Key customers of German supplier Peguform have agreed to keep the troubled plastic parts maker operating.
A shutdown at Peguform would halt production of some of Europe's top-selling models. But BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Porsche and Audi have provided a 20 million line of credit to keep their production lines running.
Representatives of the carmakers met in Frankfurt on June 4.
Production is running normally at full volumes, said a spokesperson for Peguform, a subsidiary of US supplier Venture Industries.
'So far the deliveries have worked,' said Audi spokesperson Ute Röding.
Peguform's crisis was triggered when two German insurance companies stopped guaranteeing Peguform's payments to suppliers. Peguform's liquidity worsened as the news spread and other suppliers asked for payment in advance.
The German operations of the Peguform group applied for preliminary insolvency on May 28. A court in Freiburg, Germany, appointed Heidelberg lawyer Jobst Wellensiek to investigate.
A decision on whether the company is bankrupt must be made within three months under German law. If found insolvent the company would be disbanded or sold.
Peguform has seven plants in Germany, with annual sales of 900 million. Total Peguform group sales are 1.7 billion.
Peguform is the sole source of major plastic components to most German carmakers, with half its sales to Volkswagen group.
It supplies the front and rear bumpers for Audi's A4, the rear bumper for BMW's 3 series and the front bumper for the 5 series, for example.
Peguform also supplies the dashboard and rear door module for Mercedes-Benz's A class; the front and rear bumpers for the Volkswagen Passat; instrument panels and center consoles for the VW Phaeton; and door panels for the Porsche Boxster.
Peguform's 13 plants in Europe outside Germany and plants in Brazil and Mexico are unaffected by the bankruptcy proceedings, a spokesperson said.
The managers of the plants still report to Venture, although receiver Wellensiek controls Peguform's German plants.
Venture, based in Fraser, Michigan, has adopted a growth strategy that focused on buying financially threatened but fundamentally sound companies and rebuilding them. Venture bought Peguform in 1999.
In 2000, Venture acquired the Luton, England-based automotive business of T&D Industries, a supplier to the Vauxhall plant in Luton, which has since closed.
Last year, Venture announced plans to supply Russian carmaker ZiL with plastic components.