Japan's Teijin Ltd. is restructuring its business for carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic to try to speed up its penetration of the automotive market, as it eyes setting up a CFRP factory in the United States.
The Tokyo-based company said April 8 that it created a new unit, the Automotive Business Development Group, putting what had been separate carbon-fiber plastic units in different parts of Teijin under one entity.
“Integrating and reorganizing these functions will enable … Teijin to accelerate its CFRP business, especially in the highly promising automotive field,” the company said in a statement. “Teijin expects to become Japan's leading provider of CFRP composites for automotive applications.”
In 2011, Teijin developed the world's first mass-production technology for CFRP, called Sereebo.
The company has previously said it's considering establishing a CFRP production plant in the United States, and in a Feb. 3 earnings report, it said work with U.S. carmaker General Motors is moving forward.
“With our joint development work with General Motors Co. entering the final stage of preparation for commercialization, and Sereebo now officially registered on General Motors' materials list, we began looking into the establishment of a new carbon fibers production facility in the United States,” the company said.
The new automotive group will market thermoplastic CFRP formerly handled by the Teijin Composites Innovation Center, and thermoset CFRP formerly managed by its Toho Tenax unit.
The company said its composites innovation center in Japan and an application center in the Detroit area were “making solid progress” on developing both specific CFRP structural components and establishing mass-production procedures.