The repercussions for the automotive industry are just one of the many ripple effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Coming in the wake of the issues caused by Brexit, the pandemic, the ongoing semiconductor crisis and the rise in fuel prices that had already begun in earnest before the war started, the timing of the crisis is another huge challenge for the motor industry.

Here, we take a look at how the situation is affecting the automotive industry.

A withdrawal from Russia

Recently, the news has been full of headlines about household name companies from across the spectrum who have made the decision to pull out of Russia. Car manufacturers have been no different, with manufacturers such as Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover suspending operations in Russia and others such as Volvo and Nissan pausing exports.

However laudable these decisions are, they are a moot point due to the fact that the shipping companies Maersk and MSC have halted all shipping to and from Russia anyway, which means exports and imports are impossible in the current climate.

Exposed in the Russian market

Renault and Mercedes-Benz are among the European motor manufacturers who will be most affected by the invasion of Ukraine. As recently as 2019, Vladimir Putin attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a 250 million Euro Mercedes-Benz factory in Russia. With Russia as its second biggest market, these are also worrying times for Renault as Russia lays out plans to nationalise abandoned assets. This has been reflected in a 40% drop in the Renault share price since February.

Supply chain issues

It was only when the war began that many people realised that Ukraine is a major producer of components used in car manufacturing including wire harnesses, without which cars cannot be manufactured. Skoda, which has also stopped production in Ukraine, has announced that it is still able to source some wire harnesses from the west of the country which has been less affected by fighting. Also, some Ukrainian factories have resumed limited production thanks to a law that says they are allowed to work if they are located within 25 minutes of an air raid shelter.

It’s clear that this new supply chain issue will compound the problems that are already being caused by the semiconductor shortage and the inevitable rise in prices for parts will need to passed on to consumers.

The cost of fuel

As every motorist is all too aware, the invasion of Ukraine brought with it an all-time record for prices at the pump, with the price of oil rising to 139 dollars a barrel leading to petrol and diesel prices surpassing £1.50 for the first time ever.

Despite Russia’s announcement that it is de-escalating its assault on the Kyiv and Chernihiv areas, the outcome in Ukraine remains unknown and in the meantime, prices could rise even further as the West cuts off Russian oil supplies.

Some industry insiders are predicting the huge hike in fuel prices will lead to increased demand for electric vehicles. However, while supply chain issues continue and costs rise, this isn’t a change that consumers can act on overnight.

Innovative NVH solutions for the motor industry

As the global automotive industry faces yet another challenge, at Interflex, we continue to do what we do best; design and manufacture NVH solutions for vehicles, with sustainability and the needs of the cars of the future in mind. Recently this has involved the launch of our new NVH material, Ocean. We have also diversified into the horticultural industry, with the launch of our Mulchii™ mulch mats. To find out more about any of our products or services, please call 01949 861 494 or email