Tire shortages start to paralyze car production in Argentina

The trade union conflict that paralyzed tire production in Argentina is already affecting vehicle manufacturers, and the government hopes to find a quick solution to the crisis, which could cause great damage to the automobile industry, an essential sector for the country. .

Due to the lack of tires, the Japanese Toyota will stop activities from Wednesday (26) at the factory located in the city of Zárate, in the province of Buenos Aires, where 7,500 people work and from where vehicles are exported to 10 countries, company sources confirmed to Efe .

Last Monday, for the same reason, the American Ford also decided to suspend two production shifts at its terminal in the city of Pacheco.

This conflict in The demand for better wages at tire factories started earlier this year but has worsened since last Friday, with factory lockdowns leading to a total and indefinite shutdown. of the production of the three companies operating in Argentina: the local Fate, the Italian Pirelli and the Japanese Bridgestone.

A new conciliation hearing was held on Monday – 35 have already been held since the impasse began – at the Ministry of Labor, between representatives of the companies and the Single Tire Workers Union (Sutna).

But the hearing failed and a new conciliation meeting was called for Wednesday. “The hope is that it will be possible to reach an agreement on Wednesday,” said Industry Secretary José Ignacio De Mendiguren.

The secretary warned that if the conflict continues, production of cars in Argentina could decrease between 15% and 15%, which would mean losses between US$ 250 million to US$ 300 million in exports.

Alert in the sector

Representatives of the automotive value chain, managers of tire manufacturing companies, leaders of other unions in the sector, the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, De Mendiguren and the Secretary of Commerce, Matías Tombolini, met this Tuesday (27) on an emergency basis to analyze the impact of the problem.

After the meeting, the Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Adefa) warned in a statement that “last Friday’s decision to block the tire factories” “leaves no other possibility than to stop the factory”. ication of vehicles in an industry that has grown at a rate of 29% this year.”

Manufacturers also warned that “the radicalization of this This type of action generates uncertainty in export markets due to possible shortages and affects investment plans for development.”

De Mensiguren told the press, after the meeting, that the companies ask for the lifting of the blockades, at least to release tires inside the factories, and which do not exclude the possibility of opening tire imports.

The automobile industry is, after agribusiness, Argentina’s main export sector , with 60% of vehicles produced in the country destined for foreign markets.

This year, the automobile sector leads the industrial growth of Argentina, with an increase of the production of 29,5% in the first eight months of the year.

Between 2017 and this year, the car terminals that operate in Argentina they announced investments of US$ 6.26 billion.

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