Automakers confront resin supply issue

April 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM
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DETROIT, April 24 (UPI) -- An automobile trade group in Michigan said six manufacturers had agreed to seek a quick replacement for a critical resin that could soon be hard to find.

The resin is known as PA-12 or nylon 12, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.

Supplies of the resin, used in brake and fuel systems, were threatened in March by an explosion at a chemical plant in Marl, Germany.

The Automotive Industry Action Group said six major automakers, including General Motors Co., Chrysler and Ford Motor Co., had agreed to a process to speed up use of an alternative compound.

Automakers sought to quell suspicions that the lack of the resin would slow production.

"We know we have inventory that will get us through a good part of May and then I think things will sort themselves out, but we're pretty sure we have it in hand," said GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson.

GM spokeswoman Kelly Cusinato said no production schedule changes were expected.

"We continue to closely monitor the situation and are working with suppliers to allocate and prioritize existing inventories and also find alternative process material solutions," she said.

Ford spokesman Todd Nissen said, "We're not experiencing any production disruptions to date."

"It would be a true shame if we had to stop the production machine because we have to deal with this," Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said.

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