The automotive materials and parts supplier Toray Industries has announced that it will be opening a new research and development center in Europe — dubbed Automotive Center Europe — focused on the emerging “environmentally friendly” vehicle sector.
The new Automotive Center Europe (AMCEU) facility will be located in Munich, Germany, and is expected to open in August 2018. The plans relate to the firm’s efforts to strengthen R&D function for the “Green Innovation Business” in Europe. This was stimulated by strong growth in recent years (~10% a year) for “new materials” coming from Japanese auto OEMs, and driven partly by the 2008 opening of an “Automotive Center” (AMC) at the company’s Nagoya Plant.
The new facility in Europe will consist of a laboratory block paired with an office block and showroom — with the total floor area being around 3,400 m2.
The press release provides more: “Building on the experience with AMC and further driving the expansion of Toray Group’s automotive related business, AMCEU will play the major role of a core technology development base in Europe that is capable of handling new applications and offering one-stop service to customers in Europe. It will offer comprehensive solutions combining advanced materials (intermediate base materials) such as carbon fiber composite materials, resins and films and technologies for mastering them (molding and design) as to how to bring out the materials’ characteristics as well as experiments, evaluation and technological support.
“European automobile manufacturers have been making great strides in the global automotive industry and the region leads in the demand for carbon fiber composite materials in the automotive field and also in development for adopting more resins in auto parts. Its fuel consumption regulation is the toughest in the world and the region leads the rest of the world also in initiatives regarding themes such as reducing vehicle weight and electric vehicles.”
The company’s plans for further expansion into the “Green Innovation Business” sector will involve working on the development of new materials and building methods/structures for “environmentally friendly transportation equipment” (electric vehicles, etc.) jointly with major OEMs and Tier 1 firms.
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