Automotive plastics: Daimler, Toray strike deal for carbon fiber reinforced plastics


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then officials at BMW and SGL Carbon must be blushing now. Last January the carmaker and the carbon fiber supplier announced their joint venture to manufacture carbon fiber-reinforced automotive parts. Today, almost exactly one year later, a similar announcement is being made by German automobile manufacturer Daimler AG and the world's largest manufacturer of carbon fibers, Toray Industries.

The German carmaker and the CF supplier have established a new joint venture for the manufacturing and marketing of carbon fiber based automotive parts. The intent, according to a Toray press release, is to mass produce high-tech lightweight components which can significantly improve the fuel economy and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of cars.

Toray is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan; Daimler calls Stuttgart, Germany its home. The new JV will be headquartered in Esslingen, Germany, just outside Stuttgart, and will be established in the first quarter of this year. It has not yet been named. The partners are investing about €825,000 in the venture with Toray holding a 50.1% share, Daimler 44.9% and Advanced Composite Engineering (Temecula, CA) holding a 5.0%.This last company, a processor of carbon and other fiber-reinforced thermoset plastics, brings additional engineering experience to the venture, according to Daimler officials in answer to a query....
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