The automotive industry is, after agribusiness, the main export sector in Argentina, with 60% of the vehicles produced in the country destined for foreign markets.
The union conflict that has paralyzed the production of tires in Argentina It is already affecting vehicle manufacturers and the Government is committed to achieving a prompt solution to the crisis, which could cause heavy losses to the automotive chain, which is key to the country.
Due to the lack of tires, the Japanese Toyota will stop activity from this Wednesday at its plant in the Buenos Aires town of Zárate, where 7,500 people work and from where vehicles are exported to 22 countries, according to company sources confirmed to Agencia Efe.
On Monday, for the same reason, the American Ford It also decided to suspend two production shifts at its terminal in the Buenos Aires town of Pacheco.
The conflict in salary increase claim in the tire factories it began at the beginning of this year, but it has worsened since last Friday with blockades at the plants that led to the total and indefinite stoppage of production of the three companies that operate in Argentina: the local Fate, the Italian Pirelli and the Japanese Bridgeston.
This Monday a new conciliation hearing was held – 35 have already been held since the beginning of the conflict – at the Ministry of Labor between representatives of the companies and the Single Union of Tire Workers (Sutna).
But the hearing failed and a new conciliation meeting was called for this Wednesday.
“The hope is that an agreement can be reached on Wednesday,” Industry Secretary José Ignacio De Mendiguren said on Tuesday.
The secretary warned that, if the conflict continues, Argentina’s automobile production could fall between 10 and 15%, which would imply losses of between 250 and 300 million dollars for exports.
Alert in the automotive sector
Representatives of the automotive value chain, directors 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 as a “urgency” to analyze the impact of the conflict.
After that meeting, the Association of Automotive Factories (Adefa) warned in a statement that “last Friday’s decision to block the factories” of tires “It leaves no other possibility than to stop vehicle manufacturing in an industry that has been growing at a rate of 29% this year.”
The terminals also warned that “the radicalization of this type of action generates uncertainty in export markets due to possible shortages and affects development investment plans.”
For his part, De Mensiguren told the press after the meeting that the companies are asking for the blockades to be lifted, at least to release the tire stocks inside the factories, noting that It is not ruled out to open the importation of tires.
The automotive industry is, after agribusiness, the main export sector in Argentinawith 60% of the vehicles produced in the country destined for foreign markets.
This year, the automotive sector leads industrial growth in Argentina, with an increase in car production of 29.5% accumulated in the first eight months of the year.
Between 2017 and this year, the automotive terminals that operate in Argentina announced investments for 6,260 million dollars.