A huge explosion in an industrial park in Marl, Germany, killed two. It also could bring the world’s auto industry to its knees “in the next few weeks,” writes Bloomberg.
The explosion destroyed production facilities of an obscure chemical called Cyclododecatriene. CDT is a key element of PA-12, a resin used in most fuel and brake-line coatings, flexible hoses and quick connectors supplied to automakers. A few days ago, TI Automotive of Auburn Hills, Michigan, wrote to customers:
“The shortage is real and immediate. The possibility of production interruptions at some of your facilities in the next few weeks is high.”
TI Automotive supplies brake and fuel lines, fuel tanks and pumps to all major automakers, including GM, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Its customer list reads like a who’s who of the auto industry.
Automakers are aware of the situation but have not reported any outages.