The impact of the refugees’ crisis on the Schengen area within Europe could have serious effects on production, carmakers say.
The border controls within the Schengen have already been tightened amid Europe’s refugees’ crisis and further drastic actions in this regard could have serious consequences on the auto industry system, some of the chief executives said at the Geneva car show. “A breakdown of Schengen would be horrific for us,” Opel Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann told reporters. Less travel freedom of goods and components would hit Opel’s output at its plants in Germany, Spain, Poland, Britain and Italy, Neumann said. “We have huge logistics operations in southern Europe, any disruption would have an immediate impact on the bottom line,” Neumann added. Furthermore, it will alter Opel’s plans to return to profit in the region.
Bernhard Mattes, Ford’s Germany boss, has similar concerns regarding further restrictions. “We have plants in Germany, Romania, Spain and in England. Our logistics are geared towards supplying our plants just in time,” he said. “That’s the basis for the efficiency of production in Europe – of course we want to maintain that.” With such high demand for the Mercedes-Benz models, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said his company was already building cars at full speed and a delay in the supply chain will definitely affect the output levels. “Our factories are running with one or two hours of time buffer,” Zetsche stated.