Car manufacturing giant Seat announced on Monday, September 6, that due to the global supply shortage of semiconductors that is currently affecting the entire automotive industry, it has decided to close its Martorell plant in Barcelona for three days this week -Monday 6, Tuesday 7, and Friday, September 10.

Company sources explained to Europa Press that internal flexibility measures have been agreed with union representatives for the cancelled shifts, while on Wednesday, September 8, and Thursday, September 9, the three lines of the plant will resume production as normal.

Due to the new Covid-19 outbreaks in Asia, which have led to the closure of semiconductor manufacturing plants, the company has said it does not rule out further adjustments in car production in Martorell, while adding that demand for the Seat and Cupra models is currently “at pre-Covid levels”, and they are doing everything possible to maintain normal production.

Generally, Seat closes its production for four weeks in August, but the supply problems due to the semiconductor crisis led to the approval of Line 2 – which manufactures the Leon and Formentor models – to enable two daily shifts that month, while Line 1 also worked exceptionally for a week at the end of August, although the company already had to stop its activity in Martorell due to the shortage of semiconductors on June 25, 28 and 29, and July 19 and 20.

In a press conference in Paris on Monday, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, explained that measures are being taken in the European Union to deal with the shortage of semiconductors for various industries such as automotive, but that it will take time to resolve, and could last as long as eighteen months, stressing that “it is the companies that have to invest”.

Breton pointed out that only around ten per cent of the world’s semiconductors are manufactured in the EU, and that the products which are causing supply problems are generally products with relatively simple technology, but it will mean a perceived drop of ten per cent in car sales this year.

He stressed that going forward with increased sales of hydrogen and electric vehicles and new technological developments, many more and more complex semiconductors will be required, for which, he noted, under the auspices of the European Commission an alliance has been formed that brings together all the key players in the sector, such as manufacturers and research institutes.

With this alliance the objectives will be defined, for example in terms of new production centres in the European Union, and “there will be public money,” he said, adding that “significant investments” are expected in the coming semesters in community land, as reported by


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