NEW YORK – Auto makers are waiting to see which OEM will take another shot at large-scale production of plastic exteriors. The auto industry has had an on-again, off-again love affair with plastic body panels for decades, from Henry Ford’s interest in the 1930s to General Motors Corp.’s high-volume Saturn cars and BMW AG’s low-volume Z-1 roadster. Right now, the fervor has cooled somewhat, holding up wider use of plastic panels, fenders and other exterior components, says Ian Paterson, a ...

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