Honda halts UK production over supply chain disruption
Japanese carmaker Honda is today pausing production at its plant in Swindon, UK, due to congestion at UK posts affecting shipments of just in time parts.
"The situation is currently being monitored with a view to restart production as soon as possible," Honda said.
"Honda of the UK Manufacturing has confirmed to employees that production will not run on Wednesday 9 December due to transport-related parts delays."
Honda is said to be considering flying in essential parts.
Honda previously announced the closure of the plant, slated for July 2021, due to global changes in the car industry and the need to transition to electric vehicles. Fears over a no-deal Brexit and possible trade tariffs are also considered to be a factor in the decision.
Congestion at UK container parts has been building as companies stockpile ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit, and global disruption due to Covid-19.
There have been problems at Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, with many containers being offloaded in continental Europe rather than the UK due to the backlog.
There are reports of a global shipping crisis and soaring costs, with one London-based company – One Retail Group – telling the BBC that costs of importing a 40-foot container have risen from US$2,000 to US$10,000.
There is also a growing shortage of available empty containers.
Representatives of UK ports, shipping and logistics sectors have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to highlight the crisis.
"We recognise government's capacity to step in is limited, but where they can, they should look at ways of increasing the capacity for moving containers on and off ports," said Tim Morris, chief executive of ports' trade association, the UK Major Ports Group.
"That could mean running more and longer trains to and from ports, allowing hauliers more flexibility to collect containers out of normal hours, and for drivers to take on longer shifts where that can be done safely."
The UK Department for Transport said the government is working with the freight industry to tackle the situation
Canoo Awards Manufacturing Contract to VDL Nedcar
Canoo, a trailblazing company in the electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturing industry, has officially announced owned and contract manufacturing plans that will ensure the company manages to deliver on its promise to consumers of production and delivery of vehicles in Q4, 2022.
During the company’s first Investor Relations Day, Chairman & CEO of Canoo, Tony Aquila, named VDL Nedcar as its contract manufacturing partner. VDL Nedcar, which I’m sure many of you will already have heard of, is the only independent Vehicle Contract Manufacturer in the Netherlands and has enjoyed fifty years of growth under owners, including Mitsubishi Motors and Volvo cars. According to the report, Nedcar will manufacture the Lifestyle Vehicle for the United States and European Union markets, while Canoo builds a US-based mega micro-factory.
"We conducted an exhaustive search, invested significant amounts of time and resources that span the globe, in our search for our Phase 1 contract manufacturer. VDL Nedcar is the right partner," said Tony Aquila, Investor, Chairman and CEO of Canoo, Inc. "They are the top trusted European manufacturer building high-quality products for leading OEMs, and they significantly outcompeted the other contenders. VDL is also independently owned by the van der Leegte family of entrepreneurs - which aligns with our commitment to support businesses that form the backbone of communities. This strategic partnership will enable us to deliver vehicles to market while we build our Phase 2 factory in Oklahoma. It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with VDL Groep of companies. Our investment will help us scale quickly and fulfil our mission to bring affordable, purpose-built EVs to Everyone."
Canoo and VDL have already gotten to work on vehicle manufacturability and production planning so that Canoo can successfully lay the groundwork for its upcoming US manufacturing operations expansion, which will be completed in Oklahoma in 2022. The Nedcar facility currently expected to produce around 1000 units for both the US and European markets in 2022, with an additional 15000 targeted for the following year.
"Canoo's bold approach to designing and building electric vehicles makes them an ideal partner as we work together to shape the future of mobility," said John van Soerland, CEO of VDL Nedcar. "This partnership advances our strategic vision to provide a contract manufacturing solution and expand our expertise in the EV arena."
Currently, Canoo is entering its GAMMA phase of development and is on track to start production soon. The company intends and expects to launch its Lifestyle Vehicle in Q4 2022, closely followed by the Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle and Pickup Truck.
Watch this space.