Association of French automotive plastic parts suppliers, GPA has warned of an upcoming global crisis for automotive industries due to the shortage of key nylon materials.
According to a statement that was issued by GPA on October 5, the nylon shortage could pose serious difficulties for all the automakers and that a viable alternative should soon be found out.
GPA states that the shortage is primarily due to less number of producers of the chemical that goes into the production of Nylon, known as adiponitrile which is currently only manufactured at only five locations including France, Japan and the US.
“Numerous plastics manufacturers … have interrupted their production of [nylon] and imposed quotas on their customers,” said GPA, noting the increasing number of force by leading material suppliers.
According to GPA President Luc Messien, the type of nylon that is primarily used in cars is 6/6 and that the process to approve new materials make it difficult to find alternative solutions in the short term.
Nylon 6/6 which has a high-temperature tolerance makes it suitable for under the hood applications such as air supply systems, filtration and cooling systems, and in other interior parts including pedals and door handles.
“Today, only 55 per cent of Europe’s [nylon] production capacity is available. At the same time, current demand requires an increase in the production capacity. Hasn’t the time come to speed up investments in Europe and renovate the existing lines?” said Armelle Dumont, managing director of the GPA.