VW idles Brazil auto plants as floods hit parts supply

  • : Metals
  • 24/05/14

Persistent heavy rains in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul led Volkswagen to announce collective vacation for workers in three of its local plants as the automaker struggles with a lack of parts made in the flood-hit state.

The Anchieta, Taubate and Sao Carlos facilities, in southeastern Sao Paulo state, will have collective vacation starting 20 May as floods forced auto part suppliers to stop production.

"Due to the heavy rains affecting the state and people of Rio Grande do Sul, some Volkswagen do Brasil parts suppliers, with factories installed in the state, are unable to produce at this time," the company said on Tuesday.

Volkswagen declined to comment on which auto parts suppliers were affected by the floods.

Volkswagen's Sao Jose dos Pinhais facility, in Rio Grande do Sul, will remain operating, the company said.

Heavy rains that began flooding Rio Grande do Sul in late April persisted over the weekend, continuing to wreak havoc in the state.

Rains reached an accumulated 123mm (4.8in) on 10-12 May in the state capital Porto Alegre, according to Brazil's national meteorological institute Inmet. Some areas experienced around 80mm of rain on 12 May alone, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Showers lessened but continued on 13 May, reaching 35mm in some parts of the state.

The extreme weather has left 148 dead and 124 missing, according to the civil defense. Over 538,000 people are displaced.

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