China car makers, suppliers form lightweight alliance

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: December 5, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:23 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, Suppliers

CANGZHOU, CHINA (Dec. 5, 3:05 p.m. ET) — A group of global resin suppliers and Chinese automobile companies have formed a technology alliance to increase the amount of plastic used in the country’s cars, close the sizable gap with global auto companies and boost fuel efficiency of domestic vehicles.

Check out a PN video on the alliance.

The International Auto Lightweight Technology Alliance, announced Nov. 28 at a conference in Hebei province, includes global plastics raw material makers Rhodia SA, DSM NV and Arkema SA, along with large domestic Chinese car makers Chang’an Automobile Group Co. Ltd., Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. and Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd.

The alliance’s detailed agenda is still being worked out, but with Chinese economy cars using only about 50 kilograms of plastic parts on average, compared with 130 to 180 kilograms per vehicle in the United States, Western Europe and Japan, the participants see a lot of opportunities.

Chinese car makers use a higher percentage of metal components in their cars, alliance members said, and those heavier parts in turn make the cars less fuel efficient and potentially more polluting.

Members of the group acknowledge they have some challenges ahead of them, however, including recruiting more Tier 1 automotive components makers, who are not present in large numbers among the more than 20 founding companies and organizations.

The alliance is being organized by the Shanghai-based Sino-European Union Chemical Manufacturers Association, and its Auto Plastic and Innovative Materials Committee, which will provide administrative support.

The alliance wants to bring together six key groups in China’s auto industry — the car makers, the auto parts and components manufacturers, materials suppliers, government agencies, associations and universities, said Cao Du, chairman of the alliance and vice president of the Chang’an Auto Global R&D Center, a unit of major Chinese auto maker Chang’an Automobile Group Co. Ltd.

In particular, he said auto makers and materials suppliers in China don’t know much about each other’s capabilities and needs.

Cao is also vice chairman of the APIMC, and he spoke in an interview at the 6th International Auto Plastics and Innovative Materials Development Forum, held Nov. 28-29 in Cangzhou. APIMC organized the conference.

APIMC Chairman Jean-Claude Steinmetz, vice president of automotive for French resin supplier Rhodia SA, said the alliance can initially identify a handful of key demonstration projects to focus on that would involve Chinese car makers, Tier 1 firms and raw materials suppliers.

“Out of the discussion the last two days, we really have to pinpoint down the key deliverables for the next six months on definite projects,” he said in an interview at the forum. “The process should be started and well engaged in six months.”


Comments

China car makers, suppliers form lightweight alliance

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: December 5, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:23 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

New Hexcel plant will supply carbon fiber for Airbus A350 XWB

September 30, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hexcel Corp. is investing $250 million on a new carbon fiber plant in France, with part of the production going into the future Airbus SAS A350 XWB.    More

Image

Welding equipment supplier Forward completes expansion

September 30, 2014 4:08 pm ET

Plastic welding equipment producer Forward Technology completed an expansion it predicts will help customers become more efficient and cut costs.    More

Image

Extreme Tool uses remote Michigan location to attract younger workers

September 30, 2014 3:47 pm ET

“I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being an old guy like me. But I do believe in the power of youth and reinvesting in training. The...    More

Image

LyondellBasell CEO Gallogly to retire

September 30, 2014 3:00 pm ET

James Gallogly, CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, on Sept. 29 announced plans to retire in 2015.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events