The blast – that killed two employees – has led to worldwide jitters concerning the supply of the critical PA-12 resin crucial for coatings and connector applications in automotive fuel handling and brake systems.
The US automaker joins a growing list of global companies urgently addressing the fall-out from the chronic shortage of Nylon 12, which appears to have been primarily manufactured at Evoniks’ now partially-destroyed Marl facility in Germany.
“We have determined some Tier 1 suppliers have had exposure as a result of the explosion at the Evonik Industries plant in Marl, Germany,” a GM statement emailed to just-auto from its German headquarters said. “We have implemented a global work team, comprised of GM purchasing, engineering and suppliers, including Evonik, and are working to allocate and prioritise existing inventories and also find alternative process material solutions.
“We will not discuss supplier names or particulars for competitive reasons. As for potential impact, it is too soon to predict since we are still working closely with suppliers to understand complete exposure and determine alternative process materials solutions.”
Earlier this week, Evonik told just-auto it would be three months at the earliest before Nylon 12 production could resume, with even that date possibly extended until later this winter.
US supplier association, OESA, noted some of its members were running “rather short,” of the critical resin, but were considering diverting existing supplies until the situation is stabilised.
“My feeling is while this is a serious situation, considering global supply, there is going to be a solution that can be implemented with the diversion of existing supplies until the situation gets back into control,” OESA president and CEO, Neil De Koker told just-auto from his Michigan office.
Meetings have also taken place this week in Michigan to discuss the situation given Evonik’s crucial role in component production, with an emergency workshop held by generic supply chain and OEM body, AIAG, in Southfield.