Truckmaker MAN to shorten hours of up to 11,000 workers on Ukraine crisis

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FILE PHOTO: Visitors stand at booth of VW's truck unit Traton Group in Hanover

BERLIN (Reuters) – German commercial vehicle maker Traton’s MAN unit will shorten the hours of as many as 11,000 workers in Germany as the war in Ukraine causes what it said were “massive” supply gaps.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a shortage of wire harnesses, which bundle up to 5 km (3.1 miles) of cables in a car and are unique to each model, hitting the automotive sector.

“This threatens a loss of truck production for several weeks and a massive reduction in production in the second quarter,” MAN said in a statement on Wednesday.

Since March 14, production has been at a standstill at its truck plants in Munich and Krakow, and it has seen significant production downtimes in Nuremberg, Salzgitter and Wittlich, MAN said.

MAN said it would take several months to duplicate Ukrainian supply structures for truck wiring harnesses in other countries.

In addition, it has decided to stop spending on non-business-critical activities and implement a hiring freeze.

MAN has prolonged shortened working hours in Munich, Nuremberg, Salzgitter and Wittlich, and extended them to include administration.

“This means that up to 11,000 MAN employees in Germany will go on short-time work at the peak,” it said, adding that country-specific regulations would apply to employees abroad.

MAN has offered customers the possibility to cancel their orders as it is unable to meet its agreed delivery deadlines. They can also place orders at new conditions, it said.

MAN said its bus production was not significantly affected by the supply shortages.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, Editing by Miranda Murray)