In a sign of the company’s cooperation strategy with other manufacturers, Daimler AG, in cooperation with Toray Industries of Japan have announced a joint venture effort in making automobile parts. It seems highly unusual for Daimler to partner with Toray, a textile manufacturer, in forming a company to make car parts but this announcement is an offshoot of the alliance the two companies formed last spring to cooperate on the development of carbon fiber components.
While carbon fiber reinforced plastics have drawn attention for their lightness and strength (which can achieve better fuel efficiency for vehicles), the laborious manufacturing process does not sit favorably with auto manufacturers who need to drive costs down while mass-producing parts at the same time.
Toray and Daimler have apparently succeeded in developing a technology to mass-produce CFRP parts in a short period. As a result, the venture aims to start supplying carbon fiber components for Mercedes-Benz cars by 2012.
The headquarters for the new company will be in Esslingen. However, Toray will be the majority stakeholder with 50.1 percent. Daimler will have 44.9 percent and other investors will own the remaining 5 percent.