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Hyundai Motor, Toray join hands for material innovation in mobility

Korean automaker to develop lightweight, high-strength materials with Japanese materials manufacturer

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : April 18, 2024 - 15:18

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Officials from Hyundai Motor Group and Toray Industries, including Akihiro Nikkaku (third from left), chairman of Toray Industries; Mitsuo Ohya (second from left), president at Toray Industries; Chang Jae-hoon (center), CEO of Hyundai Motor Company; and Song Ho-sung (third from right), CEO of Kia, pose for a photo after signing a partnership agreement at Hyundai Motor’s headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Hyundai Motor Group) Officials from Hyundai Motor Group and Toray Industries, including Akihiro Nikkaku (third from left), chairman of Toray Industries; Mitsuo Ohya (second from left), president at Toray Industries; Chang Jae-hoon (center), CEO of Hyundai Motor Company; and Song Ho-sung (third from right), CEO of Kia, pose for a photo after signing a partnership agreement at Hyundai Motor’s headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Group has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Japanese material manufacturer Toray Industries to enhance materials technology for vehicles, officials announced Thursday.

Under the partnership, the two sides will work together to develop lightweight and high-strength materials to advance the performance and safety of the Korean automaker’s vehicles.

According to Hyundai Motor, the joint research and development will include carbon fiber-reinforced polymer parts that can improve the performance of electric vehicle batteries and motors.

“Hyundai Motor Group aims to leverage this strategic partnership to strengthen its position as a global leader in mobility solutions,” said Song Chang-hyeon, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s advanced vehicle platform division.

“By combining our automotive expertise with Toray Group’s material technological prowess, we aim to become the first mover and gain a competitive edge in the global market.”

Hyundai Motor underscored that it will proactively utilize new materials in its future mobility products to showcase distinguishable competitiveness and lead the mobility sector’s innovation.

Top officials from the Korean and Japanese firms including Akihiro Nikkaku, chairman of Toray Industries, Mitsuo Ohya, president at Toray Industries, Chang Jae-hoon, CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, and Song Ho-sung, CEO of Kia, attended Thursday’s signing ceremony held at Hyundai Motor’s headquarters in Seoul.

Toray Industries, which was established in 1962, is regarded as one of the leaders in the world of carbon fiber and composite materials technology. The Japanese company's major business of carbon fiber has been widely used in the mobility sector such as automobile and aviation due to the material’s lightweight, high-strength and heat resistance.

Toray has been working with urban air mobility firms such as Joby in the United States and Lilium in Germany as the aviation companies signed long-term supply deals for the Japanese company’s carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.

“Toray Industries has developed innovative technology and materials focusing on electrification and sustainability to address the needs of customers in the constantly evolving automotive industry,” said Ohya.

“We expect to carry out innovation in materials and technology with Hyundai Motor Group.”