Emergency Summit Called by Automakers Bracing for Production Halt

An earthquake on March 31 caused an explosion at a Evonik Industries, a German manufacturing plant responsible for the largest supply of PA-12 resin, leading many automakers to wonder how it will affect immediate production.

PA-12 is a key material used to manufacture parts like gas tanks and brake components. Last week we reported that concern was growing about how the supply shortage might affect automakers, but it seems that concern grew significantly over the weekend.

Now, an emergency summit is scheduled to deal with the possible disaster. As many as 200 industry officials are expected to attend the meeting, which will occur in a suburban Detroit hotel.

Evonik issued a release saying that it is working with its suppliers and customers to minimize the impact, but it seems that might not be enough to quell automaker concerns. It seems some are turning to possible alternatives, at least in the short run, to bride some of the gap left by the shortage.

DuPont Automotive runs an automotive coating business out of Mt. Clemens, Mich. and might be able to help.

“We don’t make PA-12, but we do have materials that we think may be used in similar materials,” Carole Davies, marketing communications programs manager for DuPont said to Automotive News. “We’re working with customers to see if we can alleviate some of the pressure (caused by the shortage).”

For now, questions remain about the auto industry’s ability to continue assembly. For now, automakers are left scrambling to find alternative suppliers. More news is sure to surface after the summit is held.

[Source: Automotive News]