Hyundai WRC boss lifts lid on "nightmare" parts supply issues

Hyundai Motorsport has been forced to start planning its World Rally Championship parts supply for next year six months in advance due to the global delay in sourcing key materials.

Hyundai WRC boss lifts lid on "nightmare" parts supply issues

The South Korean marque says it is facing a "nightmare" situation in securing parts for use on its i20 N WRC cars due to a worldwide shortage of several raw materials.

The automotive sector has been hit hard by a shortage in computer chips and electronic components, which first came to light at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This problem has since been affected by rising energy costs that have affected suppliers, a factor exacerbated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The issue has not escaped the motorsport industry with Hyundai’s deputy team director Julien Moncet revealing the struggle his team has been facing to ensure it has enough parts for its cars this year and for 2023.

Moncet says many of the team’s suppliers are struggling to obtain raw materials, while costs have also spiralled to add to the supply chain headache.

As a result, Hyundai is already planning for next season now with some components facing a six-month delivery time.

“We have damaged quite a lot of parts in Kenya and so on and to make sure we could increase our stock again was our main target in the last few days,” Moncet told Autosport.

“I would say it is a nightmare. It [the shortage of key materials] is really difficult, it is not only impacting motorsport but all of the economy.

“Parts that we used to be able to get in a few days and weeks are taking a few months to arrive and even more in some cases.

“It is really tricky because some suppliers have had problems with COVID and then there is Brexit and the impact of the situation in Ukraine.

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Hyundai Motorsport

“All of the suppliers are lacking in raw materials. The costs have also exploded really so it makes our life much more difficult as we have to review our complete chain supply process.

“For example, we are already working on parts for next year, which is six months in advance, because at the minute for some parts it is a six-month delivery time.

“It is completely crazy. This has changed a lot in terms of our development capacity. We have to make sure we have enough [parts] for production and for rallies. I can tell you is not easy.”

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To combat the problem, Moncet says his team is looking into ways it can increase the production of parts from its Alzenau base in Germany.

“I think Toyota has much more in-house capacity than we have,” Moncet added. “I think it is good for them. When you can’t get the parts from suppliers outside you have to find another way, and one way is to increase to increase our internal capacity.

“It is something we are working on but you need the tools, the people and the space, it is not something we can do in two weeks.”

Despite the parts supply problem, Hyundai continued with its preparation for this weekend’s Rally Estonia by conducting a pre-event test at its new Finland test site.

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