Especially in the northern regions of both countries, the component supply industry is one of the most significant sectors of the economy – for example in the Lombardy region and around Barcelona. “In total, we procure components from more than 1,000 Italian and Spanish companies,” says Nico Feirer, Head of Global Production Control at Volkswagen Group Procurement. However, it is not only the direct contractual partners, the so-called Tier 1 suppliers, that are important. The many other companies along the supply chain are just as important. “Even the failure of what at first glance appears to be a small and insignificant company can lead to problems,” says Feirer.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Feirer’s team has had a particularly close eye on the complex supplier network. “25 experts from the various countries of the global procurement organization provide us with fresh on-site information on the current situation several times a week,” he says. During the crisis, Volkswagen organized systematic corona monitoring for more than 30 countries. “We want to know immediately in case there is a threat of problems somewhere.”