Update:Plastech and GM have reached a temporary agreement that will put Plastech parts back in production as early as the second or third shift today. Presumably that would enable Chrysler to resume production at its four idled plants as early as tomorrow or the day after. The agreement reached is only temporary, however, extending until February 15th, according to Automotive News. After that, a new deal will have to be reached or Chrysler will once again face plant closures and massive losses.
Original:Earlier today the news of Plastech's bankruptcy hit the streets and so did Chrysler's idling of four plants as a result of the lost supply. Court documents filed by Chrysler in that action indicate the supplier's closure could put all of the maker's 14 assembly plants in danger.
Plastech supplied approximately 500 types of trim to Chrysler, ranging from door panels to engine covers. Without those parts, or a readily available alternate source, Chrysler will be forced to stop production at all of its plants and lay off the workers that staff them. The idling and layoffs would continue until Chrysler could find an alternate source - in other words, a potentially indefinite time. And with the automaker already in tricky financial straits, such downtime could prove disastrous.
In order to prevent the nightmare scenario of cascading plant closures, Chrysler is petitioning the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in charge of the proceedings to allow it to take possession of the tooling in Plastech's factories so it can continue to produce the pieces it needs. Plastech obviously is opposed to the motion, as the tooling is a valuable business asset and as such is protected by bankruptcy law, reports Automotive News.
Ford and GM also use Plastech to supply parts, although neither maker's operations have yet been affected by the bankruptcy.