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Toray Industries, Inc. announced that it purchased a 20% stake in Plasan Carbon Composites, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of auto parts based on carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), in a bid to strategically expand its carbon fiber composite material business globally in the automotive field.
Established in 2006, Plasan Carbon Composites (PCC), leveraging its proprietary high-speed Pressure Press molding technology, is the sole U.S. Tier 1 supplier of CFRP-based exterior body panels (hoods, roofs, etc.) for Performance and Luxury cars of U.S. automobile manufacturers. PCC uses Toray Composites (America), Inc.’s rapid curing, thermoset resin prepreg based on carbon fibers produced by Toray’s U.S. subsidiary Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. for its high-speed Pressure Press molding. The capital participation in PCC enables Toray to ensure a distribution channel to U.S. automobile manufacturers and establish a manufacturing and development base for CFRP auto parts in North America, completing a comprehensive and strong supply chain covering from carbon fibers to intermediate base materials and molded components.Toray has been working on enhancement of its business bases around the world to create a carbon fiber market for automotive applications. In Japan and rest of Asia, the company has been designing CFRP products and developing manufacturing technologies and products primarily at the Advanced Composite Center (ACC) and Automotive Center (AMC), the core facilities of A&A(Automotive & Aircraft) Center that is its comprehensive technology development base targeting automotive and aircraft fields, located in Nagoya Plant. Furthermore, Toray in April earlier this year established Toray Carbon Magic Co., Ltd. (location: Maibara-shi, Shiga Prefecture; abbr. TCM) and Carbon Magic (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (location: Cholburi Province, Thailand; abbr. CMTH) through share acquisitions from DOME Group to strengthen and enhance the vertically integrated supply chain.In Europe, which is quite advanced in the adoption of CFRP auto parts, Toray in 2008 took a stake in ACE Advanced Composite Engineering GmbH (location: Immenstaad, Germany; abbr. ACE), a manufacturer and distributer of CFRP parts, and in 2011 established Euro Advanced Carbon Fiber Composites GmbH (location: Esslingen, Germany; abbr. EACC) jointly with Daimler AG to drive forward development of market and applications.The capital participation in PCC completes Toray’s automobile application supply chain starting from carbon fibers to intermediate base materials to molded components in the major markets around the world.Under Toray’s medium-term management program “Project AP-G 2013”, which positions automobiles and aircraft as one of the major growing business fields, Toray aims to significantly expand its business in the field by proactively allocating business resources. The carbon fiber composite material business is at the heart of the endeavor and Toray will expand the use of CFRP in the automobile field, which is expected to be a major application following the aircraft field.More information:www.toray.com