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BMW may halt production at U.S. plant because of ash cloud

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BMW may halt production at U.S. plant because of ash cloud

April 19, 2010 14:15 CET

BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- BMW may be forced to halt production at its U.S. factory if the volcanic ash cloud stops trans-Atlantic flights for another two days.

BMW supplies transmissions and other components from Germany factories by air to its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which assembles the X5 and X6 sport-utility vehicles, Mathias Schmidt, a spokesman for the Munich-based carmaker, said today in a telephone interview.

As many as 63,000 flights have been canceled after the April 14 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano spewed dust across Europe's airspace, causing airports from Dublin to Moscow to shut down. The disruptions are costing carriers as much as $300 million in lost revenue a day, according to an estimate by the International Air Transport Association.

BMW produces about 600 vehicles a day at its sole U.S. factory, which was opened in 1994, according to its Web site. The company also canceled a planned press trip to visit its factory in Shenyang, China, because of the air-travel restrictions. BMW officials and journalists were due to depart for China today.

The U.S. was BMW's biggest market in terms of vehicles sold in this year's first two months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100419/ANE/100419892/1317#ixzz0lZ2F9e1l

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BMW to halt production at three German plants due to ash cloud

Bloomberg News April 20, 2010 13:00 CET

(Bloomberg) -- BMW AG, the world's largest maker of luxury cars, will temporarily stop production at three German factories due to a supply shortage caused by the volcanic ash cloud over Europe.

The carmaker will halt its plant in Dingolfing, which produces 5- and 7-series vehicles, starting with the late shift today, Mathias Schmidt, a spokesman for the manufacturer said in a telephone interview. A plant in Munich, which assembles the 3 series, and a facility in Regensburg, where 1 series and Z4 models are produced, will stop production starting tomorrow.

BMW aims to restart production for all three plants on April 23, he said. The temporary production shutdown, caused by a shortage of interior and electronic parts which are normally delivered by air, will delay production of about 7,000 vehicles.

The flight ban, introduced after the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted on April 14, has led to the cancellation of 81,000 flights and is costing carriers as much as $300 million a day in lost revenue, the International Air Transport Association said. With planes out of position and airlines concentrating on repatriating stranded passengers, the restoration of full timetables may take six days, the industry group estimates.

Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks, may face isolated logistic and supply disruptions starting tomorrow if European airspace remains closed, Ute von Vellberg, a spokeswoman for the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said.

BMW, based in Munich, is in talks with unions about making up for the production shortfall and aims to ensure customer deliveries aren't delayed, Schmidt said

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100420/ANE/100429994/1193#ixzz0leV7sbFn

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