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Chrysler color pigment back in production

by Bill Cawthon on

The Japanese Nikkei news service reports that Xirallic, the pigment used in a wide range of Chrysler paint colors, is back in production at the Merck KGaA plant in Oanhama, Japan. Merck is also going to begin producing Xirallic at another plant in Germany to avoid future disruptions.

Xirallic, which uses coated glass flakes, is used to produce auto paint with a pearlescent effect. Merck’s inability to supply the pigment forced Chrysler to restrict orders for vehicles painted in the following colors: Brilliant Black, Blackberry, Deep Cherry Red, Redline, Inferno Red, Bronze Star, Rugged Brown, Hunter Green, Ivory and Billet Metallic.

“Our top priority is to ensure as soon as possible an uninterrupted supply of Xirallic pigments to our customers around the world,” said Peter Halas, Head of the Pigments and Cosmetics unit at Merck.

The Merck plant, located 36 miles south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and had to be evacuated following the the accidents at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors. Work on repairs began April 4 and production resumed Sunday, ahead of the June first date previously expected. Merck now says full production will resume by June.

The company says it is following all guidelines for radiation monitoring to ensure employee safety and will test products to ensure they meet all standards and regulations.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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