The Volkswagen automobile group plans to transfer production outside of Germany and Eastern Europe in the medium term in the event that the shortage of natural gas persists over time. This has been pointed out by Geng Wu, the purchasing manager of the German consortium, who has shown his concern about the Russian gas cuts, according to information from Bloomberg.
“As medium-term alternatives we are focusing on better locations, relocating production capacity or similar technical alternatives to what is already common in the context of challenges related to semiconductor shortages and other recent supply chain disruptions,” explained the director of the company.
In addition to the German plants, the countries that could be affected by a relocation of VW production are Slovakia and the Czech Republic, two nations highly dependent on Russian gas.
Russia’s decision to cut gas supplies to Europe has raised concerns that Germany will be forced to ration energy in winter. Recent news that gas storage levels reached 90% ahead of schedule has eased fears of acute shortages in coming months, but Germany faces the challenge of replenishing its reserves over the coming summer without contributions from Russia.
Southwestern Europe or the northern coastal areas of the Old Continent, which have better access to cargoes of liquefied natural gas transported by sea, could benefit from any change in production, said a spokesman for the German consortium.
In addition to the problem of gas shortage, the car company has expressed its concern about the uncontrolled increase in electricity and gasoline prices, and asked politicians to take action in this regard. “Otherwise, energy-intensive small and medium-sized companies will have big problems in the supply chain and will be forced to reduce or stop their production,” said Thomas Steg, the company’s head of external relations.