Toray to open automotive materials R&D base in Europe

Japan's Toray Industries says it will open its Automotive Center Europe (AMCEU) in August 2018 near Munich, Germany, as part of a “strengthening of R&D function related to the Green Innovation (GR) Business in Europe, which is at the forefront of environmental restrictions in the world.” The facility, consisting of an office block and a laboratory block (including showroom), will have a total floor area of about 3,400 m2.

Opening in August 2018 near Munich, Germany, the Automotive Center Europe will house facilities for design, molding and evaluation of automotive materials.

Toray in 2008 established an Automotive Center (AMC) at its Nagoya Plant and the center has been driving forward proposals, technology development and commercialization of solutions utilizing new materials to Japanese automotive OEMs. As a result, Toray Group’s net sales of materials for automotive applications grew about 10% a year in the period from fiscal year 2014 to 2016 compared with about 2% annual growth for the number of global automobile production, achieving about five times the growth of automobile production.

Building on the experience with AMC and further driving the expansion of Toray Group’s automotive related business, AMCEU will play the major role of a core technology development base in Europe that is capable of handling new applications and offering one-stop service to customers in Europe. It will offer comprehensive solutions combining advanced materials (intermediate base materials) such as carbon fiber composite materials, resins and films and technologies for mastering them (molding and design) as to how to bring out the materials’ characteristics as well as experiments, evaluation and technological support.

European automobile manufacturers have been making great strides in the global automotive industry and the region leads in demand for carbon fiber composite materials in the automotive field and in development for adopting more resins in auto parts. Its fuel consumption regulations re among the most stringent in the world and the region also leads the rest of the world in initiatives for reducing vehicle weight and electric vehicles.

Toray aims to implement the GR Business Expansion strategy under its medium-term management program Project AP-G 2019 through development of new materials, building methods and structures required for environmentally friendly transportation equipment such as electric vehicles jointly with major customers (OEMs and Tier 1 companies) and to achieve environmental restriction goals, which are becoming stricter, and contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society.

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