Japanese synthetic fiber maker Toray Industries and Daimler AG said on Jan. 24 that they would set up a joint venture to make lighter carbon-fiber-based auto parts.
The companies said they would establish the venture in Esslingen, Germany, in March to produce and market carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) for use in automobiles.
The 825,000 euro (US$1.12 million) tie-up will be controlled 50.1% by Toray, 44.9% by Daimler and the remaining 5% by other parties.
Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic is much lighter than sheet steel and aluminum, making vehicles potentially more energy efficient.
But high costs have limited the use of Toray's carbon fiber in auto bodies. The venture plans to start supplying the high-tech lightweight auto parts to Daimler in 2012 for use in its Mercedes-Benz brand.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011