Continental Structural Plastics took two significant steps as summer came to an end: It restructured to become Teijin Automotive Technologies, unifying the worldwide vehicle materials business of the century-old Japanese chemical company Teijin Group under a single organization, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich. And it trademarked the name Hexacore.
Hexacore is a new honeycombed plastic structure that represents an advance in lightweighting, strength and design flexibility that will see increased vehicle applications, said CEO Steve Rooney. Teijin Automotive is a leading supplier of composite materials and of electric vehicle battery enclosures. The company has battery enclosures on 15-18 EVs in China and will launch its first in Europe in January. Rooney recently spoke with Lindsay Chappell, news editor of our sister publication Automotive News.
Q: First of all, why did Continental Structural Plastics restructure into Teijin Automotive Technologies?
Rooney: CSP was primarily a North American business, and Teijin acquired it in January 2017. Since then, Teijin has bought other companies around the world. Now we've brought all five businesses under one name so that we can speak to customers with one name and offer the same material solutions globally.
Q: How will it improve your power to innovate?
Rooney: We're doing R&D and advanced development in Europe, in China, in North America — now it's all consolidated under one leadership, focused on satisfying OEM needs globally instead of regionally. We're seeing that automakers are starting to consolidate to global designs, with one product around the world. With BMW on some battery tray business, they have the same design in Europe and China, and they're talking about bringing it to North America.