Steel crisis: Talks in German show progress

Berlin. Talks between German automakers and steel suppliers over steel shortages and rising raw material costs are showing progress.

Bernd Gottschalk, president of VDA, the German automakers' association, said that manufacturers increasingly are prepared to negotiate "special critical cases" in bilateral negotiations.

Klaus Urbat, managing director of the association of German foundries, wants to include a "flexible material factor" in new contracts as protection against price increases.

Aluminum foundries have agreed on such a material factor with their customers.

The representatives of the VDA and the steel associations agreed at a summit here that there can be no general solution because of the great variety of cases.

The situation remains tense. Because of high demand worldwide, companies fear that there will be delivery bottlenecks especially for long products such as drawn steel bars.

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