpers, headlights, electrical and mechanical components and body panels. This is due to the worldwide shortage of plastics, other raw materials and the movement of goods. With other contributing factors, like, the well-publicised driver shortages in the UK. The ability to get parts is becoming harder and harder.
The transportation issues has led to the lack of availability of parts in the UK. This means that many parts need to be ordered from overseas, as stock levels in the UK are low. Most of the UK’s popular vehicle brands are impacted by these shortages. And, in most cases repairers are waiting weeks, or in some cases months, for parts to be delivered.