Economies of scale, globalization and production efficiencies continue to exacerbate any disruptive incident in an automaker's supply chain. The latest snafu is due to a fatal explosion at Germany's Evonik Industries, which arrested that company's ability to produce cyclodecatriene (CDT). In turn, the production of the resin Vestamid Polyamide 12 (PA-12) is threatened by the loss of CDT, one of its key components. And a crimp in PA-12 supplies threatens the manufacture of crucial components like
New car sales have endured all manner of impediments since The Great Recession began in 2008, and for various reasons including everything from restricted lending by banks to strikes and Acts of God. Next up among the bugbears could be a shortage of car haulers, which were pulled from active duty when there simply weren't cars to haul.
Ford of Europe was given a "Green Supply Chain" award thanks to reducing its CO2 emissions along its manufacturing processes. The key factor for Ford in getting this prize was the marque's reduction in truck hauling: Last year, Ford of Europe used 64 percent more sea and river mileage for its finished vehicle transportation. In Germany, Ford uses Rhine barges to move cars from its Niehl assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, to Antwerp in Belgium and to sea ports beyond. Between the continent and G
Although the automotive industry has been bracing for a Chrysler bankruptcy for some time, last week's official announcement of a Chapter 11 filing still came as a shock. One of the long-held assertions about bankruptcy was that once one domestic automaker filed, the others would eventually be forced to follow suit. The other belief was that bankruptcies would hamper the supply chain, which would in turn hurt other automakers besides the other Detroit 2.
Fearing that a couple dozen of its U.S. suppliers could shut down production, Toyota has established a "war room" to monitor suppliers and has begun to warehouse assembly components. While the move marks a departure from the automaker's "just in time" production philosophy, a mantra that associates stockpiling with inefficiency and waste, a bankruptcy by one of the Detroit 3 could knock-out a key supplier crippling the Japanese automaker's North American factories. It is a widespread problem, as
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