Continental to Bring Light-weighting Technology to China Through Joint Venture


Continental Structural Plastics in Auburn Hills and Chinese manufacturer Qingdao Victall Railway Group have formed a joint venture that aims to become a leading supplier of lightweight technologies to Chinese and global OEMs.

CSP Victall will operate out of a 322,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Tangshan City, east of Beijing, where it manufacture composite components for the automotive, heavy truck and bus, construction, and agriculture markets in China.

“Our new operations in China will enable us to provide lightweight composite technologies designed to meet the needs of both the domestic and global OEMs in this very important market,” says Frank Macher, chairman and CEO of Continental Structural Plastics.

The opportunity to provide lightweight vehicle components in China is significant and expected to grow, says Macher, citing the Chinese government’s plans to reduce the country’s carbon emissions. This includes cutting cut carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020; and a more recent initiative mandating that at least 30 percent of new government vehicles be powered by alternative energy by 2016. 

In addition, the country is expected to become the top market for luxury vehicles by 2016, according to McKinsey and Co., a global management consulting firm in New York City.

“Together, these factors mean that there is a significant opportunity for us to introduce our vehicle light-weighting technologies to this market,” says Macher. “This includes … materials for body panels, structural components, and possibly even electric vehicle battery box technologies.”

The company’s lightweight front-end options are also ideal for the heavy-duty truck market, Macher says. “By taking weight out of these very large parts, we can help reduce vehicle emissions while at the same time increasing payload capacity. ”

The company expects to begin manufacturing operations in China by the third quarter of 2015.