Mitsubishi decides to stop vehicle production at its Venezuela plant image

The Japanese automaker’s subsidiary in Venezuela has suspended vehicle production related operations because of a delay in the import of parts for assembly, a union official said late last week.

Carmakers in the South American country, just like other private businesses there, have been complaining that the socialist’s government complicated currency control system and bureaucracy are delaying imports of essential products their manufacturing facilities are in dire need.

Union official Jahaziel Bolivar, stated that MMC Automotriz, Mitsubishi’s local unit, decided to cease activity starting Monday as the plant is waiting for materials to arrive, all of them currently being held up at a port in western Venezuela.

Cars are just one sector of many where President Nicolas Maduro’s government faces complaints to release more dollars and ease the bureaucratic process for imports of essential parts. The Venezuelan President claims that businessmen exaggerate needs in order to introduce the dollars on the black market for profit.

The car production went down 83% in 2014 compared to 2013, with only 8,508 vehicles produced, compared to 50,967 in the same period of the previous year. The auto industry stated it was owed $1.9 billion in dollar liquidations by the state currency boards. Numerous plants have had periods of inactivity or currently operate at minimum capacity in Venezuela.

By Gabriela Florea