Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. has announced that it is investing in an Italian supplier of automotive parts made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), as part of its efforts to strengthen the carbon fiber business in the U.S. and European markets.
In an Oct. 16 statement, the Japanese company said that its German subsidiary Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fibre and Composites GmbH had acquired a 44 percent equity stake in Modena, Italy-based CPC srl from its founder.
CPC, said Mitsubishi Chemical, has technological expertise in a range of automotive component fields, including molding of carbon fiber composite materials, and design and manufacture of molds used to produce carbon fiber composite parts.
Mitsubishi said the investment was being made in light of increasing interest by the automotive industry in using CFRP to develop lighter car parts. Moreover, the investment fits within its policy to strengthen production of intermediate materials.
“Based on the policy, MCC will focus on industrial sectors with growth potential, including automobiles, windmills and pressure vessels,” the company added
Mitsubishi Chemical said it was “convinced” that the acquisition would accelerate the use of its carbon fiber composite materials, through using CPC's technologies and distribution networks in the U.S. and European car markets.
MCC expects the equity stake will boost its consolidated sales from the carbon fiber composite materials business to 100 billion yen in 2020.