Factory Explosion Threatens World's Car Industry

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.

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Apr 14, 2012

    [snark] Clearly this is another proof point of how awful the Chevrolet Volt is. [/snark]

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Apr 14, 2012

    Bertel says GM is "channel-stuffing", GM says it was just planning ahead for such a contingency! I bet the boys in the Ren Cen are laughing at Toyota and Hyundai for keeping their inventory so low, saying "suckers!"

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Apr 14, 2012

    Evonik Industries, a subsidiary of Degussa, is not the only maker of Cyclododecatriene. DuPont Nylon makes it in Victoria, Texas. One would think that the Bloomberg reporters would have at least thought to see if Degussa has any competitors.

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    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Apr 15, 2012

      @highdesertcat Maybe GM will go back to using steel for brake lines so they can rot out and blow st the most inopportune time. Luck for me it was in a driveway. Anybody out there with a GM W body that is 8 or so years older get underneath and check those lines, especially in the rear of the car. Mashing the pedal and having it it the floor is a scary and dangerous proposition. Zackman and Mikey, check your lines. This seems to be a very widespread issue, but no recall is coming. I wonder what would happened had I rear ended a minivan full of children...

  • Wallstreet Wallstreet on Apr 14, 2012

    Used car market will remain robust for a while.

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