A fire at Polyflex, one of the Tier II suppliers of Hyundai India, has led to a disruption in production at the car manufacturer's plant at Irrungatukottai.

Polyflex supplies seat moulds and polyurethane foam to Hanil Lear, which in turn supplies seats to Hyundai India. There was no supply of seats for 3-4 days and the assembly line was rolling out cars without seats.

While causes of the fire are not known, it has forced Hyundai India to airlift PU foam and seat moulds from South Korea on an emergency basis. Hyundai India was inclined to take these measures, as it has to meet export shipment deadlines of the Santro Xing - the Indian plant being the global hub for the small [Atos] hatchback.

Hyundai India has also roped in Harita Grammar to meet the immediate shortfall. The effect on supplies to HMIL would have been even worse but Polyflex employees retrieved as many moulds as possible even as the fire was spreading fast, ensuring that normal supplies can be resumed by the end of this month. Besides, Polyflex has two other units at Pune and in Bangalore, which came in handy for supplies.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup