Sponsored By

International Automotive Components (IAC; Dearborn, MI) was recognized by Toyota with a Technology Award for the blowmolded deck board it supplies for the new Venza. Located behind the seats and above the spare tire in the Venza, the component is Toyota’s first non-carpet-covered deck board in North America, and IAC says it represents an expansion in the use of blowmolding versus injection molding in automotive interiors, resulting in a component that is color matched and grained for a superior surface finish.

Tony Deligio

March 23, 2009

3 Min Read
IAC blowmolded deck board captures Toyota prize

International Automotive Components (IAC; Dearborn, MI) was recognized by Toyota with a Technology Award for the blowmolded deck board it supplies for the new Venza. Located behind the seats and above the spare tire in the Venza, the component is Toyota’s first non-carpet-covered deck board in North America, and IAC says it represents an expansion in the use of blowmolding versus injection molding in automotive interiors, resulting in a component that is color matched and grained for a superior surface finish.

David Ladd, IAC Group’s executive director of marketing and communications, told PlasticsToday the component measures approximately 830 mm wide, 772 mm long, and 35 mm thick, with a weight of 3650g for the center board, making it comparable to most load floors used in crossovers and SUVs.

March24_newsfeed_venza.jpg

The Toyota Venza was awarded the Technology Award from International Automotive Components for its blowmolded deck board.



Ladd said the larger achievement was actually a reduction in cost—approximately $10 in savings—while improving overall structural rigidity. As far as what the future might hold for blowmolded load floors and the Japanese automaker, Ladd said, “At this time, we have this one load-floor program with [Toyota], but it has been well received.”

Presented as part of its 13th Annual Supplier Business Meeting (ABM) on March 10, the awards ceremony acknowledges the best of Toyota’s 500 North American suppliers. In addition to the Technology Award, which recognized five companies in addition to IAC, Toyota presented supplier awards in the categories of Launch, Supplier Diversity, Value Improvement, and Quality.

IAC said the part’s engineering challenges included co-development with Toyota of an underside structure that would satisfy load requirements, while using an all new resin and grain. The key was finding a material that gave Toyota the ability to transmit grain while being both lightweight and strong. Unique to the component is an internal “tack off” that provides structure across the width of the load floor, eliminating the need to add ribs or steel reinforcements. IAC and Toyota settled on a precolored polypropylene from Spartech Polypropylene, which was reinforced with glass fibers and talc.

IAC has multiple blowmolding operations, including its 280,000-sq-ft facility in Fremont, OH, which produces this part, as well as load floors, ducts, and headliners for other customers including Chrysler, GM, Ford, Nissan, and Honda. Cobbled together from portions of suppliers like Lear and Collins & Aikman, IAC has more than 70 locations in 17 countries, while its North American arm boasts 16,000 employees in facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, as well as interests in two Chinese joint ventures.

Toyota says it supports approximately 63,000 supplier jobs in 38 states, collectively spending nearly $30 billion on parts, goods, and services last year in North America. The company began production of the Venza last November at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK). That site has the capacity to build about 70,000 Venzas annually, with the vehicle produced on the same lines that manufacture and assemble the Camry, Camry Hybrid, and Solara convertible. Toyota said more than 30 Kentucky-based suppliers supply parts for the Venza, including seats and glass components, with Venza’s overall U.S. content at approximately 70%. [email protected]

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like