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A disruption in the European auto supply chain will reportedly delay or postpone production in BMW factories around the world.

The Wall Street Journal reported late last week that the German automaker restricted operations at factories in Germany, China and South Africa due to a parts shortage.

The problem, according to the report, stemmed from an unnamed Italian supplier to German auto parts giant Bosch.

Bosch said that the supplier had trouble delivering casing for steering gears, which are produced by Bosch for use in BMW’s 1-Series, 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series compact vehicles.

All three companies reportedly formed a task force to address the problem as quickly as possible, and analysts told the paper that the impact would be limited unless the delays continued for several days.

The Journal, however, noted that the episode highlighted the vulnerability of even major manufacturers to seemingly minor supply chain hiccups.

"The vehicle is not complete until all parts, most of which are supplied 'just-in-time,' are installed," BMW board member Markus Duesmann told the paper. "It is, therefore, understandable how a missing part — even if only a small one, as in this case — can have a major impact.”

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