Teijin Ltd. is expanding its footprint in Europe with Teijin Automotive Center Europe GmbH (TACE), a new base in Wuppertal, Germany, that will house technical functions for the company's automotive composites business.
The Japanese materials firm said Jan. 28 that the German operation will handle concept, designing, prototyping, evaluations, marketing and technical research for next-generation automotive components.
The Wuppertal site will be up and running in February.
With TACE, Teijin said it will allow the company to establish a stronger platform for collaboration within the group's European automotive composites business. More specifically, TACE will explore and research opportunities for new technologies, as well as mergers and acquisitions, in an effort to accelerate joint development with European automakers and respond to demands for design freedom, productivity, cost efficiency, weight reduction and strength.
In the past few years, Teijin has been making strategic moves in Europe as it targets sales of approximately 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) within its automotive composites business by 2030. This includes the acquisition last year of Benet Automotive sro., a Tier 1 supplier of composite components with three facilities in the Czech Republic and one in Germany. In 2018, Teijin acquired Portugal's Inapal Plásticos SA, another automotive composites supplier.
Teijin-owned Continental Structural Plastics Inc. of Auburn Hills, Mich., is also further tapping into Europe. The composites supplier's French operation is opening a new sheet molding compound plant.
In addition, Teijin is pursuing opportunities for other locations for its automotive composites business in the United States and China. The strategy is part of the company's response to the automotive industry's "ongoing shift toward connected, autonomous, shared and electric automobiles" and the growing need for more lightweight, multifunctional and multimaterial designs, the news release said.