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BMW Says Ash Disruption Hitting Production

Spare parts aren't arriving so will partially halt production at several sites

BMW is partially halting production at several sites because of spare parts not arriving due to the turmoil in European air traffic, a spokesman said on April 20.

The Munich-based firm said that three German factories were affected, with some production stopping at Dingolfing later on April 20 and at Munich and Regensburg on April 21 and April 22 respectively.

Spokesman Marc Hassinger said the stoppage would mean that around 7,000 fewer vehicles would be made than normal. Foreign production and deliveries to customers remained unaffected.

"We aim to return to normal on Friday," he said. "The problem concerns parts for car interiors and electronics."

German authorities extended the closure of its airspace by six hours to 1800 GMT on April 20 due to the giant plume of volcanic ash from Iceland that has wrought havoc in Europe since last week.

As well as affecting millions of air passengers, the stoppage was also hitting the German economy, Europe's biggest, "to a significant degree," Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said on April 19.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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