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1997-10-22 12:42:34


A Vulnerable Auto Industry Tries to Prepare for Worst



American auto manufacturers rely on thousands of suppliers. If one part is missing, the assembly line shuts down. This is a classic example of the domino effect.

Anyone who doubts the magnitude of the looming crisis should think "auto industry" when he dismisses y2k with a genial, "someone will find a solution."

This story appeared in COMPUTERWORLD (Oct. 20).

* * * * * * *

Worried that a year 2000 snafu at even a tiny parts maker at the bottom of the supply chain could cripple U.S. automakers, the automotive industry has cranked up a program to help suppliers fix their systems.

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), a trade association in Southfield, Mich., last week said it will help the Big Three automakers monitor the year 2000 readiness of industry suppliers. . . .

Even if a small but significant supplier of a key component such as carburetors stops making or delivering parts because of a year 2000 glitch, the entire supply chain could come to a grinding halt, said Don Blair,associate director of the AIAG. . . .

The AIAG initiative is an important wake-up call for the North American auto industry, which has been late in responding to the supply-chain issues, said Joe Bione, lead partner in the AIAG for Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group in Detroit.

The AIAG effort is important ``because most of the industry is running older mainframe applications'' that have to be fixed, said Thomas J. Morgan, director of information technology at Peregrine, Inc., a Southfield, Mich., maker of auto components such as interior doorpanels.

More information about the AIAG Year 2000 Task Force program is available at the AIAG's Web site (


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