Chrysler employees all get to exhale

The delicate interdependency between automakers and suppliers took center stage again yesterday when Chrysler saw five of its plants shut down when one of its suppliers, Plastech, filed bankruptcy last week.

Plastech has long worn the moniker of “troubled supplier” requiring bailouts three times in the last 12 months, and apparently the Dearborn, Michigan-based supplier’s latest request for help finally sent the new regime at Chrysler over the edge. Chrysler agreed in principle to a plan — along with Ford and GM — on the evening of Jan. 31, then went to court on Feb. 1 asking to get the tooling used to make a variety of components back as well as sending Plastech a “Dear John” letter informing the company that Chrysler was terminating $200 million worth of contracts: immediately.

It’s akin to breaking up with a girlfriend and demanding all your “stuff” back: now.
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