Offaly ambulance firm temporarily shuts due to Brexit supply issues

‘Key component’ shortages cause three-week shutdown of Wilker Auto Conversions

Wilker Auto Conversions in Clara converts ambulances for the HSE. File photograph: Alan Betson

Wilker Auto Conversions in Clara converts ambulances for the HSE. File photograph: Alan Betson

 

A company in Co Offaly that converts ambulances for the Health Service Executive and other agencies said it has to shut down production for a three-week period due to supply-chain issues from Brexit.

Shortages of “key component parts” needed for current and upcoming orders for ambulance and other vehicle conversions have led to the shutdown, a representative of the Wilker Auto Conversions plant in Clara said.

Production will stop from Friday, February 12th, until Monday, March 8th, and the company is confident that “this is the worst-case scenario”.

Preparation

Wilker Auto Conversions began its “Brexit-ready preparedness” in the middle of 2019 and engaged outside expert support, the representative said.

“We have had to work with new controls from January 1st, 2021, and have been working very hard with our supply chain partners to meet these new requirements to keep goods flowing into Ireland as well as out to the UK, which is a major market for us,” chief executive Donnacha Hurley said.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, we are faced with critical shortages which have resulted in this three-week shutdown.

“This situation is devastating news for all our employees, which is something we very much regret.”

Mr Hurley said the company is working with employees to ease the financial burden “that has been brought about by this interruption and, of course, are continuing to work with our supply chain to eliminate or shorten the impact”.