Mitsui Takes Stake in German Composites Firm

01.08.2016 -

As it continues to beef up its carbon fibers business, Japan’s Mitsui & Co. has taken an equity stake in Forward Engineering, a German company specializing in the design and engineering of lightweight automotive structures from carbon fiber and other composites.  The size of the stake was not disclosed. Both parties have also formed an alliance to expand their services worldwide. Mitsui will promote and leverage Forward Engineering’s services and specialist knowledge throughout its global network in order to boost its presence in the automotive carbon fiber market.

Forward Engineering was spun out of Roding Automobile – a technology company and elite manufacturer of the carbon lightweight Roding Roadster sports car - in March this year. Mitsui said the market for parts made from carbon fiber and other lightweight materials is expected to expand rapidly as the automotive industry works to continue cutting emissions and energy consumption.

This latest deal follows several others within the last two years. In April 2015, the Tokyo-based company entered a cooperation agreement with the Innovative Composite Center of the Kanazawa Institute of Technology to develop new methods for making automotive parts and other products using carbon fiber composites.

In March this year, it acquired stakes in Hexagon Composites, a Norwegian manufacturer of carbon fiber-reinforced high-pressure cylinders, and Hankuk Carbon, a South Korean producer of carbon fiber composite products.