PARIS — Renault has temporarily halted production of the Megane E-Tech Electric at its factory in northern France, citing a parts shortage and COVID-19 lockdown measures in China.
Megane production at the factory in Douai, France, has been stopped from April 14 until April 25, a Renault spokeswoman said.
“The semiconductor crisis accentuated by the lockdown measures in several regions of China is putting the supply of Megane E-Tech Electric parts under pressure, especially battery components,” Renault said in an e-mail on Tuesday.
Renault expects to deliver the first production models to customers in May.
The Megane E-Tech Electric is Renault’s first compact full-electric passenger car. It is a centerpiece of CEO Luca de Meo’s strategy to focus on the higher-profit compact segments rather than small cars, where Renault has been dominant.
The factory in Douai, which has been converted to produce electric vehicles from internal combustion models such as the midsize Talisman, is part of Renault’s ElectriCity cluster of electric-vehicle production sites. The automaker expects to produce hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles annually at the factories, including compact models such as the Megane, small cars such as the coming Renault 5, and commercial vans.
Recent lockdowns in China have led to production snarls at other automakers, including at Tesla and Volkswagen Group factories in Shanghai.
The lockdowns are coming on top of the continuing shortage of microchips. According to a new estimate by AutoForecast Solutions, mearly 1.5 million vehicles have been cut from schedules worldwide so far this year. That’s on top of 10.5 million units lost in 2021.
European manufacturers have accounted for much of the industry’s production setbacks in recent weeks, and about half of all vehicles lost worldwide this year, AFS said.