Quick solution unlikely in resin shortage, research firm says
DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Automakers and suppliers are unlikely to find immediate alternatives to a shortage of resin used to make brake- and fuel-system components because of their pre-production vetting processes, according to researchers at IHS Automotive.
"Given the component testing and approval processes employed by" automakers and suppliers, "it is unlikely to be the work of a moment to find or develop a substitutable alternative material," the Colorado-based researcher said Wednesday in a post on its Web site.
Automakers in Japan, however, may avoid “large-scale” disruptions to production as suppliers prepare alternative parts in response to a global resin shortage, according to a Deutsche Bank AG analyst.
Suppliers recognized that the resin, known as nylon 12, was produced by few companies and are carrying several months’ supply, Takashi Moriwaki, an analyst for Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, wrote today in a research note. Auto-parts makers could supply parts with alternative materials as soon as June and plan to propose options to automakers within the next week, Moriwaki wrote, citing telephone interviews with companies he didn’t identify.
“Although we cannot discount the risk of production stoppages because the shortage of only one component is enough to compromise auto production, our interviews suggest little likelihood of large-scale shutdowns to Japan’s auto production,” Moriwaki wrote.
More than 200 executives from companies including General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. met Tuesday at a summit near Detroit to find other options for resin after a March 31 explosion at chemical maker Evonik Industries AG.
The blast at Evonik's Marl, Germany, factory that made Cyclododecatriene, also called CDT, halved the global source of the resin called nylon 12. Officials formed six technical committees aimed at mitigating the effect that the nylon 12 shortage may have on production of parts and finished vehicles, Randi Berris, a spokeswoman for the Automotive Industry Action Group, wrote Wednesday in an e-mail.
The group is hosting "multiple technical follow-up meetings" during the next few weeks on the issue, she said.
"It is understood that the mood at the AIGP meeting on Tuesday was extremely serious and there was significant concern over the potential for production disruptions in the component industry, with obvious knock-on effects" for automakers, IHS Automotive said in its report, which doesn't list an author.Contact Automotive News