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Truckmaker MAN resumes production after Ukraine crisis supply gap By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors stand at the booth of Volkswagen’s truck unit Traton Group, former Volkswagen Truck & Bus AG, in Hanover, Germany September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN (Reuters) -German commercial vehicle maker Traton’s MAN unit restarted production from Monday after a six-week gap caused by supply problems resulting from the war in Ukraine, the company said on Monday.

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

The problems led MAN to shorten the hours of as many as 11,000 workers in Germany in mid-March.

Production came to a standstill at its truck plants in Munich and Krakow. There was also significant production downtime in Nuremberg, Salzgitter and Wittlich, MAN said.

“Production is still beset by major uncertainties. If the war were to move more strongly into western Ukraine again, this could result in a renewed standstill,” MAN Chief Executive Alexander Vlaskamp said in a statement.

MAN’s suppliers in Ukraine are currently able to manufacture and deliver again, albeit at a low level, the statement said.

In addition, the truckmaker said it is working to duplicate cable harness production in other countries.

A spokeswoman for MAN was unable to say exactly how many workers would return to work as production resumes, noting in an email to Reuters that the situation remained “volatile”.

Markus Soeder, premier of the southern German state of Bavaria, visited the Volkswagen (ETR:) subsidiary’s Munich plant on Monday as production resumed.

He also took to Twitter (NYSE:) to urge the Berlin government to provide more support to German industry hit by the conflict in Ukraine.

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