Plastic Ain't So Fantastic Right Now
It sucks to be a parts supplier to the auto industry. The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday Blue Water Automotive Systems filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. CEO Michael Lord said this would give the thermoplastic auto-parts manufacturer "the breathing space necessary to continue its operations while reviewing all aspects of (its) businesses for reorganization." They'll be assisted in their efforts by a $1.4m "progress payment" from their largest customer, Ford. There was no indication whether Blue Water's actions would affect Ford's assembly plants. Meanwhile, the AP (via MSNBC) reports spokesmen for Ford and GM told the court handling Plastech's bankruptcy that they support Chrysler's move to get their tools back from the floundering parts company. Neither company has experienced any disruption in their Plastech parts supply, but they're not taking any chances. GM spokesman Frank Sopata told the court "GM does strongly support Chrysler's position regarding the tooling since we have entered into the same agreement as Chrysler and the other major customers of Plastech to reclaim our tooling should it be necessary." What's the bet they'll find it "necessary" very soon?
One thing I still don't understand is this: how was Plastech able to idle multiple Chrysler plants through inability to produce parts, yet their supplies to GM and Ford were completely unaffected?
I'll bet Dustin Hoffman's glad he didn't follow that guy's advice in "The Graduate."