At least two automakers could have to stop their production next week as a result of roadblocks that block access to the province of San Luis, but which end up affecting the circulation of trucks both in that province and in neighboring jurisdictions of Córdoba , Mendoza and San Juan.
As a result of this conflict, within the automakers they are looking in detail at the inventory of parts and the concrete possibilities of replacement. “If the issue continues for a few more days, production will be complicated, because stocks are reaching critical levels and the risk is increasingly imminent,” they said in a Buenos Aires carmaker. “The subject is very critical in general.”
The roadblocks are carried out by agricultural producers and self-convened transporters in protest against the provincial government of San Luis, from whom they demand the application of more flexible health protocols.
But the deepening of the force measure is generating shortages in some productive activities, according to the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA). Within the automotive companies, sources in the sector indicated that for next week at least two of the terminals with a factory in the province of Córdoba and two of those in the province of Buenos Aires have already committed their supply.
“We have two suppliers that would be affected by the cut (a supplier from Chile and another from San Luis). For now we are fine, with no risk of shutdown next week, but we are on alert and monitoring the situation closely,” they said in one of the cordovan automakers. A few kilometers away, in another plant in the Mediterranean province, the comments were almost traced. “If the conflict spreads, we are going to have supply problems.”
According to the UIA, the cuts have deepened in recent days and affect national routes 7, 8, 20, 188 and provincial routes 30 and 55. “As a result of these events, the transportation and distribution of merchandise and supplies related to the production chain entered an area that puts at risk one of the assets that the sector put at the service of the country during the pandemic: supplying all Argentines, “said the manufacturing entity.
Another major automaker, Toyota Argentina, had to cancel its second production shift this Friday due to a lack of parts, but in this case for a reason totally unrelated to the roadblocks: a ship from Asia was delayed and the automaker had to paralyze the assembly lines of its Hilux and SW4 models. “The Zárate plant will resume its normal and usual operation next Monday,” said a Toyota spokesperson.
According to the UIA, the traffic restrictions added more problems to a context of “generalized rise” in operating and logistics costs. “Already before this episode, according to the latest UIA survey, 71% of the companies surveyed had registered logistical difficulties with interjurisdictional transportation,” added the manufacturing entity, through a statement.
The manufacturing entity dedicated a separate paragraph to the situation in San Luis, where agricultural producers from other provinces assure that they are not allowed to enter, as a result of stricter sanitary protocols than in the rest of the country. “According to the same survey, 50% of the San Luis companies claimed to be in charge of the transfer of personnel, which is equivalent to 17% of the total salary cost, and the implementation of preventive tests of Covid-19, which are mostly financed by the companies themselves “.