DETROIT - Dow Chemical Co. is looking at polypropylene as a new product that it will develop in a variety of automotive applications. Jim Davidson, commercial director for North America and Latin America for Dow Automo-tive, said Dow's stated intention to become - within 10 years - one of the world's top three PP producers will offer the company new opportunities in the global automotive industry.
Davidson spoke Feb. 28 at a news conference during the Society of Automotive Engineers International Congress and Expo-sition in Detroit.
After saying the automotive industry primarily is concerned with the cost of materials, and with minimizing their weight while maximizing their performance, Davidson said Dow views PP as an essential material.
He said Dow expects to develop standard PP products for auto interiors, while also ``becoming a force in thermoplastic polyolefins.''
TPOs, Davidson said, will be used in such exterior applications as bumpers.
Dennis McGrew, commercial director for global technology solutions for Dow Automotive, said the auto industry's relentless quest for cost reductions will require suppliers to cut costs 20-30 percent per vehicle.
``That can only be accomplished through a comprehensive look at the value chain,'' McGrew said.