Volvo Cars pauses production in Belgium due to Red Sea attacks

By Anna Ringstrom and Marie Mannes

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Volvo Cars, which is majority-owned by China’s Geely, will next week pause output at its plant in Gent in Belgium for three days due to delays caused by the security situation in the Red Sea, the company said on Friday.

A delivery of gear boxes has been delayed, a spokesperson for the Sweden-based auto maker said, the second company after Tesla to disclose an interruption to production because of attacks on vessels in the Red Sea.

Car deliveries, production targets and its other European plant in Gothenburg, Sweden, were not affected by the pause, the spokesperson said.

The attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants, in solidarity with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in its fight against Israel in Gaza, have disrupted one of the world’s most important shipping routes, forcing container vessels to travel via southern Africa and avoid the Suez Canal.

That adds about 10 days and $1 million fuel costs to a journey from Asia to Europe.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Terje Solsvik and Elaine Hardcastle)