An abridged version of this article appeared in the April 14, 2014 print edition of Plastics News, and on PlasticsNews.com.
The story of the United States’ trade deficit with China (over $318 billion in 2013) is one that most of us are familiar with. Cheaper labor costs and more limited regulations often mean that “Made in China” is cheaper than “Made in America.”
But as the executives at Aston Martin will tell you, the true costs of outsourcing your manufacturing might not look so good over the longer term. James Bond’s favorite automaker issued a recall for 17,950 of its vehicles in early February, due to counterfeit material used by one of its offshore manufacturing partners.
According to the letter they sent to the NHTSA, Aston Martin’s engineers specified that DuPont PA6 plastic is used in the injection-molding of throttle pedals featured in many of their vehicles manufactured since 2007. However, when they investigated claims of the throttle pedals breaking, Aston’s engineers found the pedals had been manufactured from counterfeit material.