BMW is in the process of temporarily shutting its German plant in Dingolfing as the fall-out from the Icelandic ash cloud continues to wreak havoc across Europe and the US.

Flights in German airspace have been chronically disrupted - as with most of northern Europe - as national air traffic service providers deem the situation too dangerous in which to operate jet engines.

The Dingolfing factory - in South East Germany - produces the X5 model but without delivery of crucial parts from around the world BMW has begun the process of closing the site - with other factories potentially also earmarked for a temporary shut-down.

"Currently it [Dingolfing] is the only factory affected but we also see some problems for the Munich plants [as well as] Regensburg and Leipzig," a BMW spokesman told just-auto from Germany.

"It is electronic parts we need to supply in from across the world - without parts there is no chance to build further cars."

The Dingolfing shut-down began this morning although the BMW spokesman stressed the company would need around one-and-a-half days to complete a full closure. "You can't [just] switch off the production line," he said. "You need several hours."

The giant ash cloud has now started to drift across the North Atlantic, although it has not yet impacted flights in the same way as Europe.

"The US plant is affected but we have no details," added the BMW spokesman. "We are delivering gear boxes from Europe to the US."

BMW has a plant at Spartanburg, South Carolina where it produces the X5 and X6 models.

Further information on the US situation is expected later this afternoon.