Le Groupement Plasturgie Automobile (GPA), the representative professional organization of plastics manufacturers in France has warned French automotive manufacturers that there will shortages of plastics like PA 6.6 that are used for making automotive components.
The association said that there has been disruption in production and this is likely to lead to shortages of the material. Quotas have been imposed on the amount purchased and prices have also increased by over 40 per cent from 2017.
GPA President, Luc Messien, said that there are only five sites across the globe which produce adiponitrile, a key component needed for making PA 6.6.
PA 6.6 is a plastic that is highly resistant to high temperatures, and hence is widely used in parts inside the engine compartment, like filtration and cooling systems, air supply systems. It is also used for many other components like door handles and pedal units.
Messien explained that this particular material has already been registered by car manufacturers for its technical properties, and the process involved in getting approval for new materials is highly complex. Hence, it would be difficult to find alternative solutions on a short term basis.
Armelle Dumont, Managing Director of the GPA attributed the breakdowns in the supply of PA 6.6 to the fragility of the supply chain. Currently, only 55 per cent of Europe’s PA 6.6 production capacity is available. Yet, based on current demand, there should be an expansion in the production capacity.
The GPA is now urging manufacturers of plastic parts used in vehicles to secure their supply of PA 6.6, and is also urging car manufacturers to work development of alternatives to avert a possible crisis due to shortage of PA 6.6.
Dumont urged car manufacturers to shorten their approval processes as supplies to certain members of the GPA are slated to dry up at the start of 2019. Such a situation could endanger the complete production chain.
The GPA said that Tier One and Two automotive plastic suppliers are the “victims of an unsustainable scissors effect” brought on by “the rise in the price of PA 6.6, the quotas imposed and their customers’ refusal to pay for a part of these price hikes.”
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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