New supply stress test for auto industry

Apr 18, 2012 | 05:01 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Automakers, shortage, emergency summit, Toyota, Ford, Original Equipment Supplier Association, Dave Andrea, corinna petry

CHICAGO — The North American automotive supply chain is again threatened by a shortage of a key product, and although it’s too soon to predict the economic consequences, the situation could result in a vehicle production slowdown.

In an echo of last year, when an earthquake and tsunami in Japan and persistent flooding in Thailand shut down suppliers of electronic components and paint chemicals, automakers now are facing a shortage of a critical material used in brake linings, fuel lines and other components.

The shortage stems from a March 31 explosion at an Evonik Industries AG chemical plant in Marl, Germany. The Essen-based company makes cyclododecatriene (CDT), which is used to produce a nylon resin called PA-12 (or Nylon 12). Evonik, which produces about half the world’s supply of PA-12, said it will take at least three months for the plant to return to normal production. ....

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