Dow Chemical Co. and Solutia Inc. are ending their 31/2-year-old nylon marketing partnership, with each firm admitting the venture did not provide the rewards they had expected.
The deal, launched in September 1998, was intended to broaden Midland, Mich.-based Dow's presence in engineering resins while moving St. Louis-based Solutia's Vydyne-brand nylon 6/6 resin and compounds deeper into injection molding markets.
``If you looked at Dow's strength in its plastic portfolio, you would have thought that adding nylon would give rapid expansion in the marketplace,'' said Michael Colella, Solutia nylon polymers commercial director. ``Sales grew year-on-year, but not at the same rate in all market segments.''
Dow engineering plastics business director Ulf Buergel agreed that the pairing ``did not meet our overall expectations.''
``The integrated supply-chain position of Solutia and the channel to market between the existing Dow product portfolio and nylon resins did not materialize,'' Buergel said.
The deal officially will dissolve May 1. Dow will stop producing Solutia compounds at its site in Clinton, Tenn., although the firms are exploring a possible toll compounding agreement for that site.
Through November, U.S. and Canadian nylon sales dropped more than 15 percent compared with the same period the year before. Average per-pound selling prices dropped more than 10 percent as well.
Dow produces engineering thermoplastics, including polycarbonate and ABS, but ranks a distant third behind North American ETP market leaders GE Plastics and Bayer Corp. Solutia ranks second to DuPont in North American nylon 6/6 production.